As we progress into the new year, it is helpful to ask some basic questions about our identity and calling as followers of Jesus. I am encouraging everyone to ask three basic questions as an ongoing prayer in 2019. First, who are we? This is an invitation to verbalize our self-understanding, ranging from “beloved child of God” to “sinner saved by God’s grace” to “grateful grandparent.” For many, all three answers are true.
Secondly, what is God calling us to do in 2019? This question invites us to be specific. This is a new year, and the adventure of a faithful life requires that we open ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit in whatever new challenges await. If our walk with Christ becomes routine and predictable, we may be failing to hear and heed the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, who is our neighbor? Jesus said that the commandments are summarized in the call to love God and love our neighbor. Naming our neighbor is essential. Our neighbors include the various groups who use the campus of Grace. Our neighbors also include people whom we encounter daily at work, school, church, or the local grocery store. We are called to share the love of God with all of these people. After we name them, we can ask ourselves how well we are doing at loving them, and what we can do to improve.
It is my prayer that with God’s help we all grow in Christ in 2019, and that the evidence of our growth is a more vibrant church community. I covet your prayers and welcome your ideas.
– Pastor Steve Hart