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Commentary: Happy, Healthy New Year!

The General Conference Health Ministries department reflects on 2017 and their goals for 2018

Commentary: Happy, Healthy New Year!

[Photo credit: Getty Images]

2017 has flown by, and 2018 will soon be a reality! Christmastide comes so quickly amidst the busyness of travel, planning, caring, and sharing. As we practice Christ’s method of outreach and help extend His healing ministry through Comprehensive Health Ministry, the real Reason for the Season daily informs all our service—remembering Christ’s Cradle, while not forgetting the Cross, and eagerly awaiting His Soon Coming.

The Adventist Health Ministries Team has witnessed God’s special blessing through 2017, and we thank Him for His goodness.  Much work has been done in repurposing programs, creating new health initiatives; nurturing health professionals; training pastors, members, and communities; teaching; supporting evangelism; and working in difficult territories. The Health Ministries team has sponsored research, actively participated in lifestyle conferences, and much more.

As the carols of the season fade into eternity, the words of Howard Thurman, African-American philosopher and educator, energize and remind us that now “the work of Christmas really begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild …, to bring peace … to make music in the heart” [Thurman, “Now the Work of Christmas Begins.”]

There must be an urgency. Suffering and illness are rampant, and we are called to share wholeness and to serve all. May these words of Frances R. Havergal be our prayer and reality in 2018:

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above;
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.

Our prayer is that by God’s grace, this will be our practical experience in 2018 and embody w, and colleagues, are treasured, valued gifts to a broken planet. May 2018 be a year in which we sense the peace, joy, grace, and fellowship of God—bringing calm in chaos, hope despite hubris, and wholeness in brokenness.

Even so, come Lord Jesus!