Published on January 1st, 2005 | by Tony Felich0
Pastor’s Corner January 2005
The following was published in our monthly newsletter, the Redeemer Report.
Dear Redeemer Family,
New Years celebrations have been part of human existence for as long as we have the written word. For pagan nations, it became a time of ungodly celebrations and activities. For God’s people, the New Year marked opportunity for recommitment to God- a time for new “resolutions”. The modern practice of New Year’s celebration and resolutions took hold in 1752, when Britain and its possessions adopted the Gregorian calendar, which made January 1 the first day of the year.
Some Christians, however, hesitated to celebrate the day. The Puritans, for example, were leery of the associations of January 1 with the pagan god Janus—they preferred not even to say the name of the month, referring to it rather as “First Month.”
With or without such historical understandings, many of us may have taken New Year celebrations as God-given opportunities. Perhaps we are in the habit of making “resolutions”- to eat less, exercise more, be more helpful, be more giving, save more money, etc. Whatever your practice, we can all be helped by taking at least a few minutes to reflect, pray, and dedicate ourselves anew to our Lord as we begin 2005.
If you are one who benefits from resolutions, you may wish to review a very famous list of resolutions by Jonathan Edwards. He penned 70 of them throughout two pivotal years after his graduation from Yale, during which entered his first pastorate, in Northampton, Massachusetts.
During these years, Edwards intensely considered his spiritual state and devised ways he could improve himself as a Christian. Here are my two favorite resolutions:
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.
Resolutions can be a great thing, providing they are for the Glory of God. May the Lord bless you and your family in 2005 and may the Redeemer family grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In the Lamb,
Pastor Tony Felich