Welcome to 2024 and 4 Fragile Freedoms

Happy New Year!

The word “January” comes from Roman mythology. The god “Janus” had two faces–one face looked ahead, and the other face looked back. For this reason, January is called a “two-faced month.” It’s a time for transitions and new beginnings.

Mike Glenn recalls a story in Christianity Today in which he learned the difference between wishing and wanting:

“Several years ago, I was playing golf with a very talented man. I stood up and hit my drive and like usual, the ball went way right of where I was aiming. While I was trying to watch my ball to see where it would come down, I heard my friend laughing.

Now, I don’t know if you know this, but it’s very rude to laugh at another player’s bad shot. So, I asked my friend, ‘What are you laughing at?’ ‘I’m laughing at you,’ he said. ‘Why are you laughing at me?’

‘Because, he said, ‘you don’t do anything in your swing to make the ball go where you want it to go. You just stand up here and wish.'”

Many Americans will make New Year’s Resolutions. The more popular ones are about losing weight, going to the gym, and reading the Bible. Most of them will be broken by Ground Hog Day. We may wish for change but not want it enough to do what’s necessary to bring it about.

You’ve heard me use this John Claypool quote before but it’s appropriate as we begin another year together: “Life is a Gift.”

Whether making a resolution or not, let us aim and work towards having a greater appreciation for the blessings and gifts of family and friends this upcoming year.

This month, I’ll begin an Adult Bible Study series on the book “The Baptist Identity: Four Fragile Freedoms.” It’s a good time to review the importance of these Baptist distinctives as a congregation. We need to remember who we are as Baptists.

During the study, we will meet as usual on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM, but I’m adding a 10:30 AM time as well. Both sections will meet in the Lower Auditorium and books can be purchased in the church office.

Looking back upon 2023, I can now say that many things occurred that none of us could have anticipated. These unexpected events added to the joys, sorrows, trials, and triumphs of the past year. I suspect the same will be true for 2024.

Let’s be grateful for life, and our shared life together as the people of God known as First Baptist Church Clinton–DC

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