I’m hoping that all of you had a Christmas that brought you together with those you love and perhaps had not seen for years and allowed you to please them with your attentiveness and care. Gifts are sacrifices to an idol of earthly things, but your love and your welcome are angelic gifts.
I give thanks for a year where my wife and I both had surgeries and we were both blessed with successful results. I was quite ready to leave this world back in March and had made a contingent peace with the possibility of leaving this good earth. So, I am glad to be here. I must continue to search for all the good things that the Lord has hidden here in this beautiful place. We ourselves are hiding places for the treasures of God and hide within our own fabric his mysteries and possibilities.
We are his.
As I write this I hear the drumming of rain on my roof and feel the temperature warming up — in this I listen to his wonderful work of maintaining our world. For this I give thanks.
I pray that this coming year 2018, you may find those hidden places in yourself where Jesus waits to teach you new things. I pray that you will receive forgiveness for all those things that you have done that can only be healed by his knowing forgiveness and compassionate love. All of you receive his forgiveness when you turn to him and repent and ask.
People of Hermiston be blessed in your churches, and find a rich new life this year. Celebrate the invited ones who will be called to your church by the spirit to renew and rejoice. People of Pendleton receive deeper gifts of the Holy Spirit, even greater gifts of hospitality. I know your hospitality well and God will raise up great people of your town to lead the state from your people. Of this I am certain. Someone from East Oregon will be called to serve at a very high level.
I ask that the blessed farmer churches receive blessing and good health, and that all of those who have suffered and hurt this past year will be strengthened and made whole. I pray for good crops and good soil, and pure, clean water abundantly falling in spring and summer rains. I pray for healthy livestock and abundant provisions for the people.
People of The Dalles — and all of Eastern Oregon — I ask that the wealth of new business floods into your town and brings good ideas, rich blessings and amazing prosperity to each and every one of you.
I pray that the Lord himself will be a felt presence in your midst. That wherever your feet may land, Jesus’s steps will accompany yours. 2018 will be a year strong in return to honesty and character in the Church, it will be a year of return to moral principle and regeneration. Commitment to unborn children will be felt as God’s deep desire and many people will find it in themselves to adopt and foster these little ones.
Jesus is making the way straight and this next year we will know absolutely he is walking beside us and bringing his kingdom of peace to reign here on this sparkling jewel of our world. Be watchful.
He is with us always. Blessings!
Colin Brown is the former pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Boardman.