Wow . . . another year is almost behind us

Many people have told me that time passes more quickly as you get older.

I don’t know if it’s true for everyone, but from where I sit I think they’re right.

Can you believe 2012 is almost gone?

It’s been an eventful year. The presidential race occupied our attention for much of the year. We were intrigued by the London Olympic Games, horrified by shootings in Aurora and Newtown, and now we’re preoccupied by talk of heading over the nebulous but scary “fiscal cliff.”

What’s happened in your world in 2012?

Did you welcome a child into your life? Send one to college?

Get a new job? Change careers?

Perhaps you went through a divorce or lost someone you love.

I’ve been working my way through Philippians with you, so maybe it’s providential that we come to the end of it today.

The way Paul closes this letter seems quite appropriate as we end one year and begin another.

Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit (Philippians 4:21-23).

In the 1,950 years since Paul dictated this letter from a Roman jail, the world has changed in many ways. Nations have risen and fallen. Wars have been fought, and millions of people have lived and died.

But in so many ways, things are still the same.

We look at a world that’s not too different from the one Paul saw from his imprisonment. People are laughing and crying and dreaming and living and dying.

And what the world needs now—what we need now—is the same thing they needed.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We still live in a fallen world, and we’re a fallen people, but the hope Paul extended to the church at Philippi is the same hope God extends to us today.

He offers us hope through his grace, which is how Paul finished the letter.

And I think that’s a pretty good way to end a year:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”

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