By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor
Welcome to 2017. You made it through all the holiday rush: the shopping, the wrapping, the mailing, the traffic. Congratulations. Now what? January is fresh. It still has that new year smell to it. The possibilities are endless as we look to what lies ahead.
How do you plan to make the most of 2017? I hope it isn’t mired in the same things that caused you stress last year. Worry, guilt, angst: they can really get in the way, can’t they? Maybe what’s needed is a good list; I’m talking about the kind that helps you put down on paper all those things that are zipping around in your mind. You know, the things that pop up when you’re trying to sleep, drive or concentrate. I’m looking for a list of the things that make demands on your life, the things that you need to do as part of life in your home/family/job, and the things that you want to do but can’t find the time.
Once you have the list, I invite you to put them in order. Prioritize. What does scripture tell us about prioritizing what’s really important?
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” Deut. 6:5
“He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'” Matt 22:37
” … you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:30
It doesn’t get much clearer. Our priorities in life are to love God and love neighbor. The challenges arise when we take those commands and translate them into our day-to-day living.
I invite you to look over your list of priorities to see if they are responses to the call of loving God and neighbor. Did attending worship make the cut on your list? I hope so. If you are the parent of a child, I think attending church on a regular basis is doubly important; not only are you feeding your own soul, but you’re feeding the soul of your child AND you’re living out the example of making worship a priority. Our children won’t find worship vital in their lives if they don’t see us making it a priority in our own.
I pray the new year brings you health and happiness.
Jim, Keith and I look forward to seeing you in church!