Happy New Year!
There’s nothing like getting the chance to start over fresh! Whether 2016 was great or not so great for you, hearing “Happy New Year!” let’s us know that we get a shot to try it again.
On January 8th we will have a very special Sunday. This service will allow us to reflect on how faithful we were in 2016 and to re-commit ourselves to Christ and each other in 2017. As individuals and as a congregation, we will remember our baptisms. Now that doesn’t mean that we’ll be remembering the MOMENT that we were baptized. For many of us that moment happened sooooo long ago that we couldn’t remember if we tried. When we say that we are going to remember our baptisms, that means two things: 1. We will remember that we are God’s claimed children and #2. We’ll remember the commitment that we made to God. We will remember that we committed to serve God through our church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness.
Prayers-How often do you pray? How often do you pray for your church? Prayer should be part of our everyday routine.
Presence-Will you commit to being in worship every Sunday out of the year? Or at least those Sundays that there’s not an emergency or you’re not out of town. That’s hardly unreasonable. Your presence isn’t just for your benefit but also for the benefit of others. At the center of being Christian is being part of a community. Many of us need to recommit ourselves to being present to God and each other in worship. There’s nothing that you’ll do throughout the week that’s more important.
Gifts-Our giving as a church in 2016 was incredibly strong. Thanks to everyone who gave faithfully, enabling our church to do its ministry. But as we look towards 2017, will you commit again to giving of your resources to God just as you promised at your baptism?
Service-What other gifts has God given you? Are you a teacher? If so, how are you using that in service to God? Are you good at building things? What have you built for God’s kingdom? God has blessed all of us with gifts and is calling us to use those gifts for his kingdom. None of us should stand idle.
Witness-How often do you share your faith with others? How many people did you invite to worship this past year?
So, how did we do in 2016? You might be proud of your commitment or you might be feeling a bit guilty, but the great thing about a new year is that we get to start fresh.
On January 8th I will challenge all of us to recommit ourselves to God fully. I encourage you over the next week to be prayerfully discerning what areas you need to work on as you recommit yourself to God. At the end of our service, we will pray the Wesley Covenant Prayer together. I encourage you to read over the prayer below to prepare for what you’ll be committing to.
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put met to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by you or laid aside by you,
enabled for you or brought low by you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
you are mine, and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Let’s start off 2017 committing ourselves to God!
Grace and Peace,