Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Living On Mission

Rev. Dr. Patrick G. Duggan

In her opening remarks a few days ago, a television news reporter said that most New Years’ resolutions are forgotten by January  20th.  This made me think about all the energy we put into marking a new year; the parties, the meals, the tallying of accomplishments and failures, the self-reflection and spiritual inventory, tax planning and charitable giving, and yes, the resolutions.  We start the year believing that big changes are ahead and we are going to make them happen!

A conversation with a Chinese friend of mine shifted my context for thinking about the New Year. He reminded me of how the Chinese have celebrated the coming of each year for about three millennia longer than Western cultures.  He poked fun at the sense of self-importance we Westerners have about OUR new beginnings.  He reminded me that we are not really that resolute about our resolutions.

What should we be resolute about?  Eating less?  Saving more?  Eliminating debt?  Exercising?  All of these are good things to do.  Maybe, on the other hand, what we followers of Christ should be resolute about is living on mission.  Imagine if over 200 million Christians (the approximate number of Americans who claim Christianity) were to decide this year to be intentional and focused about living out the Gospel.  The surge in love, peace and healing would be beyond measure. The change would be phenomenal. It would be like living on earth as it is in Heaven…

Questions for Reflection
What resolutions have you made this New Year?  How are you doing so far?
What can we do to more fully live into our beliefs and live out our faith?
What tangible results _working with other people, in accordance with Jesus' mission_can you make happen this year?