Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land. . . .
— Deuteronomy 34:1

Come with me down Michigan Avenue, past Root Brothers Hardware and the blinking neon sign at the Currency Exchange. As we leave the Roseland neighborhood, in the rearview mirror we can see the people and places we reflected on this month—Lloyd, Annette, Bob, Corey, Charlene, Kimberly, Tina, Terrell, and many more.
Before Moses died, God allowed him to go up Mount Nebo for a glimpse of the promised land. But what is looking forward if there is nowhere to look forward from? What is arrival with no memory of the journey? I imagine Moses looked not just toward the promised land but also back in the direction of the wilderness, the Red Sea, and Egypt (see Exodus 12-20). What a journey.
Pausing to look back gives us the gift of perspective to celebrate God’s faithfulness over time. As we said earlier, “‘If the Lord had not been on our side,’ where would we be?” (Dec. 8).
As this year ends, look back on the journey that was 2023. Remember the wilderness moments, the mountaintops, the people we lost, the babies that were born, and the friendships that formed. Let’s look back on the faithfulness of God in 2023 as we then look ahead to 2024. What a journey.
God is good!

Lord, thank you for your faithfulness this year and for your presence with us on the journey. Thank you for the gift of looking back—and for what lies ahead. Amen.

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