As a new year begins here are five aspirations that have the potential to bring renewal to any who holds them.
1. We respond to God’s passionate love for us, drawing us into the divine intimacy, and making us new people, marked, shaped, aflame with his love. Thus in loving response we would champion our theological heritage—to be a holy people, free from the tyranny and damage of sinful self-addiction and free for loving God with our all and loving neighbor as self.
2. Our focus is therefore to be on Christ at the center. Our aim is to draw near, as near as humanly possible, aided by grace. Our journey is movement toward the center. Our passion is to be so near that concern for the boundaries recedes—what matters is where Christ is, how we and others are oriented toward him, and whether we and others are moving toward him. On the journey, with gaze fixed on him and while moving toward him, God makes us all he wants us to be, individually and corporately.
3. What and whom God loves we love. What and whom God pursues we pursue. For what and for whom God cares we care. Therefore, our concern and compassion will be global, but particularly activated toward the “poor,” and toward places where the poor live. When we care for those whose condition and circumstances in the world offer us no advantage, we reflect the love of God most authentically and powerfully. And the world sees God at work.
4. We stand in awe to realize that God invites us into the middle of what he is doing. Jesus calls us to follow him and learn his ways. The Spirit empowers us for this journey. On the way, we share in what he is doing, and carry on his works in his name. We discern his method and embrace it in relation to others. Therefore, we look for those about us, within reach, whom God has drawn near and prepared, and we invite them to come along with us, as we continue the journey. We identify those whom God will raise up after us. We invest in them. We pour out our time and energy on their behalf. Together we anticipate a holy synergy—that God will do more with these little investments than merely add them up, that a miracle of multiplication will occur, sparking a divine fission that releases mighty untapped kingdom power.
5. We confess our utter inability for the awesome ventures of a truly kingdom journey. And we humbly seek and submit to the Spirit’s filling and on going fullness in our lives. We are holy only as the Holy One indwells, and only to the degree that he has his way without qualification. We repent of anything that blocks his access to the deep places in our lives. And we yield ourselves and relationships, as deep reservoirs and freely flowing channels of grace and love.