Thought for the week – week 52

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I’ve never been a great fan of New Year resolutions.

The worst thing is that they can stir up stuff from the past which we know we need to deal with.

They can induce a sense of failure again (!) when by January 4 we’ve already broken them.

Now I realise I maybe putting too much weight on our tendency to self-examine. In more than 40 years of ministry, I have spent time with people who have a low value of themselves and anticipate other people reinforcing that viewpoint.

Without being triumphalistic, let me remind you of the recently celebrated events of Christmas.

First, Christians believe that Jesus was/is God’s gift to all humanity – a gift of love from a loving Father. Secondly, throughout his ministry, Jesus shows us a model of loving acceptance where guilt and shame have been dealt with. Through his death and resurrection Jesus has made it possible for us to find acceptance just as we are. We are worth dying for – such is God’s love for us. We don’t need to jump through hoops or try to get God’s attention by making resolutions we find it difficult to keep.

Perhaps there is one resolution we can make and that is to try to walk the way of faith and forgiveness that Jesus offers.

Happy New Year!

Ian McFarlane,

Oban Baptist Church.