We probably attached too much importance to the coming of a new year. The first day of January brings another sunrise and another flip of the calendar, but there’s no promise that 2023 will be the best year of our lives or even that it will be better than the year before. There’s also no spiritual significance to the Earth beginning another trip around the Sun. God’s world continues on no matter how we count the days and months and years.
But maybe the new year can represent a new opportunity for us, a moment to seek renewal for our world, our church and our lives. Whatever may come our way in the year ahead, we can choose to seize the day by renewing our commitment to following Jesus, honoring God and loving our neighbors. Maybe 2023 can be a great year, regardless of its challenges or pitfalls, if we choose to seek renewal. Here are a few ways:
Let’s renew our love for Jesus. When all is said and done, what really matters in our faith is how we love our Lord. Jesus loves us perfectly and eternally. He proved His love by dying for us. We prove our love for Jesus through obedience to His word, through worshipful devotion, and by caring for His body, the church. Let’s guard against becoming like the Ephesian church who had “forsaken” the love they had for Jesus, grow-ing cold and distant in their faith (Revelation 2:4-5). Instead, let’s seek after Jesus with all our hearts and show Him ever-deepening love.
Let’s renew our love for one another. To love Jesus well we must also love His people in the church. Genuine friendship and loving fellowship have been a hallmark of Broadway for many years, and in the year ahead, we can keep growing in our love for each other. We show love with kind words, acts of compassion, offers of generosity, prayers, calls, letters, hugs, and a multitude of other expressions of care and support. We don’t show favoritism or prejudice. We don’t ignore or forget about each other. We don’t easily take offense or quickly criticize. Instead, we treat one another as we want to be treated.
Let’s renew our commitment to God’s word. Scripture has a central place in our ministry and wor-ship. We read, discuss and seek to follow God’s word individually and as a church body. While our culture seems intent on pursuing a different set of values, let’s renew our faithfulness to the truth of scripture. In the Bible, God reveals who He is, how much He loves us and how He wants us to live.
Let’s renew our support of the church. For more than 70 years, Broadway has been a light to our community and a place of refuge for our members. In the new year and far beyond, we can continue building on this heritage of faith, ministry and fellowship. Supporting the church means giving time, talent and treasure to the mission of sharing Jesus’ love and message with those in need.
Let’s renew our compassion for a hurting world. As we love each other and support the ministry of our church, let’s also show compassion to the community and world around us. In recent years, people near and far have dealt with wave after wave of strife, anxiety, hurt and illness. Our world hurts. In the midst of hardship, we can choose to offer hope, lift others up, pray for those in need, support ministries of compassion and work for the good of God’s world.
In all these ways, may we draw closer to Jesus in the coming year, loving Him more deeply and allow-ing the Spirit to transform us more fully.
Happy New Year!