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Five years

I’ve seen a saying floating around the internet which addresses where we find ourselves in 2020. It says, “Let’s face it, in 2020 none of us had the right answer to where do you see yourself in five years.” The funny thing is I remember a joke going around in 2015 which said, “Where do I see myself in five years? How should I know, I don’t have 2020 vision.” What if we had? Goodness!

Here’s the reason I’m reflecting on this. Five years ago this week is when Josanne and I became a part of the North Danvers Mennonite Church. All of us have seen so much change in that time. Just think back five years ago and see how much is different. Several of us have lost loved ones, and the congregation as a whole have seen several pass away. Some of us have experience other kinds of loss and crisis—within our families and relationships. In our work situations. Some of us have faced serious medical issues. We’ve seen tough times, but we’ve also seen good times too. None of us was prepared for what this year has brought, however.

The president of the first college where I taught in Maryland said to me, “It is a grace of God that we don’t know the future. We have enough to handle facing what goes on in our lives one day at a time.”

I want to be clear about this—I’m not asking this for myself. I know that many of you pray for me and for all of the leaders and members of this congregation regularly. I would encourage you to pray for pastors in general during this time. There are a lot who are feeling extreme pressure often from within their own congregations. They don’t know how to face this present crisis, because if we’re honest none of us do. Pray for them, though.

Let’s also continue to extend grace toward our fellow Christians. We talk about this being a church family, and you know that family doesn’t always get along. But in this time we all need a bit more understanding, and a bit less judgment and criticism.

What will the next year bring? God only knows. But we can take comfort in the fact that he does, and that furthermore he is able to keep us no matter what comes.

Love you all.

God bless, Brian

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