Advent is the season of anticipation and preparation, but I think it is New Year’s Eve that causes more people to reflect on where they are in their lives. It is the season of resolutions, the time when we make a promise to ourselves to be, somehow, better by this time next year.
Resolutions can be anything from quitting smoking to a healthier diet and exercise to greater focus on family relationships. Most of us have made those types of resolutions before. We have “resolved” to be better, to do better in the coming year. Most resolutions though get left on the side of the road as the new year approaches its cruising speed. They become too difficult to maintain or lose their importance in light of other pressing matters.
This year I would like you to consider skipping the typical resolution in favor of something different. The writer of Hebrews suggests that we can enter God’s presence with confidence, and that when we do, we will discover the mercy and grace that we need. What if, instead of resolving to lose a few pounds or eat less red meat, we decided to focus instead on drawing nearer to God in 2018?
As the weeks and months and years pass by, the world seems to be getting darker and darker. Death and destruction seem to rule, and our polarized politics are not helping in the slightest. But I am struck with the reality of what Hebrews promise us: grace and help in time of need.
We don’t know what kind of year 2018 is going to be. But if 2017 is any kind of hint, we can be sure that we will need all the grace and help we can get.
So go ahead and resolve to be better in whatever way you need to, but know that it is only in drawing closer to God that we will find the grace and mercy and love we need when the trials of 2018 come calling.