What to Expect in 2024…

What will this new year bring in our lives, in our country, in our world? There are many articles,
news stories, and blog posts on the subject, and just as many different opinions! I found myself
reflecting on this topic for myself last week. So many times, it seems I anticipate or plan, and
then things don’t work out as expected. Different is not always a “bad” thing, but it does
require some adjustment in expectations or activities.

As I look ahead to the coming months, some plans are pretty well set (school calendar, for
example), and others are just vague ideas of what I think or hope might happen at a certain
time. But in my experience nearly every day has brought something unexpected, and I have
needed to make an adjustment, whether that is a major change or a minor tweak or something
in between. So, how is one to navigate the turbulence of life and yet maintain an even keel?
The one sure and certain, never-changing expectation and reality is that our Lord Jesus remains
our Shepherd, Guide, Defender, Provider each and every day! He already knows the paths of
our lives, the challenges and joys and fears and blessings along the way. He has promised to
care and provide for us in all circumstances. As we look forward to the uncertainties of 2024,
yet trusting that our Lord Jesus will be with us throughout each day, a prayer included in our
Lutheran Service Book (p.196) and in numerous Lutheran hymnals since the mid-twentieth
century comes to mind. It was written by Eric Milner-White (1884-1963), an Anglican clergyman
and appeared in his book, "Daily Prayer" (1941).

I invite you to join me in praying this prayer at the various junctures of life as we live each day
in the hands of Jesus our Savior.

“Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by
paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not
knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”