Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday of the First Week of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 1:1-6
Psalm 97
Mark 1:12-20

REFLECTION: "Let's Get it Started"

So, the holidays are over, and it's time to start in with some New Year's resolutions, right? Some of us may have planned out our resolutions in detail, others may have broad sketches in their minds. And yes, a few folks don't fall into the whole 'resolution' mindset. So be it.

In our readings today, however, we are presented with some food for thought as we seek the ongoing deepening of our faith walk...

In our first reading today, drawn from the Letter to the Hebrews, the nature of Christ is insistently proclaimed. He is not an angel, a prophet, or any other created being. He is the Son of God!

be it resolved, 
that I will firmly confess 
that Jesus Christ is of one essence with the Father 
(and the Spirit too!). 
Jesus Christ is God!

In our Psalm today, we profess the supremacy of God over the entire earth. We confess that even the stars of the sky glorify him... and we are reminded to never substitute anything for him in our lives. Not money, not advantage, not even family... nothing must take God's place in our lives.

be it further resolved, 
that Yahweh, who is sovereign over the whole earth, 
will be the sovereign 
of my mind, 
my body, 
and my spirit, 
and nothing... no matter how tempting, 
will ever unseat him 
or become an idol for me.

In our Gospel today, we see the promise of new beginnings... of restoration... of renewal. Through fasting and a wholehearted reliance on God, we, like Jesus, can enter interface with life with a degree of mastery. Our self-discipline, shaped by the Spirit, can lead us to become more Christ-like day by day.

be it further resolved, 
that I will take time to fast and pray, 
especially in times of temptation, 
so that I may entrust myself more fully 
to the care of the God 
who is the ruler of my heart.

We also witness Jesus calling others to join him in the proclamation of the Gospel. Just as surely as he is calling them, he still calls to us today. He seeks to empower us to share the Good News as broadly as possible, and through whatever means is appropriate.

be it further resolved, 
that I will listen in the quiet of my heart 
to seek out exactly what new frontiers, 
or re-commitments, 
God is calling me to tackle in his name.

Finally, we are reminded of a central part of our ongoing growth and renewal: "Repent of your sins and believe in the Good News!"

be it finally resolved, 
that I will examine my conscience daily, 
repenting with a true desire to change my life, 
and seeking out my pastor and others who can help me overcome my sins. 

I will do so with a fervent trust 

that the Good News can reshape 
my heart, 
my mind, 
and my spirit, 
even now!

And most especially,
as a part of this final resolution, 

I will strive to accept God's forgiveness, 
and to forgive myself!

Forgive me the perhaps chintzy format today... but as we really settle into the flow of this new year, there is a lot we can be doing to move forward in faith. Growing in our spirituality isn't simply an experience for Christmas and Easter after all!