December 11, 2017

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January 2015

Every January we tend to talk about resolutions. How to make them, why to make them, why not to make them, and how to follow through on them. Some of us approach this seriously and earnestly. Others approach this tradition with skepticism and humor. Whichever way resolutions are approached, it seems that we all feel some sense of newness in our lives that comes with the new year. There is something all at once hopeful and terrifying about standing on the precipice of such newness.

 

Part of this might be that following the busyness of the holiday season, we now have time to reflect on what we actually received at Christmas. Likely we received many nice gifts but our attentions are now free to hone in on how we did not magically become more patient, well-read, able to play a musical instrument, or thinner, through the holidays - indeed we might have done just the opposite! Perhaps resolutions are an attempt at figuring out how to give to ourselves all of the intangible gifts that we didn’t get as Christmas presents.

 

I’m not sure about resolutions, but at Zion this year are we attempting to give such an intangible gift. It won’t be wrapped in a bow, nor will it be something you must “resolve” or commit to do. We will have a four week sermon series on Creating Calm. Every single person I know has said to me at one time or another that they are busy. Now there isn’t anything wrong with being busy. But wouldn’t it be better if we all felt peaceful, rested, calm?

 

In order to carve out some calm in our lives, we will focus on something specific, but intangible, each week. We will learn about the ancient spiritual practice and about the contemporary application of: breath, rest, giving, and humility. We will even learn something of the science behind why each of these practices is beneficial to health and well-being.

 

As a part of our Create Calm series, I have asked each of our members to bring a friend to worship, at least once, in the month of January. Part of this is just good hospitality. Part of it is calling: Jesus called us to share the good news and what better way to share the good news of God’s unconditional love than bringing friends to church? I ask us each to invite a friend for, I dare say, an even more important reason: calmness is such a powerful gift, and so many of us are walking around in our daily lives desperately yearning for it, let us strive to give this powerful, intangible gift to others.

 

So go ahead, give an intangible gift. Give the gift of breath, rest, giving, or humility. Give it a friend. Give it to yourself. Give it to the world.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Courtney