The new year is here, and it's time for promises to be made. About now we are promising to stop eating so much, to start exercising, to lose weight, to read more, to spend more time with our families. The list goes on and on. We begin the year with the best of intentions. We are inspired by the gifts we receive at Christmas and the time we spend with friends and family to be better in all areas of our lives. So, we make promises, goals and plans.
We have the best of intentions, but we do not always have the ability to keep our promises. This seems to be the unfortunate reality for the whole human race. Big efforts which do not always end in success. We can easily become discouraged by our broken promises, but we don't have to be.
On the night of Jesus' birth God fulfilled promises in all of creation. The host of heaven proclaimed the presence in human flesh. They appeared to shepherds in the fields. Their message to the shepherds was on of hope and promise. God had not forgotten them. God had not forgotten anyone. The Lord remembered every promise made. There in the city of King David a child would be born who would sit on David's throne forever.
As we think about the promises we want to make in this new year, let us remember God's promise to redeem our broken lives. He has come to save us from our false notions of importance, and to give our words credibility. It will not be our will power that will give us success. It will be the Spirit's power at work in our willing lives, which will bring our promises, goals and plans to fruition. Our best is always made whole by the presence of the Lord.
And so we pray:
very morning is Christmas morning, O God, for each day brings again the gift of your love. You have made us your people; help us celebrate your presence in our lives. Amen.--Dwight M. Vogel