~ by reverend randy besta
It’s that time of year again when we spend money on friends and family for gifts they may or may not need—a time when we overeat and possibly imbibe a bit too much. It’s also the time of year when we take stock on the past year to see what we have accomplished and what remains to be done, or continues to be a work in progress.
Quite possibly you are working on last year’s resolutions, with a goal to finish them in time to make new ones for 2012, maybe you have already completed them—or not even started them. Regardless, December is a unique month. We look forward to celebrations, a coming new year and we look back to evaluate our progress.
As you reconcile what has been accomplished in your life this past year, why not take time and reconcile your relationship with God? All too often we view church as something alien, a place not welcoming of who you are. Even if you regularly attend worship celebrations, you may have something in your psyche which stops you from thinking all is good with God—I know I do at times.
When we live in a world driven by consumerism, where no matter what we have is not enough, where we condemn and judge people before we get to know them, it is very easy to see yourself as not being in perfect harmony with God. By God I mean the one who created you, not the consumerism god of money that some people worship and celebrate each week.
You know what? Regardless of what has happened in your past, nothing can separate you from the love of God, or the love of Christ.
“When we live in a world driven by consumerism, where no matter what we have is not enough, where we condemn and judge people before we get to know them, it is very easy to see yourself as not being in perfect harmony with God.”
The notion of needing to reconcile our actions to be worthy is a concept we put upon ourselves, it is not one placed by God. Yes we make mistakes at times; we focus on the wrong things and sometimes fail to love our neighbor as ourselves, but so what? If we were perfect, life wouldn’t be as interesting, or near as much fun.
In the spirit of the holidays, let’s give a gift to ourselves and look at the issue of reconciliation another way. Imagine you are renovating your house. Just as you finish in the kitchen, you notice the bathroom needs updating, then the bedroom gets completed, then maybe after living with the renovated kitchen for a while, it isn’t what you want and you begin to renovate again. Apart from the cost of making these changes, you think nothing of the fact your house is in continuous need of renovation. Now let’s look at your life in the same way.
First you work on your drinking problem and get that under control. Then you shift attention to your weight and you lose the extra ten pounds you wanted to shed. This leads to a need for a new wardrobe as your clothes don’t fit, which means you have to spend more money, maybe more than you wanted. The extra spending causes a bit of stress in your life, so you drink a bit more—oops. We just came full circle.
“Our personal improvements are in continuous need of renovation, each improvement trying to fix what was lacking; an activity we undertake to reconcile our new place in life.”
Our personal improvements are in continuous need of renovation, each improvement trying to fix what was lacking; an activity we undertake to reconcile our new place in life. At no point during this exercise did we achieve perfection. We don’t beat ourselves up when this happens, so why would you think God would beat you up, or even separate in the slightest from you? God doesn’t—we are the ones who do the separating. It’s time to stop.
So while looking back at the accomplishments of 2011 and in looking forward to goals for 2012, let’s look at our lives through the eyes of God. Rather than condemn, judge or act in a way that is not loving of our neighbor, let’s resolve to accept that God loves us unconditionally. No matter what we do God’s grace will shine upon us, and God will grant us peace.
Reconcile in your own mind—however you need to—that nothing, absolutely nothing can separate you from the love of God. Reconcile to celebrate that in 2012, in a church, in a synagogue, in a mosque or wherever you enter into communion with the one who created you, God.