We begin a new year with an expression of joy even though the world is very troubled. While most of us can celebrate, for twenty children and eight adults their life on earth ended suddenly and tragically on Friday, December 14th. Their families and loved ones probably are not doing much celebrating. And even on the last day of 2012 our country is on the brink of a fiscal cliff. There is probably not much celebrating going on in Washington, DC as our leaders are being pressured to prevent an even worse economic collapse than we have already experienced in recent years. 2012 has demonstrated that life is uncertain and fragile. The difficult truth is that every day of every year life goes on for some and ends for others. Jesus has taught us many things and has given us gifts of the Spirit to equip us for reaching those who are without Him. He has instructed us to reach out and help those around us in need. We have the opportunity to make a difference in the new year by letting the Light of Christ shine. We carry Light into the darkness every time we feed the hungry or do anything that shows someone that someone cares about them—that God cares about them. We carry Light into the darkness every time we share our faith in Christ and the good news that God loves them so much that He gave His only Son for them. That through Christ they can be forgiven their sins, restored to wholeness, and gain life eternal. We carry Light into the darkness when we teach others the Truth that Christ taught us, that God has a plan for our future and we can trust Him. Jesus teaches us to be always alert and prepared for His return, but not by waiting around for a catastrophic event. On the contrary, we are called to go out and make disciples, baptizing (freeing them from darkness and joining them with the Light) and teaching (equipping them to know and trust) that God cares about all of us and wants none of us to be lost in darkness. Epiphany occurs on January 6th and marks the beginning of the season of Epiphany which runs until we begin the season of Lent in preparation for Easter. I have an epiphany—a great and inspired idea—let’s boldly share the Light of Christ with everyone we can as we begin a new year. Let us boldly carry the Light of Christ into every dark corner of our community and as far as we can reach. Who knows how many will be saved? Who knows how many will learn how much God loves them and have new hope for a better future. We need not fear darkness for the Light of Christ is within us, and Jesus promises to abide in us to the very end of the age. Happy New Year!