So… apparently it’s 2017 now? As usual, it feels like I blinked and 2016 was over. While I know that on a larger scale 2016 was a doozy, I have such a hard time calling it a wash when it held so much beauty for me- getting engaged, getting married, and starting my dream job at WakeMed. As I look back at the year, through the ups and downs and joy and craziness, I’m reminded that God is so faithful.
I’m not much for new year’s resolutions, but my heart always jumps at the idea of new beginnings and fresh starts. One morning, as I was excitedly contemplating what this new year might hold, I turned to one of my favorite books of the Bible and read these words:
“Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.” -1 John 2:7-8
Wait a minute. I was looking for something different, something intriguing, something that had never crossed my mind before. “Yet it is also new…”
As I thought about it, I realized that no matter what year it is, loving people as Jesus loves is something new and radical. It is dynamic, because it can take on a million different forms, but it is also steady and unchanging, because according to Hebrews 13:8 we know that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever (hallelujah for that by the way).
This year, I want to live out the commandment to love one another. I don’t want to be blinded by resolutions to look better or be better or accumulate more things- all of which can tempt me. In a world where violence and hatred can seem to be the norm, my prayer is that by the grace of God I would be able to live the truth of that old commandment to love. I don’t know exactly what it will look like, but I know that it will be life-giving, because we were all designed to live this out.
Although 2016 was a little scary for our world, I have so much hope and excitement for 2017, because “the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.”