Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year – Standing on the Edge of Town

It is the beginning of a new year, a time with the promise of what can be and the reality of what will be.  Many articles for the next few weeks will be addressing resolutions for the new year, changes people will make, changes they won’t make, etc..  Looking back over the year, it is easy to think of what I would have done differently, opportunities to pursue, choices to change.  I also look back with that lovely benefit of twenty twenty vision and have a different level understanding of how God has worked in my life. 
Now, this new year is sprawling out in front of us, like a new land.  We can’t avoid brining the luggage from our past years, but where we go  and what we do with these things are new choices.  Standing on the edge of the new year, it is standing on the cusp of the future.   If the future were a town, where would I find you?  Where would you find me? 
In a town, you can choose where you go and what you do.  Think of the priorities, the “places” you have gone this past year.  Consider time, energy, resources, emotions, choices, attitudes, and priorities as if they were places in this town.  Choosing wisely, I am reminded of entering the town in Luke 10.  The disciples were instructed to enter a town and make a decision.  If they were welcomed, the instructions were straight forward to “eat what you are given, heal the sick, tell that the Kingdom of God is near you.”  If the town did not welcome them, then “wipe even the dust that sticks to your feet off.  Let them know as well, the kingdom of God is near.”  Now, consider those “places” in town again – time, energy, resources, emotions, choices, attitudes, and priorities.  As you decide where to go in the next year, will these places be welcoming or you should wipe your feet off of these things and go someplace else?
Psalms 65
Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.
O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions.

Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! 
We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, 
O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth 
and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength,

who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, 
and the turmoil of the nations.

Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades 
you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. 
The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, 
for so you have ordained it.

You drench its furrows and level its ridges; 
you soften it with showers  and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.

The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; 
they shout for joy and sing.