Dear Flora,

As I write this in my dining room, I have to be honest: our house is in chaos. We’ve started packing up our things in order to move from Minnesota to Indiana. There are boxes full of dishes and decorations sitting on the floor, alongside empty boxes waiting to be filled. One of the biggest questions facing us in this move is, what do we throw away? And underneath that question is the realization that man, we have a bunch of stuff we really don’t need!

Our house seems like a metaphor for the world right now, frankly. We’ve largely boxed up year 2020 with its hardships and turbulence and joys and pains and we’re moving into the year 2021. But the move is chaotic. And we are not always sure what to throw away or what to take with us. The year 2020 was a rough one for all of us, and it challenged me to think about what really matters: what I really should hold onto. I don’t expect 2021 to be magically better than 2020. But I would be relieved if some of the hardships and chaos of 2020 would gradually disappear during this year. And I am looking for God to create good and beautiful and lasting things in 2021.

On a related note, we are so excited to make the move over to Indiana and join you all! I am looking forward to getting to know you all in person, as much as COVID will allow us in these months. I am exciting about diving right into the community and the life of the church. Starting on February 7th, I am planning on preaching on the theme of “Beginnings and New Beginnings.” I’d like to spend two weeks in Genesis 1–3, and then several weeks in Matthew 1–4. These are the beginnings of the Old and New Testaments, respectively. And in both sections of Scripture, we see God working out new things in order to bless humanity, and even the whole world. I hope these passages will stir up our faith and hope in God, who can make all things new.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV)

Blessings, Benjamin