hidden glory

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Year's rituals

A new year has arrived! And with it usually comes a new slew of guilt for the resolutions I didn't seem to get to last year. But actually, that's not the case since I have purposely stopped making many New Year's resolutions because of my propensity to feel guilty so easily. I forget that my righteousness and my identity isn't equated with my ability to keep laws I make for myself. Like go to the gym daily or to try to get up earlier every day or to eat only healthy food or to learn how to enjoy winter. The truth is that I can't keep up with my own laws.

Much less those God requires of us. And so I begin this new year thankful afresh that it's not about my ability to keep laws, but it's Christ's righteousness for me. It's Christ being brutally torn apart on the cross to turn away God's wrath that I rightly deserve because of sin -- this is where I get my righteousness and my identity. It's his life for mine. I was reminded of this last night through a Bible study on Galatians that Seth led. Again my heart was renewed by the gospel: the fact that I can do nothing but Christ did everything. And once again I fell in love with the beautiful truth of Galatians 2:20 - 21

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

So instead of New Year's resolutions, I fall back on the ritual of taking the New Year as an opportunity to renew my hope in who Christ is and to ask Him to do the unimaginable in the year to come.

On a totally different note -- my last few days at home, I used the New Year as an excuse to finally start cleaning out my stuff that remains in "my" closet at my parents' home. And besides the 5' wide Amy Grant poster from the 90s, the funniest thing I found was a writing composition I wrote in 4th grade, at age 9. Read it and laugh:

My brothers are big pests. My littlest brother, Bryan wrecks everything. Two or three weeks ago, I made up a lego house and a lego car to go with it. Guess what Bryan did? He was in the room where I had my legoes and wrecked it. I was so mad at him I could have kicked him to the moon! That's just one story, but he's done several other things. My other brother, Jonathan, is a big pest too. He is always minding my business.

And there the composition abruptly ends. Probably for the best of everyone. The more ironic thing is that my grade was a "Good!" with a smiley face. What was that teacher thinking?

I am quite thankful that I grew up to now LOVE spending time with my two "pesty" brothers. And that they grew beyond the "wrecking" stage of things as well. And that our family has grown, through Jonathan's marriage to Nicole which adds a sister to our family, too -- what I've always wanted. We had so much fun over Christmas break together in South Carolina, celebrating Christmas "re-loaded" (4 days after Christmas) and New Year's Eve and having many late night chats in between. I only wish we all lived closer and that our time together as a family was more often than twice a year! It gives me a taste of Heaven ... when eternity will be adequate to enjoy relationships as they were meant to be.

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  • Isn't January sometimes so hard after precious family time during the month of December? I know I am determined to look for God's goodness EVERY DAY in EVERY SITUATION to help ward off the January/February blues. Miss you!

    By Blogger Steve and Miranda, At 8:19 PM  

  • Great post!

    By Anonymous John, At 8:32 PM  

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