By Pastor Wes Poole
God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. – NRSV
So how are your New Year’s resolutions going? “Huh?!?” you’re likely thinking. “What in the world are you talking about?! We’re already past Valentine’s Day!! Aren’t times hard enough without your lifting up yet another of our failings?!” Point taken, and if you are still faithfully sticking to your resolution/s, good for you! If though, like many or most of us, you forgot about them two weeks into January, please relax…I am NOT here to beat you up over it! Besides, I’d be the worst kind of hypocrite if I did. I didn’t even bother with resolutions this year. I knew in advance I was not up for the challenge.
I actually started thinking about this a couple of weeks ago when I was in a rehearsal. We were talking about all of the COVID protocols and the need for staying safe when a friend of mine, who is also a doctor, said something that really resonated with me. He told the group that regardless of what else was going on, we must remember to be kind to ourselves. Now you guys know that I’m always reminding us to be kind and be safe, but my friend reminded me that means we are also personally a part of that equation. Jesus showed us once and for all how important it is to love our neighbor and show kindness to others. Yet all the way back in the opening chapters of Genesis, we are reminded that God first looked at us and His entire Creation and declared it “very good”. Attending to our physical and mental health is one way we honor and give thanks for God’s many gifts to us. Every morning, we wake to a new day lived in the assurance of the love and forgiveness of God in Christ Jesus. God doesn’t dwell on our shortcomings. Neither should we. We should face each day with the confidence that God will always be by our side, and with a new opportunity to offer God and neighbor a better version of ourselves.
In just a couple of weeks, the season of Lent will be upon us. Part of that journey will consist of striving to make that better version of ourselves a reality. It’s not always an easy prospect, but we know that Our Lord will walk the path with us. Along the way though, let’s do our best to be kind to each other and ourselves. We will emerge on the other side stronger as a community, and as individuals. Is that a “Lenten resolution”? I guess it is…but I’m OK with that!
Let us pray…
God of Creation, you have looked upon us all and declared that we are your children. Help us when we falter, and teach us to be good to everyone. Jesus showed us the way. Strengthen our resolve to follow the example he gave us, for it is in his name that we pray. Amen.
Be well, be kind, and be safe.
Your partner in Christ,
Pastor Wes Poole †