Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:18,19

Was there ever a year we wanted to put behind us more than 2020? I lost a sweet brother in the springtime when I was already struggling with the things of life. His death rocked my foundations for many months. One huge loss can make handing other matters in life more difficult. Agreed?

In the fall I ached for the loss of another friend on the other side of the world, a man whose life intertwined the lives of my family. I ended 2020 yesterday in a funeral service of a treasured friend. If I ever wanted to forget a year it probably was 2020. I won’t forget it, nor will I forget how God interspersed great loss with blessing and yes, joy.

My family enjoyed a particularly sweet, gentle Christmas. Interestingly enough, several of my friends and acquaintances told me the same thing. It was a low-key holiday and our thoughts were never far from Bethlehem, the House of Bread.

I am considering the verses above in the spirit they were written in and enter into this new year with fresh expectation. I am not going to dwell on the past, but will not forget it to the extent that I neglect the lessons taught from the year. 

For me, this year begins today by attending a wedding at the same church I attended a funeral service yesterday. After the marriage ceremony I will go to the Werners for a round of good-bye hugs for India, Zachary, Sakshi, Paisley, Thaddeus and Sophie. They will be traveling on Sunday to Pittsburgh for India’s surgery. Improved health for my baby is the first thing that I hope will spring forth. 

I do look forward to 2021 and I do not expect it to be an easy year. In Christ though, it can be good. I expect remarkable moments. I look forward with hope and restored strength. What will this new thing be? 

This year I am planning to write about “Tea and Crumpets” each week, with my first installment coming in a few days. Simplicity will always be my goal, with a bit of levity. I will cover a topic with supported Scriptures and end with a “crumpet.”  You’ll see.

Enjoy your day.  As you begin this new year, be encouraged: For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.  Isaiah 41:13