New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

By: Rev. Richard A Anderson

By the time you read this message most of you will have taken down your Christmas tree and decorations, celebrated the New Year and made a New Year’s resolution. We have, like it or not, moved from the past to the future, from 2016 to 2017. The question for us is how will we face the future?

The Apostle Paul has some advice for us in his letter to the Philippians’ Congregation. He wrote, “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Chapter 3, Verses 13 and 14.

St. Paul is telling us that we may need to get rid of things in our past so that we better face the future. We may need to address past grudges or prejudices which weigh us down and negatively impact our ability to work with others. Admitting that we have hurt or harmed other people by words or deeds, knowingly or unknowingly, needed to be expressed so that absolution and reconciliation might be experienced. There are other things that you can personally name that need to be cast off as we enter the New Year.

The exercise in identifying those things which weigh us down has a purpose both socially and religiously. St. Paul is clear that he and those who hear, or read, his works focus on the future unafraid and unfettered by things from the past. Why? So that we might be free to run the race into the future, be able to endure and persist against the odds and temptations of the world, and respond to the goal of Christ’s call for service, care and compassion to those whom we serve in his name. May that be our prayer for 2017.

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