I am excited for the new year. Although some may consider January just another month, I believe it presents us an opportunity to refresh our plans, goals, and dreams.
In Philippians 2, Paul says, “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
The pandemic has been polarizing and divisive in many respects, so working towards unity will require intentional effort. I pray that finding unity and love even with those who disagree with you will be a goal that you attain this year.
Paul continues to say, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (2:3). We can work toward unity by pursuing humility and looking to the interest of others and not just our own (2:4). Selfishness will drive our community towards further division, but considering others more significant than ourselves and serving them faithfully will heal broken relationships.
Finally, Paul exhorts the Philippian church to look to Christ Jesus as the ultimate example of this kind of uniting love. Even though Jesus was equal to God in every way, he “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (2:7-8).
Many of us have focused on fighting for our rights during this tough season, and even though our rights are important, our community would be a much better place if we all emulated Christ’s love by sacrificially laying down some of our own rights to serve one another with love.
Philippians 2 has been our anthem at our church throughout the pandemic. Our goal is to love like Jesus, and we have the opportunity to do that well in 2022.
May your goals and plans come to fruition in the new year according to God’s will. May God’s loving kindness and faithfulness lead you and protect you. May his unending love inspire us to love one another well.