The first half of 2022 is over. I don’t know about you, but with all the news lately of violence and political upheaval, trials and court rulings and elections—I feel like 2022 could use a do-over.
And why not? We serve a God of new beginnings. God wipes the slate clean and starts new:
Psalm 40:3: “The Lord put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”
Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”
Jeremiah 31:31: “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
Ezekiel 18:31: “I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.”
We just passed the point when the earth is furthest from the sun, called aphelion, even though it is summer in the northern hemisphere due to the tilt of the earth’s axis. So from July 4th, 2022, on until perihelion around January 4th, we are moving back toward the sun, though our days are technically shortening and daylight lessening. We will be in midwinter right when we are closest to the sun. In the darkest time of the year, we are closest. In the brightest time of the year, we are furthest. And so is the dance of the universe. Even when things should be getting better in our world as we come out of Covid, the world may seem pretty bleak. Yet one thing is certain: God is still the center of our movement, our constant gravity pull. God is the center of our revolution. Who is God calling you to be in the remainder of this year?
As we continue to emerge in this pre-post-Covid time, we are learning how to be the church in new ways. We now are online as well as in-person. We are creating new ministries and new ways of connecting with one another as the church as well as connecting to our surrounding community and meeting the needs of the people. Our neighborhood now includes the digital world, which has different boundaries than a physical neighborhood. What is God calling you to do in the newness of this time?
One final verse: Isaiah 43:19: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” This is our verse for our Annual Gathering on October 8th, 2022 at First Baptist Church Beloit. We will be exploring how God is making a way through the wilderness, and where God is calling us to be trailblazers. Because God is always doing something new in the world. God is always doing something new in us. Are you ready? Can you perceive it?
Making our way together in faith,
Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell