Many people make resolutions on the first day of a new year, but what do you resolve on the first day of a new decade? (Though many herald a new decade when the year number ends in 0, the decade actually begins with the year ending in 1.)
You and I already may have made our resolutions, many of which we will break before the week is out.
I want to consider a different question: What would your prayers be for Christians across the world as we navigate this important transition? Let me share a few of mine.
First, I pray that we as Christians are more determined to live out God's commandments to love God and our neighbor than to make everyone believe exactly the way we do. Second, I pray that Christians include as neighbors every part of God's creation. Third, I pray that Christians would talk less and do more to respond in love to violence, poverty, hunger, homelessness, loneliness, and hurt. Fourth, I pray that Christians look for Christ in cultures and traditions different than their own. This practice may protect us from turning Jesus into an idol who simply mirrors ourselves.
I believe that if we, as followers of Jesus, will follow his example in these ways, we will transform our world into a place where God's love reigns. What are your prayers on this day?
Dear God, make me over into the image of your love. Help me to live out my calling from you as fully as Jesus lived his. Help me to make the world a place filled with your love. Amen.
These scriptures chosen to mark the new year give us a panorama of perspectives, from Ecclesiastes as a poetic musing on how life is measured out in seasons, to the vision in Revelation of what we commonly consider the end of time itself. Psalm 8 asks what the role is for humans in God’s magnificent creation. At the core of these scriptures is a strong sense of God’s presence and loving steadfastness in which we can rest.
Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-13. In what season of life do you find yourself? What are you praying for in this season?
Read Psalm 8. How do you feel when you read the psalmist’s words that God has created humans “a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5)?
Read Revelation 21:1-6a. How is the vision of a new heaven and new earth described here good news for you? What do you see God making new in the world around you?
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