BY ASSOCIATE PASTOR BRIAN JACK - FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH OF WEST OKOBOJI
Ah … it's the season of resolutions, and who isn't resolving to have a better 2021 than 2020? The thinking generally goes that the next round will always go better. We'll strap down and focus. We'll try new and different things and the result will be better because … well how couldn't it be after a year like 2020?
Yet we know if we were to plot the course of our lives, reality shows us an upward trend is no guarantee. For that matter neither is it an ever downward trend. As my family ends every day by sharing our highs and lows I'm reminded that each day is made up of moments that are all over the place on the chart of life. I can speculate. I can even plan, but I've never been too successful at determining if tomorrow, let alone the year to come, is going to be better or worse.
When God resolves to do something though it's not a matter of speculation. The Apostle Paul, in Romans chapter 6 talks about God's resolve to make a new you in baptism. In that moment that you had a bit of water sprinkled on you, or perhaps you were submerged in West Okoboji or some other body of water, a preacher also spoke a word of God's resolve over you. God resolved to see you the same way he sees his son, "You are my child, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased" (Luke 3:21-22).
Not just once a year at the turning of a new year, but each day God has resolved to make this declaration about you and to call you his own. To put an end to living for "Me, myself, and I" and to make a new you that it turns out actually loves God and is interested in serving their neighbor and creation. It's a lifelong process mind you, but the good news is the end result is in God's hands, not yours. No speculation about how it will go, God has resolved to make you his own.
P.S. Never been baptized? Visit with your local pastor about a gift that God is eager for you to have.