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Resolutions - Monday Musing, January 4, 2021

Dear Church,

Resolutions. Many of us have either thought about, planned for, or implemented New Year’s resolutions. Some do it without fail year after year, but sadly many of us fail at our resolutions. If a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something” then why do we have such a hard time keeping resolutions?

Perhaps we set the bar too high, establish a resolution that is not achievable, incremental, or maybe we simply give up because it’s too hard, it’s work. The year 2020 has been extremely hard on everyone. With an unknown future and COVID-19 not yet resolved, why bother with a resolution this year?

Given this past year’s world events, I look to what scripture has to say about resolutions, and Paul’s letter to the Philippians comes to mind. Paul writes, “Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus (3:12–15 NRSV).”

Paul’s words “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” stands out for me as I reflect not only on what the world has experienced this past year, but also on what we as a Church have endured. We have faced many types of transitions: Physical (my move from Maine), Staff (no pastor > bridge pastor > new settled pastor), Worship (in-person > Zoom > pre-recorded/taped > live-streamed), and Spiritual (all over the map on this one, thanks to the pandemic!).

Paul is right, we can’t go back, so let us look to the future. What shall we as a Church resolve to do in the coming year? Every January I reflect on the words of Rev. Howard Thurman:

“The Work of Christmas”

When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among others,

To make music in the heart.

Thurman’s words give me hope, year after year. May we as a Church resolve together to do such work in the year ahead.




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