Philippians 2:1-3 – If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Psalm 16:11 – Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Hanging on a wall in our guestroom is an old framed piece of linen on which someone long ago laboriously embroidered:
- I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, "Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown," and he replied, "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God; that shall be to you better than light and safer than the known way." (from "The King's Message" 25 December 1939)
The "King" to whom that refers was King George, before my time, but it speaks the message of the King of Kings. As we stand close to the gate of a new year, and a little closer to the gate of a new millennium, there is bound to be much darkness, much uncertainty. We might think it would be safe to know exactly what lies ahead, but only God knows what paths will be offered to us. He has, however, given us the gift of choice.
We can choose to continue on our same path, the safe path, the known path, or we can choose to put our hand in the hand of God. We might think that we are already doing so, but maybe we could do a little more. Maybe we could check our motives in some of the things we do, and see if indeed we do them for "vainglory" or from "lowliness of mind".
Perhaps our "New Year's Resolution" could be a "New Life Resolution". Perhaps we could make just one small change, do just one more "random act of kindness," or strive to understand some of the things which we haven't. Perhaps we can be the light in someone else's darkness and show by example what it means to be "like-minded, having the same love, of one accord, of one mind".
A little song from the 60's,"Think a little more of others, and a little less of me" pops into my thoughts every once in a while. Perhaps when we are making our choices in the coming year, we can keep in mind today's passages and (if we remember it) hum that little song.
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, as a new year approaches, may our paths be guided by your Spirit, may our choices be with your love, your guidance. Amen.