They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to
fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and
signs performed by the apostles. — Acts 2:42-43 (NIV)
As a new year begins, I hear conversations about resolutions and goals. We make lists on social media of books we plan to read, places we want to travel, habits we hope to break or take up. Sometimes I wonder if we get too caught up in listing and talking about our hopes and goals. After all, talking about the fresh start offered by our New Year’s resolutions is the easy part. Living those resolutions can be much more challenging.
In this issue of The Upper Room, many of our writers share stories about the challenge and importance of actions that reflect Christ’s grace, love, and mercy to the world — standing up to bullies, serving others without recognition, attending to the small details of daily life. In Acts 2, the early Christian community broke bread together, spent time in fellowship with one another, gave to those in need, and praised God. These actions led others to explore the way of Christ and forged the community that became the church.
In my experience, the faithful actions and attitudes of others have helped me to see Christ in the world, inspiring me to live in more Christlike ways. I think of friends and family who have prayed for and supported me in times of grief and joy. I think of mentors who have listened deeply and given me the gift of presence when I needed guidance.
As you read, reflect, and pray, I hope you will consider these questions: Where do you see Christ at work in your life and in your community? How will you live a life that honors Christ this year? I hope that for all of us, 2019 will be a year filled with the joy of serving Christ through serving others.
I chose the book Because of This I Rejoice for our Sunday Spiritual Formation class. Our leader gave instructions for individuals to choose a 'discipline' to put into practice each week. Several class members have commented, "I like this book.” Read more.