Happy New Year. On New Year’s Eve we had a service at our church. We gathered at 11:00 p.m., sang a couple of hymns, read some Scripture and participated together in the observance of the Lord’s Supper. It’s a great thing to be contemplating the death of Jesus Christ represented in the tangible elements of bread and wine as we enter into a new day, new month and new year.

Until He comes.

Before we went to the Table we had a testimony service. I asked the question “How was God good to you in 2012” and then the flood gates open. I wrote some of the comments down as best I could and share a few of them with you today. They were a great encouragement to me when they were spoken and I pray that they will be of some positive use to you as well.

Here they are:

[From a lady who has been attending for many years now]“I thank God that I was out of work for fifteen months and for being able to be home all that time. I learned to pray more and trust God in my unemployment. When I got my job I asked God ‘What is my purpose in my new job?’ I shared a testimony with a lady at work who has now returned to attending her church and who calls me to talk about spiritual things.”

[From a medical doctor from Nigeria who needs to write several exams to get licensed in Canada. Her husband is a PhD in physics and works as a security guard. They have four children] . “I praise God that I was sick and God healed me. I praise God that I passed my first medical exam to becoming a doctor in Canada. Life is difficult but I thank God that my family’s needs are being met”.

[From a lady who only works as a home care worker when the company calls her to come in. She sometimes only works three or four days a month. She has three children and her husband lives in another country.] “I thank God for trials and tribulations. It’s only God who gets me through – I can do nothing by myself. When I need Him most, He never leaves. I get down and He is there. I thank God for friends. My hope for 2013 is to be more faithful”.

[From the previous lady’s 9 year old daughter]. Jesus died for us and that was a good thing for Him to do. Without Him we can do nothing”.

[From a man who travels two hours on bus and subway every Sunday to be with us. His son-in-law was recently baptized at our church] “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

I thank God for His Word, love, mercy, compassion and spiritual guidance.”

[From one of our deacons] “We should thank God that we can be here right now. Every breath we take is a gift from God. My hope is that I pursue God more and that our church will as well”.

[From an elder’s wife] “There are more than thirty wars in the world right now and we are here in peace. Why should we have such mercy? She then read from Isaiah 10 and Isaiah 12 thanking God for the grace He exhibits in the face of our great sin”.

[From an elder]” When God saved me I was a helpless sinner and I still am. I thank Him for His mercy”

And there is no way to explain Evelyn to you. Evelyn is a senior, from Guyana. She was led to the Lord a few years ago by her daughter who is a member of our church. During the testimony service Evelyn gets up, comes up to the pulpit and sings a song. She bubbles over with the love of God and tells it to whoever will give her audience. She sings and the church is all smiles. God uses Evelyn to bring joy to all our hearts. Tonight was no exception.

After the testimonies we go to the Table of Christ. What a great demonstration of His grace we have already seen. We eat and drink, the benediction is said. Happy New Year everyone says. It started out well for those of us who gathered at church last night.