Every year at this time, we take stock of what didn’t happen last year and commit to a better start for the next 365 days. They are called New Year’s resolutions. Some are about changing habits that lead to a healthier, smarter, and less cluttered lifestyle. Many of our advertisers take advantage of this with specials to kick off the new year right.
Each new year is a time of reviewing what wasn’t achieved last year and setting new goals and creating new directions for the year to come. There is a sense of excitement and hope about what is possible. “YES WE CAN” is a motto that encourages us to cast a vision that is not only attainable, but is also sustainable in the year to come.
What do we do in our churches to support one another in the changes we want to make so that we grow closer to the Lord? I love the Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition that is in the United Methodist Hymnal (#607). It is a wonderful way to reflect on what we accomplished for God’s mission during the previous year. The prayer also invites and encourages us to be open to the ways the Lord will continue to call on us in the year to come.
So, I have to wonder how we are caring for our spiritual selves. What are we doing differently this year to serve the Lord? What are we taking on to make a difference? What are we giving up that has cluttered our relationship with our Creator?
Sometimes we can let an entire year pass by before we ask ourselves these questions. Maybe they should be monthly, weekly, or possibly even daily ways to reflect upon how the Lord is calling us to be His instruments for the world. There is much which still needs to be accomplished before all that our Lord envisions for the world is done. How are we transforming and being transformed by resolving to prepare the way of the Lord (Mark 1) bring another to Christ (Matthew 28), share the Good News of the Risen Savior (Luke 4), care for the least of these (Matthew 25), and feed God’s sheep (John 21). May the New Year bring new possibilities for mission and ministry to each of our lives. And Amen.