Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 20, 2003
Pastor's Column

Trying to remember what year to write down

By Rev. Daniel Runke
Albion Evangelical Free Church, Cokato

I don't know about you, but it takes me a while each new year to get into the habit of writing the correct year. It seems just when I get the year correct (i.e. 2002) the New Year comes and I have to learn to write 2003.

A long time ago it was even more complicated. People used to write "A.D." after the year. Even today in history books you can come across the year followed by "A.D." or "B.C." Have you ever asked what do those letters stand for?

The answer is really quite amazing. It has to do with the birth of a baby. You say, "How could the birth of a baby have that kind of impact?" Who was that baby anyway?

For the answer, one has to go back 2003 years to a town called Bethlehem. There, a baby boy was born who split the world into two time periods: B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. A.D. is Latin for "Anno Domini" meaning "in the year of our Lord."

When you think about it though, it's not really that amazing. The Gospel of Luke 2:14 says this little boy will give peace among men.

Now peace is something to get excited about. It is something since Sept. 11 we have really seen a need for. We read in Matthew "This One who would save His people from their sins; He is called Emmanuel, meaning "God with us" (Matthew 1:23).

I have been thinking, what would happen in 2003 if everybody started writing the letters A.D. after the year? Maybe we would begin to experience a little more peace in this world. Imagine a whole year of no violence, killings, or robberies. Wouldn't it be great?

Matthew tells us, for that to happen, we have some sins that we need to be saved from (yes, even pastors need a Savior). Matthew also says that God is with us to do it, if that is what we want. After all, God can't save us from the sins we don't want to be saved from. So, what do you think; do you have any sins you're willing to give up and want to be saved from?

Why not take them to Jesus and the cross where the penalty for them was paid. Accept God's forgiveness and receive by faith His greatest gift, Jesus. Imagine if everyone did this, we really would experience peace in 2003.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

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