In my Christmas newsletter I shared that I have never created a bucket list. The Bucket List is a term that began in 2007 by the writer of a film by the same name. It is a list of things a person wants to accomplish before “kicking the bucket.”
Thinking about the idea of a bucket list and about New Year’s resolutions, the thought occurred to me that I should create a list of things that I want to accomplish during each month of 2022 – a hybrid of a bucket list and resolutions, if you will.
And so, I began to think of what I might include:
- Meeting a friend who lives two hours south of me in a city halfway between us and spending the day together to catch up, encourage, and laugh together.
- Calling an older single in my church to encourage her. (This idea came to me when I happened to call a widow to tell her that with the snowstorm we had, she should not come to church the next morning. I spent the next 30 minutes listening to her describe her day. It dawned on me that she, too, needs to have someone listen and I can do that.)
- Writing a note to families in my church to tell them how much I appreciate them.
- Praying more diligently for the missionaries my church supports.
- In addition to praying for people in my church (from our prayer chain), sending a note of encouragement.
I recently read a book which traces the historical roots of many of the issues we are encountering in the world today. The author closes with what the church can do to combat and survive in our ever-changing, chaotic world. We need to be a faithful community. We are to let our light shine to the world because we are different, because we are followers of Jesus Christ.
Just as the early church was noted for being different from the world, we are now in that same position. If we are not caring for our brothers and sisters in Christ within our church, those outside will see no difference and will not be drawn to Christ.
I challenge each of you to think of things you can do each month in 2022 to encourage and show love to your church family. (Please note that I am extending this challenge to all people in the church, not only the pastor and pastor’s wife.) Make a list; it doesn’t need to be grand. Sometimes, simple things encourage the most. Take a moment now . . .
John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
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