— Written by Rev. Larry Sassmann, Asst. Pastor
The unknown always carries with it an amount of apprehension. We have innate concerns over stepping out of our comfort zone into an area that may prove to be harmful or at least different from what we are accustomed to. I remember stepping off of a plane in Asmara, Eritrea, some 45 years ago, not having any clue what the next year-and-a-half would bring. Yet when I entered the barracks I would be staying in, I saw a familiar face and suddenly felt less anxious–the face of Winston Baker, who I knew from Fort Dix. The unknown was now less intimidating. Now I can look back on it with some great memories, having met people that I’m in touch with again, even after years of no communication. Any arrival at a distant land where the culture and lifestyles are totally opposite to our own can be overwhelming at first. We also step into a new environment, and, in a very real respect, a new life when we come to a saving knowledge of the vicarious death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, just as seeing Winston in Asmara, but in a much more complete way, when we see Jesus in eternity, the joy will be complete and all (not some!) of our fears will disappear. We in this earthly realm, step into darkness and feel fear or anxiety, yet God’s word tells us in 1 John 3:14 that, when we receive Christ’s forgiveness, we step from death to life; in 1 Peter 2:9 that step is referred to as from darkness to light. We can make that step anytime we choose–Jesus, being the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, offers us this “new life” spoken of in many Scriptures. Do not be deceived, this will bring change, but change that will accompany itself with peace instead of anxiety, with a regeneration that will bring joy; that–no matter the circumstances–will bring comfort. All are invited to experience this joy and peace; Jesus gave the invitation to “whosever will” … Will you?