In his book A Journey to Bethlehem, pastor, writer, and musician, Jason Soroski, offers the following definitions of a resolution:
“Resolution. Webster defines the word as being ‘marked by firm determination.’ The word dominates every New Year’s Eve.
- To the musician, a ‘resolution’ is a harmony line moving from a dissonant tone (one that does not fit the melody) to a consonant tone (one that fits). Harmonies can dance and amaze us with varied complexities for a while, but they must eventually resolve.
- To the writer, a resolution is the end of a story, the final element of a twisting plot wrought with conflict, finally resolved to an ending where all is well.
- To the chemist, it is the separation of a chemical compound back into its constituents, or simplest parts.
- To the statesman, it is an expression of the determined will of an elected body.
- To the graphic artist, it is the sharpness of the pixel count on a screen, and the quality of the image produced.
By any definition, a Resolution is characterized by a return to simplicity, a focus on sharp definition and determination, broken down to its simplest, most harmonious parts. Without resolution, art, science, government, and life in general all fall into chaos. Without resolution, there is no foundation on which to stand.”
Since we are beginning a new year, it is always customary to make some New Year’s Resolutions. But since most such resolutions are often not heartfelt and generally broken before no time at all, we need at least one substantive resolution “marked by firm determination” that we all at MSBC should get behind, pursue, and maintain in 2019.
My recommendation? I recommend that we resolve to love as Jesus loves to the very best of our limited, sin-prone, human ability. Jesus summarized the Old Testament Law as being to love God with one’s whole being and to love one’s neighbor as you love yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). But what does that kind of love look like? The following two biblical passages not only give us clear, sharp definitions of genuine love, but in simple terms, they flesh out how we are to demonstrate it:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Romans 12:9-21: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Wow! A lot to chew on this year with this one resolution, isn’t there? But I’m convinced we can do it by God’s grace and supernatural, enabling power that is available to all of us who abide in a faith-based, love relationship with Jesus Christ.
If so, we will demonstrate well-lived lives for our hero and King in 2019.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get to it!
Your friend and pastor,