The following is taken from my book, “Dipping Your Toes in Small Group Devotionals.”
What will I do differently this year? Is there anything I can actually
change? The Biblical story about the Wise Men seeking Jesus tells us, “having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” I’m sure they just wanted to return home as quickly as possible. The familiar roads would look very good to them. I smile when these Wise Men do as they’re asked without even one question. Maybe it’s the warning that makes the difference. After all, Herod’s reputation at the time was dreadful. He gave the order to chop off heads at a whim.
Most of us are not nearly as compliant as those wise folk.
When the suggestion is made that we do something differently,
we often refuse. After all, we’ve always done it this way. Why
change? Even when what we’re doing is unsuccessful, we find it’s
difficult to try something new. Today, we receive a constant barrage of warnings:
Global warming will destroy the earth as we know it.
Change your ways!
Society is becoming obese. Stop eating so much fast food.
Change your ways.
Our health is at risk. We need to exercise. Change your
Our churches are shrinking not growing. Change your
They make no difference. We continue to resist change. We don’t
even want to think about a new path.
Will we travel down a new path in 2017. Will I eat less, exercise more, go to bed earlier, be more diligent about caring for the world.
Can you make a change in your faith life – read Bible regularly, attend church, care more.
Instead of believing that change will cramp our lifestyle, we can see the adventure change offers.
Change begins with one small step, one random act of kindness, one day of exercises. Starting small may leave us open to God’s help.
You can go into the year on a new path. Remember, with God’s
help the ripple effect of your effort will change the world.
What new path do you think God has for you this year? What effect could it have on you, your family and community, and your world?
Gracious God, you have blessed us with the gift of this New Year
of living and loving. Forgive us for our mistakes of last year. We
list them now in the silence of our hearts…
Merciful God, forgive us all that is past. Open our minds to new
paths. Keep us aware of your presence with us as we journey. We
pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.