Any new year’s resolutions for the coming year? A lot of people make them. As for me, I gave up new year’s resolutions many moons ago now! Either I ran out of steam by not following through, or what’s even more embarrassing, in a few weeks I forgot about them. Pretty pathetic, huh?
I was reading Jesus’ sermon, the Beatitudes, found in Luke 6. Reading His words, I had this question. Does this sermon give us be-attitudes to resolve for the coming year? Should these be some of our new year’s resolutions? I don’t think so.
Doubtful if Jesus is urging us to go out of our way to be poor or hungry or weepy or hated, excluded, snubbed and reviled. As if those conditions in-and-of themselves will guarantee blessings galore. Like trying to be humble while being proud of it! I remember being in Paris many years ago with a mission group selling Christian literature(the theory was that if they buy it for a nominal cost, they will read it, and I think that was spot-on) to Muslim men from Morocco working far from home and family, thousands of them lined up a mile long outside bordellos in a very run-down part of that magnificent city( of love?).
What’s vivid in my memory is how other mission members in our group would almost fight for the worst seat in the van as we journeyed through the streets of Paris, or grabbed the most rotten apple on the table at dinnertime to show their humility and servant’s heart. I thought then what I think now–this is not what Jesus had in mind. Not at all.
As I read the Beatitudes, I sense Jesus telling us that no matter where we are in life, no matter what our age, our family situation, whether lots of friends or few, finding yourself grieving or happy, having lots of money or precious little; no matter what our lot in life, we can know that the Lord is right there with us.
The Beatitudes are by-products of trusting in the Lord. You don’t seek them. You experience them as you trust in Jesus. They are what happens inside us as we lean on Him. Maybe I do have a new year’s resolution. Trust…trust…trust–no matter what! Want to join me? Happy New Year!
Prayer: Lord, we have no idea what awaits us in this new year. But whatever, we resolve today to simply trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.