Yet again, another year is fast racing past us. If like me, you are yet to come to terms with the fact that effectively, by the time you read this, there will be less than a month for 2017 to be consigned to the annals of history just like those before it.
Each day you slept and woke up, you helped the numbers to reduce while the number of your days on earth increased. One day after another we all advanced towards something; something not quite well known to us, leaving behind many yesterdays’ totally impossible to return to. This reminds me of something King David said in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” We have had over eleven months since January to learn this great lesson of doing like David enjoined us to do. My question for you then is, “What have you learnt?” Have you numbered your days? Have you “gained a heart of wisdom”, as the NIV would put it? As we watch the year come to and, perhaps this is my challenge to you to keep pondering over, especially as everything indicates that the end of the age is near. In other words, the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, is knocking on the door. He will come again just like he said he would, (John 14:1-3).
The Advent season reminds us that Christmas smells in the air. Nearly everything all around us bears witness to that-the roadways, the shopping malls, the garage sales and the grocery stores. The frenzy has indeed begun effectively. But, just like I have always challenged you in the past during seasons such as this, do not allow the message, the real reason for the season to be drowned out by the sights and sounds of commerce. We must not be silent this time! Satan wants the message behind Christmas to fade away. We must never allow it! Therefore, tell everyone around you that Jesus Christ was given to the world as the Saviour. He is the reason we celebrate. Again refuse to be drawn into an attitude of political correctness. You offend no one when you wish them “Happy Christmas” rather than “Happy holiday”. Christmas is about Jesus Christ, pure and simple! It is not just a holiday. Its purpose is to remind the world, your friends and associates that his presence will never go away. He is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. Be a bearer of that Good News this Christmas! When you do, you would have fulfilled the real purpose for this wonderful season.
The Year 2017
Join me to acknowledge the overwhelming faithfulness of God to me and to each one of you who made Equmeniakyrkan Hallunda (Int’l) your spiritual home during the period. We entered the year together and we are getting to the end of it together. To me, that’s nothing short of God’s faithfulness. Rather than death, the Lord added many lives to our church. Rather than funerals, we celebrated thanksgivings, dedications and birthdays possibly more than every single church within our community. God has been our healer, our deliverer in times of trials, our supplier in times of need, and our strength in times of weakness. Indeed, the Lord was our everything during the year 2017! We can all therefore bow in adoration and repeat the words of this one song that nearly became our anthem throughout the year, “Everything written about you is great!”
My final word is to appreciate each one who served the Lord faithfully through our Ministry this year. From all the Babafemi-led Executive Committee members to the leaders and members of every ministry group I say a big God bless you! You will not lose your reward in Jesus’ name!
Reflecting back, aside from our scheduled weekly programs, the Lord provided us with opportunities to let the Gospel out to members of our community. As you would recall, we played host to a couple of guest speakers including one from outside the shores of Sweden. In addition, we undertook evangelistic outreaches at both Hallunda Centrum and outside our church. Our summer picnic and the just-concluded International Cultural Week were also highlights of a year that helped us fulfil part of our cardinal objectives as the International congregation of our parish. I pray that the Lord will bless and cause all the seeds sown in peoples’ lives to germinate into mature faith in Christ in the name of Jesus Christ.
As we look to 2018, let’s all be determined to enthrone Him in our lives, family and church more than ever before. Brace up, for it is not yet time for rest. Fights remain to be fought, and victories remain to be won. But the Lord is on our side!
My wife and I wish you all a most blessed and happiest Christmas you’ve ever known!