Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015, has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany” and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.”
Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.
Happy New Year!
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14
Happy New Year Prayer Team!
First and foremost, I thank God this morning that He has brought us safely to see the dawn of a new year. I pray that this will be a happy and healthy and spiritually centered year for everyone reading this message.
Today I’d like to talk about New Year’s Resolutions. Most of us make resolutions of some kind. We may write down a list of 4-5 things, or keep the list in our head, and then we set about trying to change several things about ourselves. In short order, the list is forgotten, we forget our resolutions, we don’t keep them, and then a year goes by and we find ourselves making the same resolutions. (I can’t count how many years I’ve resolved to lose weight or exercise more.)
So, for a New Year’s resolution, let me suggest something different. Choose a WORD that is going to define you for this year. (I got this idea from a blog by Mike Ashcroft and Rachel Olsen, excerpted from a book called “My One Word”) Write the one word down in as many places as you can see it—on your nightstand, your refrigerator, your desk at work, anywhere you are likely to see it. And instead of focusing on a list that will be hard to remember and even harder to fulfill, focus on one word and let that word define your year.
Once you’ve chosen your word, then have a daily “check-in” with that word. Make sure that word comes up in your daily prayers. Share the word with a friend, and talk about it with a friend. You might choose to write a few things down that are related to your word, or you might just choose to focus on the one word.
Some sample words: Focus, discipline, hope, effort.
Another suggestion for the one-word resolution. After you make a personal word, you might consider making a one-word resolution for your marriage, one word that you and your spouse come up with to define your marriage for the coming year. You might make a one word resolution for your family. Or a one word resolution at the office. As with the personal one-word resolution, write it down in your bedroom (for your marriage), on your refrigerator (for your family) or by the water-cooler (at the office).
The word for our church for 2018 is going to be “Engagement.” More to come on that in a week.
Instead of cumbersome lists of resolutions we won’t keep, let’s start off with a ONE word resolution and let that word define your 2018. What will your word be?
Lord, thank You for bringing me safely into a New Year. Thank You for the blessings of the year that has passed. Bless me and my family in the year that is to come. As I begin this year, I will work to do one thing (insert your one word here) better, and for Your glory. Help me in this one word resolution, to give me the fortitude to carry it through the entire year. And in this year, may I take steps to further my relationship with You, and my love for my neighbors. Amen.
Have a happy, healthy and a (insert your one word) 2018!
With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.
These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Photo Credit: Seasons Illustrated
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