Recently I have been asking folks what they are looking forward to or what they are excited about. The answers have not come easily to folks, as this year has created cancelations, postponements, and rescheduled events and activities. It has been tough to get excited because we have experienced so much disappointment.
For me, this time of year brings about several things that I get excited about. The fall season is something I always look forward to. The four months that end in ‘ber’ is my preferred time of year. My excitement builds as the crisp, cool temperatures occur in the evenings. Every dessert seems to include pumpkin or apples, to which I am big fan of both (although there are some items that should not include pumpkin spice). Under usual circumstances, there is abundance of football and later basketball. Hunting season begins and the color of the trees provide some great scenic views. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday and I could continue. I realize not everyone enjoys autumn but it has always been my favorite season. I am looking forward.
God’s story in the Bible is one of looking forward. Yes, the people throughout the Bible (Israelites in the Old Testament and Disciples and Churches in New Testament) were called upon several times to remember their faith foundation and their history. There is a theme, a focus, of looking forward to what God will do and is going to do. Promises are made and fulfilled in the Old Testament through Abraham, Moses, and David. Israel is in need and hopeful for a Messiah in the Old Testament and when Jesus is born, the people remember and look forward by asking if Jesus is the Messiah. After Jesus ascends into Heaven, people began looking forward to His return. Even in the letters to the churches in the New Testament, the people are looking forward to growing as faith communities and living life as Jesus taught.
We find ourselves there as well, looking forward to growing as Jesus’ disciples. Looking forward to see what God will do in us and through us, should create excitement and enthusiasm in our lives. Yes, disappointments and cancelations will occur, but God will continue to be faithful as we follow Christ.
In Isaiah 43:18-19, we find these words: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing 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.” What new thing is God doing in our lives. What new thing does God desire for us. May we be on the lookout for it as we seek God daily in our relationship with Him through/in Jesus Christ.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”—Philippians 3:12-14