Promises, promises that is pretty much what New Year’s resolutions are. Promises we can never seem to keep. We always start off with the best intentions but then life gets in the way. Three-hundred-sixty-five days is a long time to keep doing something or to stop doing something. Usually we don’t even make it past the first two or three weeks. I think the entire fitness industry is funded by resolutions to do better this year. I without fail always make New Year’s resolutions and I always without fail, fail at keeping them. One year I even resolved to not make any resolutions and well you can guess how that turned out… big failure yet again. Making a New Year’s resolution is kind of akin to promising God that you are going to be completely righteous this year or that you are going to stop sinning this year. 2017, no more sin! Yeah right, tell me how that works out.
The New Year is a good time to make new plans though. It is kind of like getting a clean slate to start over. Part of the problem with resolutions is that they require hard action from you. They usually require you to do something that you really don’t want to do, like stop smoking or stop eating so much, or start exercising. No one wants to do that stuff because it is hard; it requires lots of work and is uncomfortable. That’s why most resolutions just don’t work. If they were easy we would already be doing them. So let me make a suggestion for you this year. Instead of making a resolution to stop something or to do something, make a resolution to receive something. Yes I said receive something.
I always get real excited when the mailman shows up with a book I just ordered. I love receiving the book. So resolve this year to receive something. Resolve to receive God’s grace. Resolve to be open to God’s Word and his sacraments. Resolve to take advantage of them and receive God’s constant forgiveness and strengthening of your faith. Resolve to come to church every Sunday to hear the Word of God read and preached and to receive the body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. This shouldn’t be that hard, because if you are reading this article you are already a member of the church. Resolve to attend Bible study and learn more about how God has forgiven you and blessed you and how he is always with you. Again this is pretty easy stuff; all you have to do is walk in the room and sit down. Resolve this year to spend time with God doing devotions, but don’t look upon these as a chore or something you have to accomplish but as an opportunity to receive more from God. Let God fill you up daily with his strength and support before you head off into the world to face who knows what. Resolve to receive, not to do, not to stop, but to receive. God wants to give you his love, so this year of 2017 resolve to receive it.