The day after Christmas. All the songs and celebration, exchanging of gifts and time with family. Most importantly for us as believers, the celebration of the birth of our Savior. It all seems to have come and gone so abruptly now that Christmas Day is behind us. We spent time this month in Awaken looking at Christmas, all of the traditions that we have and the reasons we celebrate it, and we talked about how while we celebrate the “event” of Jesus’ birth at this time of year, we shouldn’t pack it away with our decorations as we get ourselves ready to move on from Christmas and turn the page to the coming new year. We can’t get away from the significance from the birth of Christ as we worship, study the Word, and take part in ministry, because without it, the other pillars of our faith would be non-existent.
We are human…imperfect and unworthy on our best days. We are limited in the area of mental focus, and it is natural for us (especially us men) to compartmentalize things in our heads. We will inevitably shift gears and we’ll really get back into looking at Jesus birth again….next year. So, my message to our students was all for not, right? I don’t think so. And it applies to all of us, not just teenagers. Our minds are about to shift into high gear thinking about 2014 and what we want to do in the coming new year. I am already thinking about the topics that I want to talk about with our students and all of the things that we’re planning to do with them in the month of January alone. So how do I keep hold of the thought of “sweet little baby Jesus” and take that focus with me as I get into other things in ministry and in life in general in the coming new year? If you’re not committed to a ministry or the church, how do you do this? Why is this even important? Here ya go. Our faith, our ministry, the church, our community, our worship and our study of the Word is not intended, nor has it ever been, to be isolated or placed away in a certain part of our lives or for a certain time of the week or year. If you want it to be what it really should be in your life, you have to interweave it with everything else. With your family, with your job, with those moments of free time that for many of us seem to be more and more scarce if not non-existent. What you’re going to find is that sacrifice (of something) is essential for this to work for you. What you’ll also find is that that sacrifice, the forgoing of something else, will be so worth it. One particular thing that we are going to be doing with Awaken this coming year is starting to get intentional with devotional time. This includes our students AND our leaders, and we’re going to be reading and studying together throughout this coming year. This will undoubtedly be something (despite the short amount of time that it will actually take each day) that our group will struggle a little to dedicate time to doing it, but if we do, we’re going to see just how worthwhile it will be.
What are your plans for the new year? What are your goals? Consider a challenge to commit yourself to daily devotional time, to a small group, to some area of service within Journey. I promise you that you’ll have to give up something to do it, but I can also promise you that it will be totally worth it.