Church New Year
This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the church year and the church’s New Year’s Eve party! Most of us will be very happy to see 2020 in the rear-view mirror, and the church calendar lets us do that a month early!
So, how to celebrate the passing of 2020? Rather than moaning about the difficult year (and I know that it has been truly heart-wrenching for some), perhaps we could fall back on the old practice of a New Year’s Resolution.
The end of the year is a perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on the year past, and to think about changes we would like to make in the coming year. Of course, most of us can’t do much about pandemics, record-breaking tropical storms, vitriolic politics, job losses, etc. But we can do something about us. We can become different and better people. We can become closer followers of Jesus!
The struggle is that New Year’s Resolutions too often fall by the wayside before the ink is even dry. I have been a “gym rat” for many years and as “getting in shape” is one of the most popular Resolutions, I know how the gym gets crowded in January. But by February, everything is back to December levels.
As you think about a Resolution in preparation for January 1, 2021, I suggest keeping a few simple things in mind.
1) Small and simple is better than grand but not done. Keep it something manageable, something that won’t disrupt everything else, something that you can see the benefit of.
2) Make it something that will matter. Organizing that closet is nice but it won’t make you a better person or draw you closer to Jesus. Daily Bible reading, committing to a service project, a new discipline of prayer, joining a Bible study. Maybe something even more challenging like seeking reconciliation with someone you have become alienated from, knowing that it may not work out as hoped, but you can still grow in the effort.
3) Share it with someone else, someone who will actually ask you about it and support you in it. There’s no motivation like knowing that someone else’s eyes are on you! And maybe a set of human eyes will remind you that God’s eyes are always on you, whether you ask or not!
I believe that if you pray openly about this, God will make it clear to you what Resolution you need. Let your first Resolution be to spend the rest of the year praying about a Resolution that will make a real difference.
This column appeared in the November 22, 2020 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.