A New Year’s Message from Pastor Larry Stappler

Pastor Larry Stappler

Happy New Year!!   I know that a new year is a time of new possibilities and also a time for looking back, reflecting on the past year.  Here’s a poem by Gerhard E. Frost that asks some questions that help us to reflect:

“I’ve Begun Asking”

I’m breaking my habit of asking strangers,

“What do you do?”

as if they’re no more than they do.

I’ve begun asking,

“What are your dreams and your dreads?

What moves you, excites you, alarms you?

What drains you or sustains you?

What interests or bores you, amuses or grieves you?

Where do you go when you’re homesick?

Where do you rest when you’re tired?

Who are you when you’re alone, and whom do you miss?

And who misses you?”

But when we’re dealing with questions,

perhaps it’s really not what or where or who,

but whose.  Whose are you?  And whose am I?

(from Seasons of a Lifetime: A Treasury of Meditations)

The “Whose” we are is God’s.  As we remember that God walks with us, we reflect as to what that might mean in how we live life.   We begin to understand how God’s presence in our lives can help us love and care for others.

As we reflect in faith, we can see that God has been active in our lives every day.  We hear God’s word “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is a gift from God.”   (Ephesians 2:8)

In this new year, may we remember that by God’s gifts of grace and faith, our lives, wherever they take us, God is with us, Immanuel, each step of the way.

Blessings and Happy New!

Director of Pastoral Care

Immanuel Lutheran Communities