My New Year's Resolutions 2020

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Most people have come to the proper conclusion that resolutions don’t work - a few weeks in we realize anew that we are incorrigible!  But I keep trying, so let me share with you mine, since they impinge on theology, actually.

2020 will of course  be an unremittingly political year. While I didn’t always agree with him, I did like John Howard Yoder’s book titled, ‘The Politics of Jesus.’ Our Lord may not be a Democrat or a Republican, but He has definite things to say to us about the topic nonetheless. It is for a clearer sense of this my own life that I strive in 2020.

I have come to the conclusion that the news is not good for my soul, full as it is of anger, and stirring up the same in me.  Or at least I will listen to it in Slow Spanish, where my energy will be consumed trying to recall some verb form or other. 

I will daily pray for the political figures that rile me the most; the New Testament required prayer for Caesar, no less.  I will in the immediate purview of my life turn so-called issues into the faces of actual people for whom God has given me a care.  I will ask the Lord to teach me how his grace is perfected in my own weakness, offending as it does my desire to control.  I will give thanks, as a Christian, for our flawed democracy, requiring as it does the art of compromise, since you and I are all good enough to aspire to it and evil enough to need it. I will give thanks for the concrete, local openings for the Holy Spirit in my and our own life, amidst so much that is daunting in this old world.  First among these are young leaders, to whom we pray for the wisdom to hand things over. 



Complete the Race (II Timothy 4:17)

At the end of our vacation we find ourselves in Chicago for its Marathon weekend (the fastest, I have read this morning, perhaps because it is cool and relatively level). Marathons offer many good things. You can see world-class athletes from places like Ethiopia and Kenya. There is a feel of fiesta with signs by family members, getups by some for-fun runners, and food for sale.

But as I looked out my hotel window at 7:30 a.m., I watched the race of competitors who have lost legs or their use. Wheeling vehicles by arm for 26 miles means serious fitness and determination.

Those competitors were to me, this morning, a symbol of the Church too. For each is wounded. The larger family cheers them on. Each by grace has risen up to run the race. Ahead is the goal, the prize, the welcome home. We find the companionship of Jesus the Lord, there, and along the route too.