As I was looking through past bulletins I came across the following article which I wrote as we moved from 1996 to 1997. I would have been just short of my 42nd birthday. But the succeeding years have only proved the truth of what I wrote over 23 years ago:
We cannot help but notice the changing of the years, for we are creatures of time. The years rob us of youth, then of strength, and finally, of life, itself. So much about us changes. But God never changes. 1996 will slide into 1997 without so much as the slightest mark of age or decay showing upon the Divine face, “Thou hast the dew of youth.” Our Redeemer is ever in the prime of life, ever strong, ever patient, ever merciful.
The world looks upon the new year as a clean slate. We shall not be long into the new year before we shall have defiled it with our sins, but the Redeemer’s patience shall not become worn; He shall still “forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”
In the coming year, we shall, each of us, creep one year closer to the grave, but it is only a move closer to Him who conquered death. There may be many things in 1997 that are different from 1996, but this shall remain the same: the living God shall care for His sheep in this world and shall work all things in 1997 together for their eternal good. As the hymn writer wrote:
"Even down to old age all My people shall prove,
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love.
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in my bosom be born."
Lord, grant Your goodness and grace to us in the coming year.
-Joe Terrell, Pastor of Grace Community Church, Rock Valley, IA USA