The start of the new year is often a time when people think about how they would like the coming year to be different or better than the previous one. It is a time when folks set goals for themselves focused on self-improvement. Rather than the usual read more, less sweets, more exercise type of resolutions, I wonder if there are areas of improvement that we can look at from the perspective of being a disciple. Instead of how can I be a better version of myself… how can I be a better Christian, how can I be a more faithful follower of Christ, and how can I more truthfully respond to God’s call to love God and my neighbor?
As we approach Lent over the next five weeks, the pastoral staff invite you to consider these daily resolutions that might help us narrow our focus, strengthen our wills, and empower our spirits to follow God and live as faithful Christians with greater resolve.
Resolution: List Your Priorities for the Coming Year
He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
The start of the year is a great time to list your priorities for the coming year. What matters most to you? Create a list of the things that are critical for you; the parts of life that really mean something. This list might be more general like “family and friends”, or it might be more specific like “traveling to visit grandchildren” or “enjoying meals with neighbors.” Take a moment to prioritize that list. It is sometimes hard to rank a list of priorities, but give some thought about the value you give these important things. Now, take a look at your list and consider: where does God fit into this list? How about your personal faith and your relationship with God? What about your church and your engagement with the community of faith? There are so many parts of our lives we consider “important” that it is imperative to recognize our God as the giver of all good things. It is also important that we consider our relationship to our Savior and our roles in sharing God’s love with others. As we explore some resolutions for us as disciples, let us be open to how the Holy Spirit might be leading us to respond to God’s grace and love.
Holy God, we give You praise for the blessing of another year. Thank You for putting us first. Help us to be mindful of where You fall in our list of priorities and where You place in our approach to each new day. Strengthen us to focus on You and Your call to love You and one another. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.