One of the songs from my youth had this refrain: “Nothing changes, on New Year’s Day.”
That’s a rather bleak forecast. Given that this is a cold, dark month, perhaps there are better songs to be sung. Do you ever feel as if nothing changes year to year?
Have you been worn down by unmet expectations, by your own inability to overcome destructive patterns and sinful behaviours? by a history of hurt by the church or by others? Do you hope for change in 2015?
As I think back to our series on Christian community (What Are We Doing Here?), I’m reminded that any change I’ve seen in my life has been the result of God’s grace. But specifically, I received grace for healing and wholeness as I’ve submitted myself to community.
When I’ve opened myself up to the loving correction of God’s Word, spoken by God’s people, I’ve found freedom from old patterns and a new vision of what God is calling me to. No church is perfect – it’s a holy (beautiful) mess – but it is God’s plan for beginning his Kingdom.
Will anything change for you and I in this new year? I believe that the answer to that question may hinge on our willingness to obey God and to embrace a new season in our life as a church.
As we discussed in Advent, we will understand the true hope, joy, peace and love as Jesus revealed it to us.
Will we be willing to put ourselves in new patterns and places where growth will happen, where we’ll be able to both receive from God’s Spirit and be overflowing to others? Are we willing to have a new deeper love of God and a new deeper love and understanding of one another as God’s kingdom people?
Not only is this possible, it is our calling! My prayer is that we come to understand the words of Ephesians 4:1-3 as we follow Jesus together. May we see much change in 2015!
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 (NLT)