Scripture: James 4:13-17; 5:7-11
Key verse: (14a) “Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. . .”
Reflection: None of us know what the year 2016 will bring. We pray and hope for peace and joy in our lives and the lives of others. We make our plans with anticipation of a positive outcome, knowing that life can change in an instant. Some people are starting the New Year with a sense of dread because of a recent diagnosis or unresolved issues that now need to be addressed. The gyms will be full until about February. The resolutions will be kept for a few weeks. Old habits, cares and worries will creep back in because we try to change too much at once.
A couple of years ago I chose one word that would be my guide for the entire year. My inspiration for this came from a book called My One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. The premise of the book is that by choosing one word to focus on, a person is better able to make changes because resolutions are based on the type of person you are tired of being; not the person you hope to become. The word I chose helped me make decisions and better discern where God was leading me. (If you want to pursue this you can find more information on-line at www.myoneword.org). I found this approach much more successful than any resolution that I had ever made. My one word kept me focused.
Today’s scripture is a reminder that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But, when we choose to follow Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us, we can make our plans knowing that if they change, a compassionate and merciful God is with us.
My hope for 2016 is that all of us will grow stronger in our faith. These are challenging times and the people that we come in contact with in this city, nation and world are hungry for the love, acceptance and forgiveness that God offers. May we be the ones to offer God’s mercy to others.
Happy New Year!
Prayer: May the Lord, who is our peace, give us peace at all times and in every way, this year and in the years to come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].