This time of year we hear a whole lot about New Year’s resolutions. What changes will we make? How will we be better? What do we hope to accomplish? Resolutions aren’t bad. However, they are rarely accomplished. I remember my health club in Colorado. Eleven months out of the year there was a good flow of folks in and out of the club. But come January the place was packed. New running shoes, new workout outfits, and new members with ambition to get healthy. That lasted about 30 days. After January it was back to the regulars with just a few more new commits. Those who were staying after it were doing so because they had partners, a community, others around them cheer-leading them on.
This week we read from Matthew the story of the wise men who brought their gifts to Jesus. They too had resolve. They brought those gifts on behalf of Herod. After meeting Jesus they went home by the way of another road. Why? They had resolved to follow Jesus. They had a new king. They could not go back to Herod and his henchmen and pledge their loyalty to him. They had been changed. They were made new. They would no longer be ruled by fear but instead they would live by faith.
What resolutions do you have when it comes to following Jesus in 2018? What gifts will you bring? How will your life be different, better, more whole, because of this new born king?
When we live in the Jesus community, sharing our hurts and hopes, offering love and support, we are able to stand in there together with resolve and accomplish whatever it is that God has put before us. We are not made to do life alone, but together. The three wise men had each other. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus had each other. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have each other. We the church have each other.
May 2018 be more than we could ask for or imagine!
Happy New Year Church.