Day 121, 30th December: Joshua, John and Psalms
What are you for?
By Andy Croft
The time between Christmas and New Year always feels a bit like limbo land. The end of one year but not quite the beginning of another. It’s a like a stop-over when you’re on some long-distance flight; you’ve left but you haven’t quite arrived. Sometimes this waiting can seem a bit aimless but in this time of rest and reflection we can discover purpose for the year ahead.
What’s going on in Joshua today is a continuation of what God’s been up to for the past few chapters – He’s dividing up the land among the Israelites. He’s also setting apart cities where they can go to find safety if they’ve done something wrong. What I love about these allotments of land and cities is that they were permanent. The Israelites would have known what boundary was for what tribe and which city to run to if necessary. What we do for a job, where we live, even who we’re dating may change in the coming year but there’s also a real need for some permanent boundaries and principles for each of us during our lives.
One of the things that always amazes me about Jesus is he always seems to know what the right thing to do is no matter what the situation. Take our stories today, on the one hand he’s chilling out at a wedding turning water into wine; on the other he’s getting edgy in the Temple. We couldn’t have two more different scenes and yet Jesus responds perfectly in both. I think more than anyone else Jesus was a man who knew clearly and deeply what he was about.
What naturally happens to all of us as time passes is that we forget our reasons for doing the things we do. We might start a year full of good intentions about living this or that way but as the year begins to drag, things get busy and life is tough those reasons can fade into the background. I’m all for last minute, spur-of-the-midnight decisions for a radical New Year’s resolutions but there’s also a place for a considered, thoughtful beginning to the year. It’s a both/and.
Why not spend the next day or so, before the clock strikes midnight, reminding yourself what you live for and why? Pray about it, ask God to speak to you again about your priorities for the coming year. What is your life about? Is that shown through what you spend your time on? Ask God to remind you what the most important things are to Him; who are the people He’s placed in your life for a reason; what are the challenges He’d like you to rise to?
There’s a whole year ahead. It’s going to be busy and full. Take some time now to rest, reflect and listen.
Today’s picture was taken by…
Sarah Macfaden. Thanks Sarah!
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