My word is so different this year, so personal. It's hard to describe, exactly. All I know is it's something my husband and I are working through this year. It started with our PCS in June. As we searched for a new church, we found ourselves really drawn to services with a little more liturgy, and little more tradition. We were at a point that we were craving some good old fashioned hymns. We found ourselve attending a United Methodist chruch. Very different from the last church we attended, but good. Isn't it amazing how vast the kindgdom of God is? We're all so different, but Sunday comes and all draw together and worship Jesus. Worship comes in so many ways. It's fascinating. At this new, United Methodist church, there were things we were unfamiliar with. Why the different colored robes? Why the focus on different scriptures through the year? These are new things the Christian church as a whole, but they were new to us. It piqued our curiosity.
And then I took an Influence Network class. This teacher talked about how she and her family found their rythmn in the seasons of the church. She talked about how, for them, Advent was the begining of the year. The birth of Christ was only the begining. Each season had a specific focus, that looked toward Jesus, instead of crazy schedules. Advent, Ephipeny, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time, these season weren't a completely unheard of concept to us. We were both raised in the church. But we loved the idea of focusing on them a little more intentionally. Of making it a point of dicussion with our children throughout the year.
We wanted to work out our faith.
For us, we've started reading through this book: and doing a weekly devotion with our kids on Sunday nights. It's been great, because they seem to be talking about the same thing at church as well! So far we've looked at Jesus' Baptism, the calling of the disciples, and his first miracles. I think I'm really going to enjoy this new change in our family time!
We also picked a word for this year. It's the first time my husband and I have picked a word together!
Katergazomi: to work out
Work out means I'm activiely thinking about ways to make Jesus the center of our family's life. The center of our rythmn. That's the first part, right? Not necessarily knowing all the answers, but finding new ways to emphasize that Jesus sets the rythm of our lives, not busy schedules.
Philippians 2:12 was an endorsement from Paul to the early church to continue working out their faith with fear and trembling. Not as one who is afraid, huddled in the corner in the dark, but as a people who understand just how great and awesome God is. Who understand that He really does hold all things in his hands. I really enjoyed this definition of fear and trembling: " [Work out is] used to describe the anxiety of one who distrust his ability completely to meet all requirements, but religiously does his utmost to fulfil his duty" (Blueletterbible.org, accessed 01/26/17). Isn't that us, as humans? Or is it just me? As a child of God, I honestly want to do my best to serve Him each day. I honestly want each word I say, each action I take, to mirror Him. But I also know that I mess up alot. I honestly know that I could never do it all on my own. I would never be enough. I honestly know that I need Jesus. I need Him to work through me each day. I need Him to ulitimately bridge the gaps that I honestly can't complete. But that doesn't stop me from working. That doesn't stop me from seeking. That doesn't stop me from ever moving closer to Him. Praying, spending time in His word, being intentional with my children, reevaluating priorities in my life: all of these things are part of the Christian walk, as we ever seek after Him.
And so, that brings us to 2017. The year of katergazomai. The year of experiencing more of God, and seeking after Him all the more.
I don't completely know what that will look like. But I do know that I want to be intentional. And that's why I'm sharing these words year, on my little corner of the Blogsphere.
I hope you join me in finding a word for this year.
Seeking the Lord.
Let's see what happens.