SMART: Epiphany-style resolutions

 SMART: Epiphany-style resolutions

SMART: Epiphany-style resolutions

Again this is the time of the year we all make our new years resolution. We all try to set our goals for the year 2023. Goals are set to increase something, make something, reduce something, save something, or develop something (someone). We know the goals need to be SMART.

The acronym SMART stands for: 

S- Specific - What will be the specific accomplishment? 

M- Measurable - What data will measure the goal? (How much? How well?) 

A- Achievable - Is the goal doable? Do you have the necessary skills and resources?

R- Relevant - How does the goal align with broader goals? Why is the result significant? 

T- Time-Bound - What is the time frame for accomplishing these goals?

This week the church celebrates Epiphany Sunday (Matthew 2:1-12). The visit of the Magi, the wise king of the East to Jesus in Bethlehem. This reflects the manifestation of the Messiah to the Gentiles, inaugurating the Mission of God to offer salvation to humanity. The Magi, wise men from the East, were drawn to Bethlehem or traveled a long distance to worship the King of Israel. This time it was not the earthly king but the heavenly king. The heavenly star led them to worship the Son, Jesus the Messiah. 

This story is also an inspiration for our New Year’s Resolution. Can we have an epiphany-style resolution? Jesus Christ humbled himself and appeared to us in a way we can understand and experience (the incarnation of God). There is no greater way to understand God being earthly other than the incarnation of God. God took on human flesh to redeem fallen humanity and offer salvation (God's gift to humanity). While we talk about the Magi’s gifts like gold (kingship), frankincense (Priesthood), and myrrh (Suffering) God's gift is surpassing and greater to humanity.

What will be our response? Like the Magi, will you worship, will you bring gifts, and will you follow the direction of the king? The wise men continue to worship Jesus and seek Him. He is God thus He deserves worship, and He is worthy of our praise. We don’t worship to receive something from God, we worship because we have already received something from God. Worship is a response to God's generous outpouring of grace. The greatest gift we have received from God is the presence of God among us. Immanuel- God with us. 

In our New Year's resolution do we prioritize worshiping God? Do we bring our generous gifts to Him or is it all focused on our own self-gratification? They returned home “another way” a true worship encounter or experience will transform our path and our former plans. May we be made worthy by God’s grace; May we find his love and the privilege to worship him. 

In Christ’s name. Amen.


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