Happy New Year - 2019

2019 AD/CE (“In The Year Of Our Lord”/Common Era) … Two Thousand & Nineteen years after the birth of Jesus (give or take .. but that’s another article).

In the grand scheme of things.. that is not, of course, really that long (given the billions of years scientists tell us the universe has been “around”). In contrast however.. compared to the amount of spare time we had last week to get at all those “yet to be tackled projects” in our lives - that is an eternity. And so it is that, on the one hand.. looking back over those 2019 years as a chunk it is easy to feel rather impressed by the all the stuff we human-being folks have accomplished in that time (stuff like “discovering” the western world, inventing electricity, medical science, travelling to the moon, the computer, the internet, the pet rock, the fidget spinner etc. etc. etc.). By any measure it is an awe-inspiring list - to which I know you undoubtedly would add your own favourites. (For now let’s leave on the far side of the desk all the boo-boo’s we have made .. that again is another article.)

            ON THE OTHER HAND.. (why is there always an “other hand”).. driving over to the church today.. it was just the opposite of “impressed” that I was feeling.  I mean.. if you really do look back at where this particular demarcation of time begins (with the event/gift that is the birth of Jesus into our world).. it is arguable that we should maybe be using a slightly different ruler to measure our “progress”.  As in if Jesus is supposed to be the beginning.. I wonder how well we’ve done by His measure - how well we have done living into the dreams for us that HE seeded into the world??!?  Somehow I imagine.. the indestructible M-16 automatic rifle and/or “the Clapper” weren’t necessarily high on His list of hopes for us.

            It is, I think, a much more humbling thing to wonder if we have paid as much attention to the priorities for “progress” that Jesus’s life left us with ..versus our constant striving to be shiny/amazing/powerful/destructive etc. that seem to be our priorities.  I wonder if instead of “inventing” even more stuff, Jesus wouldn’t have been a bit more thrilled if we had just taken better care of what we already had/have.  I wonder if - looking again at all the things Jesus taught us - whether our fixation with “things” & accomplishment necessarily reflects the love of people and the ways of the heart that Jesus lived.  I wonder if.. there aren’t some pretty significant ways that who we are.. what we do.. and most specifically where we put our efforts and energy FIRST, wouldn’t change quite a lot if we let Jesus’s script for living by grace become ours.. instead of being so driven to be all that society and the world want us to be.

            For now.. I simply invite you into this “work of wondering” with me. Cuz my bet is that ..all by itself that will crawl inside us and change us; ..all by itself it will take us to a new kind of life.

Happy New Year - Pr. Stewart

January 14, 2019 | Bread of Life Lutheran Church