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The people who came out from the cold.

The New Year here began with the dubious distinction of being colder than it was on either Mars or the North Pole. In fact the weather service told us that the end of December in Minnesota was the coldest week for 132 years. In a state that likes to brag about its cold weather that is a true honor indeed. This week the weather will climb from being-20f to approaching 40f in Minneapolis, a 60 degree spread. Cars will start easily, less people will slide off the freeway into ditches, and the salt on the roads will actually work, and melt something. Most Minnesotans will wear their light coats. So it is a time when things start to change, at least for a while, a brief respite before a return to the frigid ways of winter causes us to scurry and hide again in our igloos.

It is enough time though to pause to think and to hope for the year to come.Every new year and every new warming brings with it a sense of longing for the better, the alluring and the enchanting. There arises in the heart a feeling that this year we will see something different and perhaps unique to this season. This is perhaps the special magic of the new year and the promise which it holds for all those who greet it with a joy in their breast and a sense that a bright new day is coming.

So as the days do really get lighter and the nights do become shorter, so may your hopes burn all the stronger. May the darkness become weaker as the light of a new year, a new vision and a new promise rise into view. "Behold I am doing a new thing...."Do we perceive it or believe it? Can we possibly even do that? Or have our hearts been so quieted by the blanket of this long winter of infertile, sleeping cold, so that we can not imagine anything springing up in this wilderness? God reminds us again to look and to watch and to hope in Him for the new things He will do.

In this New Year may you be astounded by the love and the power of a God who makes all things new and calls that which is not, as if it was, and so thus, it is. Welcome to the warmth of His presence.

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