I finally tested negative for Covid on Friday and suddenly had the energy to clear out a cupboard full of wrapping paper, sheets, candles, ribbons. Don and I gathered all the Christmas wrappings to put away ’til next December. I rearranged the rest of the items and I can find what I need again.
Aren’t our lives often like that? Mine gets cluttered with busy-ness, with multiple demands on my time and resources. And periodically I need to go through and clean it out. Let go of those things God has not given me as priority. Hold onto and deepen the ones he has. Spend more time with him to help reduce the chaos.
We don’t reach goals if we don’t make plans. Our pastor plans to teach on a chapter of the book of John each week from now through Easter. So to start, in addition to other reading and time with God, Don and I will read through a chapter of the book of John each week, usually every day, as we follow Jesus’ journey to the cross.
Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Losing weight, exercising more, spending more time with family, whatever it is for you. For the most part, resolutions that begin January 1st end before February begins! So I haven’t made resolutions the past years.
However, it is the start of a new year and I want my year, my behavior, my walk with God to deepen. That doesn’t require a resolution, but it does require a commitment.
Where do you want to go deeper with God this year?
Do you need more peace and rest?
How about a more loving attitude toward those difficult people in your life?
Or, as Richard of Chichester penned in the thirteenth century
I knew I missed being in church the past two weekends; but oh, walking into the sanctuary yesterday morning was wonderful. As Phil Wickham sings “There’s joy in the house of the Lord today and we won’t be quiet.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8uKldEUrPE
After a short sermon, wonderful music and remembering Christ’s sacrifice through communion, our pastors and elders stood at the front of the church, in the balcony, and outside. They invited us to come up in family groups to receive a blessing for the New Year. People waited respectfully for an opening. No one rushed away. Don and I were among the last to be prayed over. The time was precious.
So, while I’m neither a pastor nor an elder, I would like to pass a blessing from the Lord on to you for this near year. (This is for me too!)
“May you see Jesus more clearly,
love him more dearly,
Follow him more nearly day by day.
And may you be blessed with obedience and joy as you follow the Savior into the year ahead, whatever it may bring.”
And from the traditional, wonderful ancient blessing in Numbers 6:24-26:
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR!