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Happy New Year!

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Dear Members & Friends of St. Paul,

Happy New Year! I pray that you and your family are well. It is a pleasure to write to you and to serve you in the name of Jesus.

The new year is a time when people try to take advantage of a fresh start and a clean slate. Maybe you have made a resolution or two in hopes that you will stick with it throughout 2022. If you are doing this, great! But truthfully, I am horrible at resolutions at the turn of a new year. I am a creature of habit, and frequently lose enthusiasm for a resolution by now (haha!). It is for this reason, that I am grateful for the promises that God makes to me. God reminds me of who I am in Christ, and not my own efforts in trying to succeed or to be somebody "new".

It is no accident that in the church calendar we discuss Baptism in January. Baptism is a means of God's grace which he freely and lovingly gives to us. Baptism is not what we do, but is an act of God which gives us His righteousness and a new identity. When God makes a promise, He ALWAYS keeps it! Baptism reminds me that when I revert to old, sinful habits, God has forgiven me and my identity is not in my failures, but is in a sinless person, Jesus Christ. This new identity is by no means a "scapegoat" where I can always have an excuse for bad behavior, but serves as a safety net when I act and behave in ways that I cannot always control. Baptism gives us the freedom to love others without strings attached, free of judgment! I pray that you remember in this new year who you are in Christ and live according to His promises to you!

"But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness". Romans 6:17-18

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Noah Kegley