“Resurrection Resolutions” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell
Last Sunday was such a wonderful gathering of our community and it reminded me how thankful I am that Christ has brought me on this journey. I hope that you are continuing to live in the light of the resurrected Christ and have been sharing that light abundantly.
I am not one that does New Year resolutions. I have never been able to hold onto them. No matter how many times I tried to convince myself to eat better, or work out more, or learn the violin I cannot seem to keep up resolutions that I make at the New Year. (Just ask the violin that is collecting years of dust in my closet). I think they don’t work for me because there is no accountability or follow up for me. New Year resolutions have always been for me, meaning I am the one who has to hold myself accountable to my promises. However, that is not how I work best, and it is not how we are called to be our best selves. Just see this week’s scripture from the book of Acts.
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.
With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.
They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 4:32-35)
About four years ago, I stopped making New Year resolutions and came up with something that I found actually worked: Resurrection Resolutions. Every Easter, I make a resolution to better myself and my community in light of the newly risen and resurrected Christ. I find that these resolutions work better because as Acts reminds us, the gifts that we have been given in this life, are best when shared. Our resolutions are meant to make us better people and the best parts of us are meant to be shared with each other. When we commit to doing this, we are no longer just accountable to ourselves, but we are accountable to the whole of God’s creation. We are accountable to God. So, I make resolutions that come into focus after I have journeyed through Lent and experienced the risen Christ. Lent helps make fuzzy visions come into focus, and Easter makes small dreams feel expansive. I always want to make my Resurrection Resolutions in the wake of the expansive love of Christ. And in doing so, keep me accountable to not only me, but to Jesus.
This year my Resurrection Resolutions are to spend 30 minutes a day writing, taking a walk every day, and spending 15 minutes more in prayer each morning. These three promises not only help me be a better version of the person that God has created me to be, and by doing so, help me be a more attentive pastor to our community. It is my way of using the great power given to be in the love of Christ and how I use it to give testimony to the good news. I hope you will prayerfully consider your own Resurrection Resolution.
Church, in this week post Easter, may you be inspired by the renewing energy of the risen Christ and utilize the power of your testimony and the gifts of your unique self – made in the image of God – to build up the kin-dom. The kin-dom built in god’s image and through the eternal grace of the risen Christ.