Reflection on the Past Year 2022 and Anticipation for the New Year 2023
The New Year of 2023 has arrived, and along with it we have great anticipations and expectations for the months, weeks, and days ahead. A famous dictum uttered by Socrates states: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” This New Year is a good time to examine our lives, and to reflect on the past as we anticipate the future with new goals, great aspirations, and a fresh hope.
The past year of 2022 was filled with many great blessings, while at the same time it presented some very unsettling and difficult challenges. Every year events transpires that forever change the world, and in 2022 it is actually difficult to emphasize how impactful the year has been, not only on the world stage, but just on humanity on a whole.
This was the year that it seems we were forced to start from “scratch,” as things began to fall into place, (though all is still not entirely back to normal) from what we have all suffered over the course of the last three years as a result of the covid 19 pandemic. We started to rebuild our confidence and courage, overcoming our fears, re-engaging in relationships, in-person participation, rebuilding “Live,” events after two and a half years of conducting them on the social media platforms. Gathering people together once again, and enjoying the human interaction had to be recreated, it seems from scratch. However, we are grateful to God for His Grace and Strength during these difficult times.
The year 2022 was a year that was filled with many life-changing stories such as:
The acceleration of inflation
Learning to live with Covid
Russian invasion of Ukraine
Oil prices surging
Rising Interest Rates
Markets in Turmoil
Mass shooting in Buffalo
Texas School Shooter killing 21 people
Mortgage rates increases
Air Travel breaks down with delays, cancellations, luggues piled up and loss and long lines
The Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade
Boris Johnson resignation as U.K.’s Prime Minister
Flooding in Pakistan killing more than 1,0000 and crippling the nation’s economy,
The death of Queen Elizabeth II
Hurricane Ian making its landfall in Florida causing widespread destruction
New Leader the U.K. Minister Rishi Sunak
Elon Musk acquiring Twitter
Walmart Mass shooting in Chesapeake, VA., less than two weeks after a mass shootings in the University of Virginia in Charlottesville at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs
Argentina winning the World Cup
Winter storm and severe cold that swept across North America.
These are just some of the biggest stories of the year 2022.
As I reflect on the News Headlines of 2022, it would be easy for me to become fearful, dreading what this New Year 2023 will bring, however, Scripture reminds us that our
“Times are in God’s Hands.” The Bible is replete with words of encouragement as we face the New Year and all the unknown circumstances of this Year. We are reminded that:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness” ( Lamentation 3: 22-23).
We are also reminded to: “ Be strong and be of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord is with you wherever you go” ( Joshua 1: 9).
As we face this New Year with all of its uncertainties, let us resolve a few things:
1. That we will be content in God’s provision ( 1 Tim 6: 6-8)
2. That we will remain assured of the companionship of His Presence ( Duet 31: 6)
3. That we will take confidence in His Promises ( Eph 3: 20)
4. That we will walk in the comfort of His Protection ( Ps. 138: 7)
As we enter the New Year of 2023, during my times of reflection, the passage that the Lord has used to encourage me as I stand on the threshold of this New Year is St. Matthew 6:25-34.
The theme of this passage is Jesus’s counsel to Worriers. Twice in these verses Jesus commands us, “Do not worry” ( vv. 25, 31) and then He closes with the same command in v.34.
Listen to St. Matthew 6:34 “ So do not worry or become anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Here is the directive:
“Stop living more than one day at a time.” If there is one prominent lesson I have learnt during the past three years, it is to live every day as if it’s my last. To learn to appreciate the gift of physical life and spiritual life by numbering my days. Do not allow the enemy to destroy your simple faith of trusting the Lord with your life, so that you will not become anxious about 2023.
One of the best ways to solidify these things in our lives as we begin this New Year and
face the future, is with the disciplines of Prayer and Fasting.
The Church of God of Prophecy, Internationally has designated January 2- 22, 2023 as a season of prayer seeking God to “Reconcile The World To Christ.” On January 22, 2023 our North American Presbyter is asking all the churches in North America to join in
“PRAYER PUSH,” Pray Until Something Happens.
We will be praying for the following prayer points:
1. Anointing to reach the unreached in our communities with the message of Christ.
2. Ministry to the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of our communities.
3. Divine Healing for the sick in our congregations and communities.
4. Church planters and church planting in North America.
5. New Ministers accepting their call to Ministry.
As a global movement we will spend 21 days seeking the face of God, I would like to challenge you to take your congregation on this exciting journey as we seek God for the divine empowerment of the Holy Spirit to be instruments of His Grace as He continues to Reconcile the World to Christ. My prayer for you this year is that you will experience the Abundant Life of God in all that you do. My prayer is that this will include God’s Mercy, Peace, Love, Grace, Joy, and Wisdom throughout 2023.
- January 14-16, 202 - Family Snow camp and staff training
- January 16, 2023 - Martin Luther King Day
- January 2-22, 2023 - 21 Days of Prayer “Reconciling the World To Christ.”
- January 22, 2023 - “Prayer Push” Local congregation prayer meeting
- January 28, 2023 - District #5 Annual Regional Men’s Conference
- February 10, 2023 - Possibly Mid-Atlantic Leadership Conference via Zoom platform
- February 14, 2023 - Valentine’s Day
- February 18, 2023 - Mid-Atlantic Pastoral Symposium ( Zoom platform)
- February 24-26, 2023 - District #1 Retreat ( Open to the Mid-Atlantic Region)
Have a Joyful Year!
Yours In His Service,
Woodroe Thompson, (M.Div)
Regional Bishop, Mid-Atlantic Region USA