Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

This Sunday marks that beginning of the new year. It marks the beginning of something new. It has become a tradition for many people, myself included, to make a New Year’s resolution. Yet as time goes on, these resolutions have become harder and harder to keep, and throughout the years harder and harder to make. Throughout the years, I have begun to really ponder the idea of a New Year’s resolution. I have really thought about the idea of pledging to become more healthy, wealthy, or even more adventurous, not only the likelihood of it actually happening, but also about the value and importance of a New Year’s Resolution.

This got me thinking about how a New Year’s resolution is more that just a pledge or a promise for the year to come, but is a way to move forward from the struggles of the past and move into a better future. This is why I think what Paul says in Philippians 3 is very important for us when coming into the New Year. It is a call to forget, not only the struggles of the past, but the burdens and hardships from our past selves. It is a moment to move forward from who we were and move into who it is that God wants us to be. Maybe for us as Christians a New Year’s resolution should be more then a pledge or a promise, rather it should be a moment to remember that promise that we have yet to receive. The promise of God that calls us to live in actively in God’s kingdom. The same way that we are to grow into year after year. This year of 2023 is no different.

~ Pastor Jillian