Monday, January 7, 2008

remembering who we are

Matthew 3:13-17

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

Sometimes i need reminding of where I come from. I confess that I'm shamefully one of those kinds of people that gets whisked away really easily with the chaos and rush of the day, of the week, or even the year...and once the tide subsides, and I'm left finally sitting still, it's hard to say with intention where I've been. I think that's parly why I look forward to these holiday times so much...not for the presents, not for the deep and lofty hopes that my resolutions will be maintained and achieved this year (it's always THIS year that's the golden one). No, I like the holidays cause once all the family leave and the leftovers are finally cleared from the refrigerator, I'm able to breathe and see more clearly what's coming. That being said...

Happy New Year. I don't know about you, but I'm having a little problem moving from the relaxing, sleeping-late time-off rhythms back into the regular rhythms of work, study, and responsibility. While on vacation last week, I was reflecting that I tend to operate most of the time at one of the two extremes: either overwhelmed with work, anxiously moving from thing to thing, or totally checked out-lying on the couch, nearly comatose before the TV.

I think that is not actually the kind of life God desires for me. I really believe that, and yet, that is the kind of life, I confess, that I lead most of the time.

I am hoping and praying and resolving that this year may be different-maybe only a little bit different, but different all the same. I am praying for a more integrated life. I am going to find time daily to reflect and pray. I am going to get enough sleep. I am going to be more faithful to relationships with friends and family-relationships that give me life. I am going to be more vulnerable to God. That is, I'm going to try.

Part of the attempt, for me at least and I believe for human beings in general, relies on community. I hope that, whatever commitments you are accepting or relinquishing this year, you might share your life with God and community at Asbury and house church.

Relax into the worship of God. Reflect theologically about a complex social issue, and then act. Join a small group to find authentic community and have fun. All these-and more-are ways you can connect more deeply to the life that God desires, I believe, for all of us.

Working hard is great. So is lying on the couch, listening to my I-Pod. But maybe together we can learn how to incorporate those things into a balanced life--a blessed life. A life that lives up to the fact that, no matter what we do or don't do this year, God is well-pleased with us because we try.

I hope to see you around this year...make a committment to surround yourself with people you love and who love you back...and love you well.

All my love, to you...


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