9 Jan 2014

Pastor Keith’s Sharing

Posted by Joanna



Dear fellow PGers,

New Year’s resolutions have always been an enigma for me.  Christmas is easy. You see that juicy turkey or prime rib lying on the plate in front of you – perfectly cooked – almost beckoning you to devour its meaty goodness. With knife and fork in hand, there is a moment of hesitation, but then you think, “Oh well, I’m going on a diet in the New Year anyways.” A pound of meat, a guilty serving of salad, a slice of cake and a few eggnogs later, maybe you regret what just transpired or maybe you won’t, but once again you’re reminded of the resolution you’re going to make at New Years. Hope is restored.

And then New Year’s strikes.

You make your list of resolutions. Number one on the list is to lose weight, because gaining 10 lbs over the course of Christmas week is a lot. You need a plan. You make a plan. You realize the plan is too hard or too strict, so you scale back the plan. A week later and the diet is over.

Maybe you’ll resolve to get organized, or spend less and save more. Some of us might resolve to learn a new language or learn something new, find a spouse, get in shape, be happy. The options are endless.

A recent study shows that 8% of people who make resolutions are successful in achieving their resolution. That means that 92% fail.

Why is that? My guess is that most of the resolutions that we make tend to be all about ourselves and about what we can achieve on our own. For example, diets require a certain amount of willpower and discipline that a lot of us simply do not have on our own. And if you think about it, most of the other resolutions we make don’t really include other people to come along side you.

But what if our resolutions were less about self-improvement and more about the relationships we build with one another? The reality is we are human beings; we are created for relationships and to live in community with one another. And by extension, as a church, the Gospel calls us so that we “may have fellowship with [one another] and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).

Instead of resolving to diet for ourselves, let us diet together. Instead of resolving learning something new for ourselves, let’s learn something new together.  Let’s take our resolutions and participate in them (you guessed it) together.

We can take the ordinary things of life AND have them build up our relationships and community. Because when we bring into our relationships a love for Jesus and a love for others our relationships inevitably deepen. And as our relationships deepen, we are given more opportunities to speak the truth of the Gospel into one another’s lives.  

Our church theme for 2014 is “A Community in Christ.”  My prayer for us as we enter into this new year is that our love for Jesus would grow as the Gospel continues to take root in our hearts, and that this would cause us to love one another even deeper with the love of Christ.  Let us break down barriers, let us grow out of our comfort zones, let us be the kind of community that people would long to be a part of – A community that overflows with the love of Christ.

God bless,

Pastor Keith

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