In Revelation, Jesus tells us that He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. How difficult for us to comprehend the measure of time that describes. We think in terms of days, months, years, even minutes and seconds. But Christ existed before creation and will exist forever. It’s challenging to our human understanding to equate the baby whose birth we just celebrated—who lived on earth for only 33 years as we calculate time—with our eternal God. And yet Scripture assures us that Jesus was with God in the beginning and will be with us until the end of the age.
That was often hard to remember during the past year. We collectively suffered pain, loss, fear and anxiety. Contemplating eternity is challenging when getting through another day or week seems impossible. But in spite of the difficulties, we saw moments of kindness, courage and sacrifice as people reached out to support one another.
LBT’s partners also offered prayer, encouragement and financial support to language projects so that God’s Word would continue to reach people around the world. Yes, there were cancelled plans, temporary missionary relocations, less in-person consultation and mentoring. But 2020 also saw two Bible dedications—the Gola in Liberia and the Khoekhoegowab in Namibia. Innovations in technology that allowed translation teams to maintain contact with missionaries in the U.S. meant ongoing progress in language projects. And the LBT office staff was able to meet regularly to discuss issues and make plans for future projects, even as many worked from home.
As was proved so dramatically this past year, we cannot know what tomorrow will bring. But we do have God’s promise to be with us always. That’s a comfort and hope that has sustained Christians throughout the ages. It’s hard to imagine what life is like for those who do not know Jesus, who do not have the promise of His steadfast presence. Whether it’s in our own community, our own country, or in far-away places, people need God’s Word. The time we take now to reach out is just a brief flicker in the immensity of eternity, but it can make all the difference in the life, and eternal life, of those who come to faith.
Jesus be with you (and He will!) as we begin a new year of mission and ministry.