New Years Resolutions
"For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them "
Matthew 18: 20
I will begin practicing mindfulness for at least 10 minutes a day. Or maybe I will eat less cookies in the evening. Or compliment my work colleagues more often.
If you are like me, the New Year invites a reflection on ways in improve ourselves and bring more meaning into our lives. Many of the things that I think will bring me more meaning are often solitary, like taking more walks in nature and practicing meditation.
Several years ago, Peter and I hosted a FPC group at our house where we watched one “Ted talk” style video for each session by various pastors, and we would then have a discussion on the topic they shared. I remember one evening watching Rev. Lillian Daniel speak about people who consider themselves spiritual but not religious. She pointed out that it is easy to be spiritual and find God in a beautiful sunset or a quiet walk in the woods with moss underfoot. It is not always easy to put down roots in a religious tradition bigger than one person and rooted in history.
Not all of our history as Christians is positive, but when we stand together as a group and say, “We are Christian and this is what we believe”, we are pushing religion to change. When we write covenants together to welcome everyone or take stands on being open and affirming, we as a church are looking beyond ourselves as individuals. Our church pushes me to do things I might not have thought of on my own in terms of volunteering and engaging in social justice opportunities.
So as much as I plan to meditate and walk more in nature in this New Year, I also want to try to show up in the sanctuary. On Sunday mornings when it is cold outside and I am tempted by my couch and the New York Times, I resolve to keep coming to church. It may not be the easy thing to do, but I know that I will ultimately feel more fulfilled.
Prayer: Thank you God for helping us build this faith community together. May we support each other, learn from one another, and know that each of us IS the living church. Amen.