We have begun the first month of the New Year, and with the New Year comes a review of priority. Notice that I intentionally didn’t write the plural, “priorities” that we’re so used to seeing. That plural can all-too-easily become a catch-all for all the things we’re not doing but should be. Instead of focusing on all the things we’re missing the mark on, let’s focus on what comes before everything else and makes all things hold together in God’s Way for our lives. After all, that’s what priority means--before, or, first.
As we’ve just gone through the seasons of Advent and Christmas, and have made our way to the season of Epiphany, we’re called to remember that Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem and lived in a small radius his whole life, has been around since before anything else existed. The words from the Nicene Creed remind us of that amazing fact.
We believe in one lord Jesus Christ: “…begotten of His Father before all worlds, / God of God, Light of Light, / very God of very God, / begotten, not made, / being of one substance with the Father, / by whom all things were made…”
John echoed the first words of Scripture by starting his gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (1: 1-2).
And Paul wrote of this same Jesus: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…All things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together… He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be first and foremost” (Colossians 1:15, 16, 18).
With the beginning of this New Year and this year’s new journeys for you, think on Jesus first as the True Priority this year. Don’t let Christ be removed from daily life but be the true center of it. Your faith is not meant to be a kind of appendix to normal life—an application, a plug-in, enabling you to do extra things. No. Let God fill every moment, even the most ordinary.
After all, William Tyndale, the man who first translated the Bible into English, wrote that, “If our desire is to please God, pouring water, washing dishes, cobbling shoes and preaching the word is all one.”
Who (and what) comes first in your daily life? What (and who) do you have plenty of time for … and not? Is the Holy God of Life only a mere afterthought to us Christians whose priorities aren’t really any different from everybody else’s? Or, is the Lord and Giver of Life the first and foremost—the priority—who makes all things hold together?
May we ask ourselves these questions and be reoriented and renewed by the only Answer to them all this new year set before us …
Your Servant in Christ, Pastor Aaron Boerst