N.B. So it has arrived: the end of another year. And what a year it has been! If I care to look back to the start of the year, and how promisingly it started, I vowed to look at situations more positively - and yet all that ensued was plenty of crappy situations. Maybe that was the challenge. Maybe I failed.
I don't know what 2011 will bring. I don't even know if I am going to make it past tonight. But God-willing, whatever happens, I vow to love and laugh more. Maybe listen more and speak less. Learn more and judge less. Help more and hide less. I have high hopes for my time left on earth. Not for me, but for ways God will use me to teach others about Him. I want to walk in the light, wholly sure that no matter what happens, God is at my side.
This time last year I was striving to leave my past behind - ashamed of so many things that I had done. But now, it's time to embrace those things, learn from them, and move on. Those things happened, and they made me into the person I am today. I cannot change them, cannot erase them, but they did make me who I am, and so for that, I am grateful for them. I believe I am stronger because of them, I have more understanding of the world, a greater ability to journey with others going through simular situations. Comfort as the Lord has comforted me.
I don't want 2011 to be a year of regrets, but of seized opportunities; not of selfish choices but of demonstrationis - real and alive - of what God wants for His people. I believe that it is time the Church stepped up to the plate, and began to deliver the message of love, hope and peace that the broken need to hear. It is no longer a time to point the finger at specks in the eyes of "sinners", but to remove the great log of hypocrisy that has been crippling the Church for centuries. Isn't it time that Christians stood more readily at the heart of Resurrection - rather than crucifying the masses for living publicly what so many of us live behind closed doors?
James 1:22 says do not simply listen to the word, DO as it says. Jesus himself commands us to love God, love others, love self. To love our enemies and to stand out from the crowd like a light shining in the darkness. That means no more fitting in to a society that oppresses the poor and the vulnerable to keep the powerful in charge. No more accepting the status quo that shouts down all those who do not conform. No more bowing to the easy way, but treading the path of righteousness, however dangerous and hard it is. Let's start standing for justice, peace, love acceptance in a real, vibrant and public way. Let's breathe the life of Jesus back in to our communities, our streets: our neighbours. Let's breathe the life of Jesus into our families, our children, our schools, and our churches! Let's stop yearning for the glitter of shiny material objects, and allow our hearts to discover the Glories of the heavens! For I believe there lies a treasure far greater and far more sustainable than anything you may have got for Christmas.
I am not perfect, in fact, far from it. But I know that I am nothing without God. I have no value, save for that in Christ. Alone, I am enslaved to sin, but by the blood of Jesus, I have been set free. And so I may not have everything figured yet, but that doesn't matter. I am a traveller on a journey. I may not yet have fully grasped what it means to love my enemies, I may not yet have grasped what it means to love God. But I sure as hell want to find out, because I'm resurrected! I'm alive in Christ.