“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758) American theologian
Gospel text (Jn 1,1-18):
In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God; he was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him and without him nothing came to be. Whatever has come to be, found life in him, life which for humans was also light. Light that shines in the dark: light that darkness could not overcome.
A man came, sent by God; his name was John. He came to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light but a witness to introduce the Light.
For the Light was coming into the world, the true Light that enlightens everyone. He was already in the world and through him the world was made, the very world that did not know him. He came to his own, yet his own people did not receive him; but all who have received him he empowers to become children of God for they believe in his Name. These are born, but without seed or carnal desire or will of man: they are born of God. And the Word was made flesh; he had his tent pitched among us, and we have seen his Glory, the Glory of the only Son coming from the Father: fullness of truth and loving-kindness.
John bore witness to him openly, saying: «This is the one who comes after me, but he is already ahead of me for he was before me». From his fullness we have all received, favor upon favor. For God had given us the Law through Moses, but Truth and Loving-kindness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God-the-Only-Son made him known: the one who is in and with the Father.
“What are your New Year’s resolutions?”
This question may make you cringe because, yes, it’s that time of year again! New Year’s resolutions can be exciting as we dream up new projects and new activities, but they can also fizzle as we realize that we can’t climb Mount Everest or run a marathon in addition to taking care of a family and working full time.
Today’s Gospel reading is about new beginnings, too. But these new beginnings are not resolutions that we must accomplish. Instead, the focus is on what Jesus wants to do for us. As the Word who created all things, he continues to shine his light into areas of darkness in our hearts. As Messiah and Redeemer, he continues to offer us power over sin and freedom from oppression.
This is the “power to become children of God” that Jesus gives to everyone who accepts him. It’s heavenly power, divine grace, to help us do what we could never do on human energy alone. It’s power to obey, grace to forgive, and inspiration to serve other people. It’s there, waiting for you, simply because God loves you so much. You don’t have to earn it; you just have to accept it and learn how to cooperate with it.
God is on your side!