Well, I suppose it is time for New Year’s resolutions. Honestly, resolutions have always been something I find kind of depressing. It seems like I can never keep the ones I make, and I start over year after year without being reinvented into something better. I am never thinner. Rarely am I more organized, my diet hasn’t greatly improved this last year, nor has my exercise routine. It seems like the New Year pops up and acts a reminder of all the things I was supposed to do but didn’t. It becomes a reminder of failure, instead of a fresh start.
I wonder if it is the same for any of you; these mixed New Year feelings. I think part of the problem is that the fresh start, the re-invention depends on me, my own will power. Which frankly, is lacking. New Year’s is a stark reminder that no matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves. There is never enough will power, discipline will eventually run out, we can only maintain “the act” for so long. I think that is why most New Year’s resolutions fizzle out by St. Patrick’s Day. We are only human, and eventually our humanity will show.
But the thing is, Jesus was human. As we walk through this long winter, don’t forget, God has a soft spot for humanity. So much so, that Christ came to us in a human body, prone to weakness and the same struggles we know. God isn’t that concerned with our own ideas of re-invention, our resolutions or our fail-safe plans to be a better person. Christ has come not to make us better, but instead to make us new. The apostle Paul writes that in Christ we are new creation, that everything old has passed away, that we are being made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). That sounds a lot better than a New Year’s resolution. For 2019, let’s take a break from trying to re-invent ourselves, and instead, embrace that God makes us new.