Happy New Year! I always love the beginning of a new year because it is so full of hope and promise! It offers me a chance to start over and to make resolutions that will improve not only my life, but the life of others. Yes, it’s true that I make some New Year’s Resolutions annually, but with the dawn of the new year there’s renewed hope that I will keep them this time. And if I fail to keep them, I can try again next year.
I want to encourage you to make some New Year’s resolutions that I believe will not only improve your life, but will improve the life of others close to you. Since I’m kind of a churchy guy, most of my suggestions revolve around the church and the spiritual life. But I truly believe that these are the kind of resolutions worth making.
#1. Resolve this year to get more involved in the outreach opportunities of the church. I believe if we truly want to grow spiritually, we need to live out our faith. And a big part of living our faith is to be in mission to others. When we live out our faith (offer ourselves as the hands and feet of Christ), it helps us to grow in ways that nothing else can. So, if you have not been involved in our community dinners, find a way to get involved. As helpful as folks bringing food and giving money is, rubbing elbows with others, working side by side with others, is where spiritual growth comes from. There are things to do at the community dinners for all types of abilities. If the community dinner is not convenient for you to be involved in, find some other way to live out your faith. This will help you grow forward your faith this coming year.
#2. Make a resolution to be in worship more often. For some of you, this is not possible because you are there every week. But if you do not fit into that latter category, make worship attendance a high priority. Worship is the heart and soul of what we do as a Christian body. It reminds us of who we are and how much we are loved, and gives us an opportunity to respond in kind. Besides that, we all need to be a part of a community that supports us and encourages us along this journey. The more people there is in worship, the more excitement and energy there is in the worship service.
#3. Make a resolution to grow spiritually this year. There are many ways this can be accomplished. If you don’t have a routine of Bible study, establish one. It doesn’t have to be an hour long. Even a short devotional time in the morning is a great way to start your day off. Find a small group to be a part of. If there isn’t one that fits your schedule or needs, start one up. Join our email small group that is working its way through the year-long study of We Make the Road By Walking. Every Tuesday (or so), I will send out a reflection on the week’s assigned reading to whomever is interested. And we can email back and forth throughout the day and week with questions/comments.
There is nothing wrong with making a resolution to lose weight, or to get more active, but even better are resolutions that not only make our lives better, but bless others in our sphere of influence as well. I hope I will see you in worship more often. Happy New Year!
Sermon Texts, Themes, and Titles for January
We strive to make worship meaningful, relevant, and challenging each and every Sunday.You are challenged to make worship a regular part of your life. You are invited to take some time to read the Scripture and reflect on the passages before each worship service.
January 6th: God’s Plan All Along?The Scripture passage will be Ephesians 3:1-12, and the theme will be the Gospel of inclusion.
January 15th: Sprinkle, Pour, Or Dunk?The Scripture passage will be Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 and the theme will be what happens in baptism.
January 22nd: You Get a Gift, and You Get a Gift!The Scripture passage will be 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, and the theme will be spiritual gifts and their purpose.
January 27th: Complementary Gifts!The Scripture passage will be1 Corinthians 12:12-31a, and the theme will be our need for one another.
February 3rd: Love Is What Keeps Us Together! The Scripture passage will be 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, and the theme will be love as the greatest spiritual gift.
Worship is a vital part of a growing and vibrant faith. So make sure you attend on a regular basis. And bring a friend or two with you. It’s a great way to introduce someone to Jesus.
Centralia First United Methodist Church 506 S Washington Ave 98531 360-736-7311