I have encountered many people saying that having New Year’s resolutions don’t excite them anymore. Perhaps, if anything, it’s always a little depressing. Although all those resolutions seem so resolute and sincere, somehow they amazingly with almost no exception failed to get motivated to get going. I totally understand that. I have had accumulated wisdom that no real change has ever happened in our life in body and in spirit because we have set a date for it to happen.
But I always find myself deeply appreciating the coming of January, a new calendar with lots of blank space in it. It is a new beginning! And when we look to the Bible, it is so apparent how much God desires new beginnings for us. God constantly clears what has become blurred, restores what has died, and recovers what has gone astray. “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing: now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
Jesus always presents this God as a deeply loving one who always gives another chance, waits for our return starting a new life in him and with him.
January is such a good time to deliberately stop and reflect how far we have come in our journey and refresh our vision before taking next steps and rejoice over the gift of another year given to us and be thankful for the new possibility hidden waiting to be born.
More than anything else, I’d like to thank our devoted ministry leaders who year after year have given their time and energy to build our church vibrant and fruitful. On the first Sunday in January our new leadership of the church council will be recognized. I am sure you don’t want to miss worship this Sunday. Also we will offer the Covenant prayer in a Wesleyan Tradition. It is always an overwhelming experience to offer this prayer during our corporate worship service on the first Sunday in a new year.
I believe as one of our hymns sings ‘I am the church; you are the church; we are the church together.’
Think about it: what if everyone, not just some but everyone takes or teaches one class of study; what if everyone, not just a new member but everyone spend half an hour in reading the Bible daily and pray; what if everyone engages in one service in a week whether visiting or listening to our friends, tutoring kids, serving at the shelter or preparing for the treats for the fellowship hour on Sunday morning, recording the worship service, watering plants, calling or sending a card for worrying souls, folding weekly worship program. What if everyone would spend half an hour with another church friend over a cup of tea or prayer? I would like to hear your resolution about what Friendship can do in this new year with you. Please invite me into your small groups. Any creative suggestions are welcome!