Happy New Year!
This morning I was thinking and praying about my hopes and goals for 2015. I love a few minutes of stillness and quiet before everyone else is awake (i.e. chaos happens). The sunrise was beautiful.
It did not take long for me to realize that my hopes for this coming year were almost the same as my hopes for 2014: disciplined sabbath keeping, deliberate time with my family, regular practice of my musical instrument, time management that allows my gifts to flourish and not get whittled away by ‘urgent’ needs. Sure, I made some intentional progress on these in 2014, but they are still important avenues to a full life that need my diligent attention. New year, same issues.
I wonder if some of you who have been doing this for longer than I would agree that my experience is normal for people who are growing in years, wisdom, and maturity. The issues and opportunities and places of focus don’t really change, but our regular attention gives more and more views of how we can develop and change– kind of like turning something in your hand and looking at it from another angle. We grow up.
Bring your questions
I am really excited about our new sermon series at Restoration. In the Gospel of John, there are about a dozen significant interactions between Jesus and people who had sincere questions. The way Jesus answers them reveal a lot about his personality and his core teachings. As one writer put it, “we see Jesus addressing the big, universal, ‘meaning of life’ questions: What is the world for? What’s wrong with it? What (if anything) can make it right, and how? How can we be a part of making it right? And where should we look for answers to these questions in the first place? These are the big questions that everyone must ask– and that honest skeptics are particularly keen to explore.”
We’ll start off with Nathanael’s biting cynicism: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Maybe that’s a question you have asked. Can anything good come out of the church? Can anything good come out of this year? Can anything good come out of me? We all wonder what will finally make things ‘click’. At Restoration, we believe that Jesus has answers to our most heartfelt questions.
So wherever you are as you stare ahead into 2015, may God give you grace to keep working hard, grace to know Him more, and grace to ask the courageous questions of life. We’ll see you at 9, 11, and 5 on Sunday.