The following sermon was preached by Amanda Steele at the Young Adult Worship Service – December 27, 2009.
In the next few days, a new year will be upon us. It is hard to believe that yet another year has gone by. I am often reminded however, by members of our church and community that I am growing up as well as getting older. I quote. “Oh my goodness, Amanda, I remember you when you were —- this big! I barely even recognize you!” End quote. It seems as if everyone that knows or has known my family is unaware of the fact that I have continued to grow up and get older for the past 23 years now! Why is it that when we greet someone that we haven’t seen in a long time, they always seem to comment on our appearance and our age? Does our appearance really change that much from year to year? Do we not act our age? Or is it just a lack of topics for conversation? I think it has something to do with the fact that no one is every really aware of just how many years have gone by since their last meeting.
In spirit of Pastor Dick’s fondness of jokes, I found a New Year’s Prayer that I would like to share with you.
So far this year I’ve done well.
I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t lost my temper, I haven’t been greedy, I haven’t been grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help.
On a more serious note, Pray With Me:
“Lord, thank You for this new year that lies before us. We choose to depend on You, trust You, and accept from Your hand all that You are willing to share with us. Amen”
Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Take a minute, and think about your resolutions from last year…..I can see most of you looking at me with blank faces which means either you didn’t make any resolutions last year, or, you didn’t accomplish your resolutions from last year because you can’t even remember what they were! To be honest, I am not a huge advocate of resolutions. In the past, I have not made any New Year’s Resolutions because I knew that I would, more than likely, not be able to accomplish them. So I thought, what’s the point? But this year I have been inspired. I have been inspired by a simple, traditional song, to make an important New Year’s Resolution.
A survey was taken across the country this week.
Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2010
1.) Quit Smoking
2.) Get Fit
3.) Lose Weight
4.) Enjoy Life More
5.) Quit Drinking
6.) Get Organized
7.) Learn Something New
8.) Get Out of Debt
9.) Spend More Time With Family
10.) Help Others
Does this list sound familiar? Maybe you have some of these same resolutions or have had some of these resolutions. However, this survey solidifies my thoughts about making an important resolution that is often forgotten about. These are good resolutions don’t get me wrong, and I think that many of them are necessary to maintain a happy healthy life. Spending more time with family and helping others are certainly things that Jesus would want us to do. But isn’t there a more important resolution we can make? As Colossians 3, verse 12 states, “…as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Forgiveness is something that I myself, struggle with from time to time. But, Jesus always forgives.
As Psalm 148 states, “…Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. Praising the Lord on a daily basis for all of the blessings that He has provided me, is not always at the top of my list of things to do today. But, Jesus was and is devoted to praising God.
Luke describes to us that as Jesus was growing up and getting older, He, along with his parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. Jesus belonged in His Father’s house, and stayed in His Father’s house, even though Mary and Joseph did not know that he had stayed behind. Jesus was being obedient to God. Are you obedient to God?
The book of 1st Samuel describes to us a story of sacrifice. Samuel was given up by his family to be a servant of the Lord. Jesus was and is the ultimate sacrifice. I must admit I do not feel as though I have sacrificed enough of myself to the Lord, as He deserves. Do you sacrifice enough of yourself to the Lord?
My New Year’s Resolution is to spend each day striving to hear God’s voice more clearly. I will be more forgiving of others and praise the Lord for all of my blessings. I will attempt to be obedient to God’s word, and sacrifice more of myself to the Lord. Of course, I will need God’s help to accomplish this New Year’s Resolution. I believe that this is one resolution that I will be able to keep. I want to grow in faith this year, and I challenge each of you to do so as well because we always have room for improvements. I’m asking each of you, in 2010, to stop and take some time to think about “What would Jesus do?”
So what will your new year’s resolution be?
Most of you, I’m sure, have heard the traditional New Year’s tune, “Auld Lang Syne.” I did not know the meaning and significance of this song until this year. I did some research and found that the Scottish, auld lang syne translates in English to – old long since, or – days gone by. The song is asking us whether we wish to keep old friends, or forget about them, and not think of them again. This song was not written as a religious song. However, after researching the meaning behind the lyrics of this song, I thought about Jesus. As the years continue to pass us by, as we continue to get older, Jesus is one friend that we should not ever forget. Yes, some friends come and go, but Jesus is in our hearts forever. We may have much time pass between meetings with friends in the realm of the human world, but we should not allow much time to pass between meetings with our Savior Jesus Christ. He does not judge us based on appearance or age. He cares only about what is in our hearts. Speak to him, for He will listen. What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.
The version of “Auld Lang Syne” that I would like to share with you today, was my inspiration to make this important New Year’s Resolution, that will not only better myself, but my relationship with God.
It is sung entirely in Scottish.