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A New Year to Believe

The Word Becomes Flesh

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

As we approach the New Year, take a moment to once again revisit the gospel of John; this gospel is known for showing the human side of Christ, arguably relating more to the spiritual battles of creation. This is why it has been my favorite gospel to go through, particularly during the holiday season. We will always be looking towards our God, the God of all divinity and power. During Christmas, we also see God’s mercy, admire His grace, and marvel at His generosity to save us.

The ancient Jews were known to believe God to be too divine to do something so “lowly,” another reason why they believed their Savior would come as a war hero or powerful administrator. These words may be commonplace to us but dwell for a moment on the radical idea of “the Word [becoming] flesh” for the ancient peoples. Our mighty God indeed wanted to reach the depths of humanity, not only the spectacular.

Over the Christmas season, we have explored what the coming of the Savior means for us. In the New Year, I want to express to you how sincerely you can be enlivened by the Spirit.

Christians have notoriously used the New Year as a time to dedicate themselves further to God, and I am here to say that that is a wonderful and perfectly fine way to engage with God! Talking to God is always progress! Growing your faith, no matter how successful you feel it is or is not, is nonetheless a valuable time spent on your faith.

I am not, therefore, trying to ridicule this, even if some would pick on it being ingenuine or short-lived. Your efforts are always progressive, so long as they are done in the spirit of growing closer to God! Instead, I mean to express to you that, whatever you dedicate yourself to this year, remember that you are neither behind nor failing in God’s eyes.

Jesus was not always a performer of miracles, an immediate threat to the emperor, or a teacher. In fact, Jesus was considered hidden for the first 33 years of his life. Carpentry was his trade until teaching was his craft. It was only after his ministry began that the world began to see what his teachings offered them.

Jesus was, no matter what the world took him for, always the hope of the world. Jesus was always the light of life, the salvation of humanity. God’s purpose was no different when he was a carpenter from when he was on the cross fulfilling his purpose.

I want you to know this next year that if you feel hidden, if you feel alone, or if you feel stuck spiritually God can turn all of it into hope, into action, into his loving calling for your life! Jesus Christ turns all hiddenness into hopefulness!

Whether you are making a new year’s resolution, doing your best to maintain a healthy spiritual life, or still awaiting the Holy Spirit’s touch on your heart, the AU Women’s Ministry wants you to know how held, hopeful, and loved you will be this year!

Discussion Questions:

What can you do at the beginning of 20221 to set yourself on a holy path through this year?

What do you most want out of this year, and how can you rely on God to help you get there? If you have no spiritual goals, try meditating in God’s presence and setting some up for yourself!

Finally, take moments through this new year to see how far or close to God you may have gotten. There is no shame in your spiritual journey! Just make sure that you approach God humbly in order to stay under His refuge and wing this year.

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