1 John 2:18-21; Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13;John 1:1-18
7th Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
“To those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
“What are your New Year’s resolutions?” This question may make you cringe because, yes, it’s that time of year again! New Year’s resolutions can be exciting as we dream up new projects and new activities, but they can also fizzle as we realize that we can’t climb Mount Everest or run a marathon in addition to taking care of a family and working full time.
Today’s Gospel reading is about new beginnings, too. But these new beginnings are not resolutions that we must accomplish. Instead, the focus is on what Jesus wants to do for us. As the Word who created all things, he continues to shine his light into areas of darkness in our hearts. As Messiah and Redeemer, he continues to offer us power over sin and freedom from oppression.
This is the “power to become children of God” that Jesus gives to everyone who accepts him. It’s heavenly power, divine grace, to help us do what we could never do on human energy alone. It’s power to obey, grace to forgive, and inspiration to serve other people. It’s there, waiting for you, simply because God loves you so much. You don’t have to earn it; you just have to accept it and learn how to cooperate with it. God is on your side! He wants to make you holy!
This New Year’s Eve, as you make your own list of goals and projects, take some time to listen for what God wants to do in you. Tell him: “Lord, I give this year to you. Give me a focus for 2013.” He may bring a Scripture verse to mind, or he may impress a word on your heart, like grace, boldness, patience, or peace. Write that word down someplace where you can find it, and revisit it over the coming months. As you walk through the year, watch how this word applies to more and more of your life. Then, this time next year, look back and see how your understanding of that word has grown—and how you have grown, too. You are becoming a child of God—all because his power is working in you!
“Jesus, I welcome your work in me this coming year. I want this year to be a time of growth in my journey with you.”~WAU