In light of the Gospel, here are three ways to shape your new year. I believe these will help the church strike a biblical balance of engaging and loving our communities while continuing to grow in holiness as a set apart body of believers who are experiencing redemption in the here and now as we long for that day when our redemption is fully realized – when we see Jesus face-to-face.
1) Break Ground
Break ground this year. Try something new. Get out of your comfort zone. Build new relationships. Start new habits. Get back in church (don’t wait until you get your crap together – You never will!) or try a new church if you’re not in a good one. Open up about your spiritual life to someone. Read a book. Set a goal and go after it. Think about life beyond the grave. When they break ground to bury you, will you have accomplished something worth accomplishing? Or will you have only settled for what came easily?
2) Break Bread
When you read the New Testament you notice that Jesus was always eating with people. Robert Karris writes: “In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.” When he engaged the world and when he was teaching his disciples Jesus knew a meal would not only open people’s mouths, but also their hearts. Breaking bread doesn’t have to literally mean a meal. The point is building new relationships and cultivating the ones you have. Take advantage of the lives in your life. Be sharpened by others and sharpen others. Determine to let others talk more than you. Discover ways to pray for people over a meal – pray before you eat and before you/they leave. Love people and express it with time and energy.