Dear Friends -
Once again it is time for New Year's resolutions, though there seems to be less talk about them than I remember in earlier years—maybe they seem trivial in the face of such difficulties facing our world.
Resolving to lose weight, to be nicer to in-laws, to read more and watch TV less, are good things, but they do not seem to address the overwhelming issues of global warming, of starving children, of refugees stuck in squalid camps, of increasing disparity between the haves and have-nots, of dishonesty and incompetence at the highest levels. And on and on. Taking up our comfy blanket and retreating to some supposed safe place rather than taking action seems much more attractive.
But that is not who we are. We have been given two resolutions which should be ours each day: to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and souls and minds; and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We hear these great commandments of Jesus again and again—and we resolve to keep them—but then the realities of life in this world cause us to turn from God, wondering where God might be in the midst of such horrors. We turn from love to perhaps hatred, but more often to indifference, rationalizing that there is nothing we can do.
We are a people who believe that God is in fact in our midst, that God dwells with us, no matter the outward circumstances. We are a people who hope that we may come to understand more and more what God would have us do. We are a people who trust that in the end God will bring us and all of creation to completion.
With those things in mind, let us resolve again today and tomorrow and the next day to love God and to love our neighbors, to think lovingly and to work kindly, for in so doing we witness to the fact that light conquers darkness in our world, in our country, in our church, in our families, in every corner of life.
May the new year bring that resolve into our hearts and into our actions.