Happy New Year, 2019! In my ‘walk with God’ one of the things I look forward to is discerning how to approach the new year with the church. It’s good to have a ‘framework’ of some kind, a plan, if you will, of how we can corporately move through this spiritual journey.
Because we are committed to God’s Word we follow a specified reading plan week by week so we can ‘be on the same page’ as a community. It works well for people with busy lives because missing a Sunday or two doesn’t leave anyone behind in the journey.
To help make the reading more applicable to our everyday lives I provide an ‘assignment,’ so that as we read we are ‘looking for something.’ The idea here is to make reading that which one has read before have more purpose this time through, so the mind doesn’t shut down thinking it has ‘been there – done that.’ In 2018, for example, we were looking for ways the Bible reveals not only a Living God, but for how He stirs up in us a Living Faith.
For 2019 the assignment is to intentionally focus on Epiphany, the revelation of Ah Ha moments in our lives. To Discover the Wonder, as God leads us, personally, and as we read the Bible.
Think of it this way: have you noticed that when you read the Bible there are certain verses, statements of some kind, that seem to jump off the page? Do you find that you sometimes underline certain ones as especially impactful? We know that this is how God ‘speaks’ to us, and then we ponder what He really said and what it actually means to us personally. It’s very wonderful.
Wonderful means ‘full of wonder.’ God wants us to be not just exchanging air all day long, but to be engaging with Him and His creation! He wants us to be ‘on mission,’ not just plodding along. He wants us to be ‘dependent upon Him,’ not so self-sufficient that we think we need nothing, until some crisis happens that we know we can’t handle by ourselves! ‘Giving up’ is not God’s desire for us. He wants us to ‘run to Him’ and ‘enjoy His Presence’ in our lives.
All of this (and much more) leads to the Plan for 2019, that as we read we seek to Discover the Wonder that God has for us. Not just reading so many pages a day or week, but actually discovering new things in and about God’s Kingdom, and about God Himself, and about our own Souls!
Eugene Peterson has said that “the Self is the Soul minus God.” Ponder that one for awhile and I promise you will Discover some Wonder!