Year after year we start off with great intention and end up with same ol' same ol'. Ever experienced it? To the extent that I've quit making 'resolutions.'
My challenge yesterday to our congregation was to press on, to press up & to press in to the goal: Jesus Christ. After a year of tumult that was the perfect end to a perfect decade (read 'perfect storm'), there is almost no way to go but up, personally, corporately, even nationally! Saint Paul's prayer for his church plant in Ephesus was that their hearts might be enlightened (1:18). He is clear that this enlightenment comes from the light of the Good News - the Gospel of Christ (2 Cor 4): that Jesus is the exact representation of God enfleshed among us, and that we see the light of God's glory in the face of Jesus Christ, his Son.
Out of our heart's enlightenment come three outcomes, as Paul prays for this parish: that we come to know by experience the HOPE of our calling in Christ; that we come to know that the saints around us are GOD'S glorious INHERITANCE; and that we experience and demonstrate the IMMEASURABLY GREAT POWER of God toward us who believe. If there are three things that would demonstrate Light in the darkness of our culture they are HOPE IN GOD'S FUTURE FOR US - OUR LIVING AS A COMMUNITY OF HONOR - OUR EXPERIENCE & EXPRESSION OF GOD'S REAL, EVERYDAY POWER FOR LIVING.
Living in these realities is the action of lifting up our hearts and allowing the reflection of the light of God to be reflected in our lives. This is where we meet the world in mission. This is where we live out our call as the Body of Christ in the world. May 2010 be the beginning of a new revolution of hope, of honor and of power for living the God-life in the world. And may the Church come to such enlightenment that it is in actuality the 'salt and light' it is designed and purposed to be by God!