We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. - 2 Thessalonians 1:3
This year is ending up no different than any other year. I
mean this in the sense that as for me, as one year ends and another begins my
thoughts turn towards review and looking ahead. It could be because many TV
shows and news broadcasts air some sort of year in review. Each one has its own
flavor and emphasis. Maybe it is a way for me to play along in my own head.
As I was moving through the process this year, a memory of my childhood came to mind. I couldn’t quit thinking about it. It was a memory of the apartment that me and my younger sister grew up in. I lived there until I was 15 years old. In that apartment was a door frame. From time to time, the whole family would gather at that door frame and my sister and I would stand with our backs against the doorframe . . . heals on the floor . . . good posture . . . chin slightly up . . . as a pencil was placed on top of our heads and a mark was made on the doorframe. There was a date attached to the left of the marks that were for my sister and a date on the right of the marks for me. As best I can remember, these dates were usually random, but about three to four months apart. One consistent mark was usually the first day of the year.
This memory caused a dramatic shift in thinking this time around. I quit thinking in terms of years and time to thinking about growth and momentum. As this shift took place in my thinking my attitude changed and gratitude and thanksgiving sprung up in my heart all with a theme of growing.
Growing in Grace
Growing in Faith
Growing in Love
Growing in Jesus
Growing in Friendships
Growing in a Missional Attitude
Growing in Passion for People
I’ve seen it in you . . . and I’ve seen it in me. My big realization through this process is that we have an AWESOME God . . . Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity active in our lives to bring growth. As I reflect on my own circumstances, I see the growth lines gaining momentum. A lot of that was also driven by the encouragement of my brothers and sisters in Christ at First Lutheran. So, the above verse written by Paul to Thessalonian Church is something I would want to say to you.
God be praised!