Resolve to make time for God, and stick to it | Weekly Worship
Happy New Year!
Growing up in Colombia, South America, New Year’s Eve for me signified a new beginning. There is a shared belief that specific actions and traditions taken on New Year’s Eve or at the stroke of midnight can influence the faith of the months ahead. Opening a new, fresh calendar with 12 waiting-to-be-marked months meant a future of possibilities – a chance to shake off a year’s worth of worries, conflicts and mistakes and, finally, a chance to start over.
One of the traditions in Colombia, as well as in other Latin American countries, on Dec. 31 is that folks walk around the block at midnight with their luggage in hopes to travel more during the New Year. In my family gatherings, as the clock would strike midnight we ate 12 grapes while making a wish with each one. Here, in the United States, New Year’s is celebrated with fireworks, parades and toasts.
How did you or your family welcome 2017? For many people in our country, a New Year is a time to look back at the past year and make an effort to improve one’s self as the New Year begins. Whether it is a bad habit one is hoping to break or to ac-complish a personal goal – regardless our best intention – for many of us, it is very diffi-cult to keep New Year’s resolutions. Primarily, I believe it’s the pressure to keep up those resolutions. If we have failed in the past, it’s a reminder we could fail again. So why bother? I cannot tell you, how many times I’ve attempted getting into a daily routine of setting time aside for God or daily devotions. I would start off great and a week later or so I would stop my devotions. Believe it or not, it took years for me to get into doing devotions daily. After many failed attempts, I finally discovered the joy and the differ-ence that setting this daily time aside with the Divine made in my life.
What if the fear of failure, instead of keeping us from trying, might be a motivator to try again and again and again? Perhaps a New Year is not the only time to take a closer look at one’s self. What if we gave ourselves permission to take a deep look at one’s self other times throughout the year? To be gracious with ourselves and with oth-ers who might be attempting similar life goals. After all, our creator God loves each one of God’s children as he or she is. Christians believe that we’re made in God’s image; made for relationships with God and with one another. When we are part of a faith community that loves and supports one another in their joys and challenges, we dis-cover that we are not alone. We may join others as together we strive to be faithful to God, faithful to ourselves and faithful to the society in which we live.
May God’s blessings, grace, love and community be part of your life this New Year!
Arhiana Shek is a mission developer and pastor at Faith Lutheran Church, a Lutheran church serving Latinos of Snohomish County. The church is at 6708 Cady Road in Everett.