Happy NEW Year.

Those things sound nice to say, don’t they?

Maybe you’re feeling, though, in light of the past trip around the sun we all took, like it would be more appropriate to say:

Cautiously Optimistic New Year.

Or, I Don’t Know How I Feel About the New Year.

And if that’s you, that’s understandable, too!

Regardless of how you’re feeling, I wanted to take a moment to share something that I hope will help you, and perhaps position your heart a little better for the coming new year.

Deep in the middle of this past summer, after the death of George Floyd in particular, like a lot of people, I was struggling in my own way.

Struggling to process not only what it revealed about our nation, but also what it did to lots of friends of mine, and to people of color. I literally lost track of the consecutive days I cried and wept over it, and cried during the conversations I had with friends and church members–and I’m not that particularly prone to tears, as my children love to point out! In some ways, I am still struggling to process it.

One part that was particularly challenging to process was to look in the eyes of a number of friends, pastor friends, people I had known for decades, and to see not only the pain in their eyes but a question there as well: Do you, Morgan, love me? As a white man, do you love me?

Internally, I was–and I think if you had been in my shoes, you might have felt the same way–stung by this question. It was a fair question, but that didn’t make it any more painful. Again, and after all, some of these were relationships that went as deep as I know how to have. I felt like I had already proven that and shown that as best I knew how, and maybe even more than a lot of other people.

But in the middle of that, I felt the Holy Spirit come to me and say this:

“Don’t you question me when you feel pain?
Don’t you question if I love you if your circumstances get difficult enough?
You do. You question my love when you feel pain.
And what do I do?
I tell you, again and again, that I love you.
I reassure you that I love you, every time.

Morgan, I want you to do the same for others.”

And so, I want to do the same for you, right now.

I want to look at you and tell you that I love you.

I want to reassure you that I’m for you. I want to reassure you that our mission remains the same, that Jesus is still King and that there is still hope. You are not behind in God’s plan nor has your ship sailed.

And I hope, in the spirit of that, that we would be able to look each other in the eye and do the same, as this year (mercifully) draws to a close.

I hope that we would reassure each other of our love for one another, and of the love that God has for each of us in the Gospel and through His Son.

Church, I know this year has been hard. It’s been challenging beyond bearing at times, but no matter how you feel right now, and especially if you have questioned it, I want you to know that I love you, and that no matter what happens in 2021, that won’t change.

So…here’s to you, Mosaic. Here’s to what God has been to us, and done for us over the past year.

He still loves us, doesn’t He?

Oh, how He loves you and me.
Oh, how He loves you and me.
He gave his life, what more could he give?
Oh, how he loves you, oh how he loves me.
Oh, how he loves you and me.

Happy New Year (and I mean it!).


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