Dear friends in Fallbrook,
More than a few “new year, new you” posts came across my social media feeds this month. Indeed, it’s a new year and this is the most popular time to adopt some better habits, read some new books, and pursue some new goals.
Now, I’m as supportive as anyone of the effort to roll back some of the bad habits that have creeped into our lives over the past twelve months. In fact, I’ve written out a number of goals and habits to pursue over the course of 2018. But sometimes I wonder if we’ve made a mistake in assuming there’s a “better you” just under the surface.
I don’t know about you, but the deeper I dig into myself the more troubled I become. Rage I never thought could be possible erupts when my ways are questioned. Fear I never thought could be so powerful dominates when my security is threatened. And despair I never realized was there clouds my days when what I treasure is taken away. Is there really a better “me” down there? It seems not.
The message of Jesus Christ agrees — but not because Jesus was a pessimist. No, he understood that what’s inside us is precisely the problem. Out of the human heart come all sorts of distress, trouble, and sin. A powerful darkness is at the core of the human heart such that whatever “better me” I seek will be frustrated by my own worst tendencies. You probably know what that feels like. Maybe you wonder what the answer is.
During the months of January and February the Christian churches around the world are observing a time called “Epiphany.” It comes from an old word that means “revelation.” During this time of year we consider all the ways that genuine hope and actual truth had to be revealed to us from the outside because hope and truth don’t come from within. We remember how Jesus Christ is God’s revelation of light and truth that genuinely leads to a “new you” — which is infinitely more than a “better you.”
So, pursue your “better you” all year. I wish you the best of luck in accomplishing your goals. But take time also to discover the “new you” revealed by the good news of Jesus Christ.
We worship each Sunday morning at 9:30am and all are welcome at all services.
Serving in Christ,
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.” Thus the famous poem contends that some things are vastly more important than they look and some ways of life are dramatically more purposeful than they appear. The Christian season of Epiphany is the revelation of truth that appears hidden and confirmation that faithful wandering is not without purpose. During January and early February at St. Stephen Lutheran we will explore the various ways there is more than meets the eye to the Christian faith and life.