Pastor's Column - Jan. 1, 2014

First Byline: 
Rev. Jamie Wootten

Jeremiah was a man standing among ruins.
The year was sometime after 587 B.C. His beloved city of Jerusalem had been ransacked by the Babylonians. The temple was now a pile of rubble, city walls stood no more, houses were gone, and most of the people had been taken into captivity. The streets were no longer filled with the laughter of children playing, voices of women trading supplies, and most of all there were no songs of worship being lifted up to God. The reason for this calamity: the people had turned their back on God, lived in sin, and ignored the warnings of His prophets to turn back. Now the promised day of judgment had come.
Yet, in the midst of the ruins Jeremiah proclaims the words we find in Lamentations 3:22-24 - "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
This shows us the glorious nature of God. Even in the face of Judah's unfaithfulness, God's love does not cease, His mercy will not come to an end. With each new morning He is there offering an opportunity to return to Him, to see how great He is, and find that He is enough.
So as we go into this new year maybe you too find yourself standing in the midst of the ruins of your life. These ruins may even be the consequences of your own sinful actions. Please know that God has not quit loving you. His mercy is still available and more than enough to cover anything you have done. His Son Jesus Christ, whose birth we just celebrated, came to accomplish this for us. He died on the cross for the judgment of our sins so we could have a restored, righteous relationship with God. 
His call to you in this new year is to turn back to Him. Let Him be your portion. Find your hope in Him. He will be enough.
Just as God would rebuild the city and His people of Jeremiah's day, He can rebuild your life. Because of the love and mercy of God through Jesus there is hope in the midst of the ruins.
Rev. Jamie Wootten is the pastor of Winfield Heights Baptist Church. He can be reached at jamie@winfieldheights.org.