It’s now a bit of a cliché to make New Year’s resolutions. The internet and social media are rife with “Seven Ways to Make Your New Year Resolutions Stick” and “50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas — and How to Achieve Each of Them.”
I’ve been reflecting on resolutions and how quickly we can launch into the New Year without really thinking too hard about what changes we should be making.
I don’t know about you, but 2015 was a blur. There was much ‘doing life’ and not a lot of time to reflect. I am planning this year to try and slow down. Reflect. Read more. Take time to enjoy the little things.
This may sound a little like a list of resolutions, but I prefer to think of them as points of restoration.
Restore the resurrection life
As we move through Lent and then into Easter, it seems that restoration and our thinking around what this means is even more important than trying to reach our goal weight.
I have been reminded while reading Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson’s excellent piece reflecting on his work with the Disaster Response Chaplaincy Network that our hearts yearn to be restored to Christ. He also reminds us that the Easter account particularly resonates ‘with so much of our life’. That we are able to ‘empathise with the disciples’ experience of concern, fear, disappointment, guilt, anger, sadness, grief and hopelessness — even before we join them in their confusion, wonder and joy at the news of the resurrection.’
So I’m planning to try to reflect on what it means to restore my resurrection life. To be more mindful of the need to listen for that still, small voice that prompts me to be the person God would have me be.
Make it happen
In Jonathan Dodson’s book Living the Resurrection?, he writes: ‘Once we make our way through doubt, come to understand the gospel story and saving faith in the risen Christ, these questions arise: How do we practice the resurrection? What difference does it make in you and me? How do we live this new, or raised, life?’ It’s a great set of questions we can ask ourselves as we move through 2016.
Despite what I said earlier, I do like lists, and if we are to live the resurrection life, there are four key ways to make it happen.
- In community – because following Jesus is a communal effort, you need others and they need you
- In prayer – because this is an invitation to know God and join his grace agenda for our lives
- In repentance and faith – because they are integral to us receiving God’s grace
- In the story – because the Bible was inspired by God and teaches us how to live the resurrection life by knowing and understanding our Saviour
Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson talks a lot about “connection and hope” and it’s something we all need more of in 2016.
Let’s be more connected and look to the hope of the resurrection.
More than just aiming to be resolute in our everyday life, Easter reminds us that the bad (and good!) things we experience form part of our resurrection lives – and that we always look to the Cross as our hope for the future.