It is good to take a breath and relax now that the rush of the Christmas season is over. I must admit I was tired by Christmas day and it was good to be a “couch potato” all afternoon and evening.
Do you make New Year resolutions? I understand the gyms are busy and the weight loss programs fill up for the first few weeks of the new year but sadly it becomes very hard to carry through with those January 1 resolutions. I once made a resolution to not drink Diet Coke for the first week of the new year. Success was important to me so I only made the resolution for one week and when I made it through three weeks without so much as a sip of Diet Coke I felt like a huge success.
Sarah Pruitt writes for History.com that the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. They made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. If they kept to their word, their (pagan) gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the gods’ favor—a place no one wanted to be.
For early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future. In 1740, John Wesley, founder of Methodism, created the Covenant Renewal Service, most commonly held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Also, known as watch night services, they included readings from Scriptures and hymn singing, and served as a spiritual alternative to the raucous celebrations normally held to celebrate the coming of the new year.
New Year’s resolutions today are a mostly a secular practice with people making resolutions to themselves with a focus on self-improvement. If you are one to make an annual resolution good for you and good luck. If you are looking for an idea for a resolution how about reading the Gospel of Luke.
Jesus studied while he was on earth and He told us we should do the same. I suggest you sit down and read the book of Luke through all at once, then go back and study different parts of it. If that won’t work for you read it chapter by chapter or several verses at a time. Do what works best for you but dig in and follow Jesus example of studying.
I look forward to our year together,