Here we are on Sunday, January 1, 2017. This will probably be the only time I get 2017 correct for the next few months. Dr. Howell is out in the mid-west so Shirley and I will be joining in worship at Washington’s National Cathedral this morning. Dean Randolph Marshall Hollerith preached last Sunday and delivered a wonderful message. I look forward to his sermons every Sunday.
I hope you are headed out for worship this morning as you begin the new year in the presence of the Lord. I can’t think of a better way for new beginnings to take place within us. “Behold, I make all things new…” and those things include you and me. Thank God it does!!!! All of us need to make sure we find ways that will help Christ to become more real to us at a much deeper level.
So that would be my first resolution… as it always is… for Christ to become more real at much deeper levels of my being, and for me to respond to His love, mercy and grace by being more faithful in my discipleship. This past year I think we missed worship the Sunday I was in the hospital. Other than that I participated in worship several times each Sunday; Duke Chapel, Riverside in NYC, Marble Collegiate Church in NYC, Washington National Catheral, and Myers Park UMC in Charlotte. I love the worship in these churches because they challenge me, inspire me, correct me, and all seek to lead me into a life where Jesus may be seen and experienced by all those around me, and where I seek to be more like Jesus in all that I do.
My second resolution is to write every day. As many of you know, I have written five books so far and want to write one that has been on my heart for years. Its working title is “Jesus Moments; the Life of Servanthood.” It deals with our call to ministry and our journey of continued discipleship as we seek to serve God’s people as pastors and leaders in the church. This past year has been one filled with fighting all the medical stuff I encounter daily. I think the meds may be nearer to working in my favor – my iron is better since I had two infusions in December. I feel better now and hope that will continue. As it does I will write more.
Another resolution is to fully live as long as I have life. I know what it feels like to not even be able to dress, take a shower, or walk to another room down the hallway without becoming short of breathe and having to sit down for at least 15 minutes to recover. I know what it is like to be so tired that you feel that you don’t have much time before the EMT’s arrive. All of that can bring one to the point of giving up… if this is all there is then what is the use of continuing in this? I am fortunate to have recovered some of that strength. I still have some weak days but none quite like I was experiencing earlier in the year. So I hope to be able to better use my time and strength this year to stay alive as long as I live… make the time I have worthwhile.
Make your resolutions worth enough to keep them all year long. Keep Jesus in the midst of them all and you just may find the grace to see Jesus Moments all over the place.
Grace and Peace
My friend and colleague Reverend Ralph Eanes coined the phrase “Jesus Moments” and is one of the most passionate, caring and devoted pastors I know. It is an honor to count him among my friends.
My books speak about the grace and mercy of a loving God who reaches down to become one of us that we may become more like Him. Looking for mercy and grace…. check out my books on-line.