“Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God…when you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied…then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” -Deuteronomy 8:11-14
Another new year, a brand new decade! Can you believe it?
How do you mark the new year? Do you make resolutions? Or think about the past year and consider your hopes and fears for the next? Maybe it’s just another day, and with most of our calendars on our phones, we don’t even have to buy or hang a new one.
Yet I wonder if we miss an opportunity when we don’t take time to remember, reflect, and look ahead. I imagine we all know the feeling – our schedules fill up, we’re running from one thing to the next, going through the motions of work, at home, and in church.
Why not take this time of year as an opportunity to consider what has been – what has been bringing us joy, what has been unnecessarily stressing us out? And what is to come – what are things we may need to walk away from, and what might we need to walk toward? How has God been active this last year, and what might God be asking us to do this new year?
In these verses in Deuteronomy, there is concern that the Israelites will forget God after settling into their new life in the promised land. They’ll get into their routines, become comfortable, and go through the motions, forgetting all that God had done for them. They were not brought into freedom so that they could be enslaved by their pride, schedules, or material possessions. They were brought out of slavery by God because of God’s love for them and covenant with them.
Along with the Israelites, in looking back, we remember our history and recall our part in the covenant, our response to the freedom we have in Christ – to keep God’s commands, to love God, and to love others. Maybe we can all resolve this year to make more time in our lives for love – love of God and love of neighbor.
Happy New Year,