I gave up making new year’s resolutions years ago. Why? Because I don’t keep them. And when I don’t keep them, I feel like a failure. Rather than doing what I can, I give up entirely. What’s healthy or helpful about that?
However, I still see the new year as a time to make a fresh start. To try new things. To take bold steps into things God has been speaking to me about. Although I don’t make resolutions, I do set aside time at the beginning of each new year to talk to God about where I’ve been, where I’m going, and what He’s up to in my life. It’s a sweet time of reflection about the past and anticipation of what’s to come.
After God and I have had our time together, I jot down a few goals, things I want to try, prayer focuses, etc. But rather than “resolving” to do them–and setting myself up for failure–I hold them loosely. I follow the advice of my friend Jan Johnson who is fond of saying “Pray as you can, not as you can’t.”
This year a couple of things are bubbling up. God and I will have our official new year’s talk tomorrow, but I already know one thing He’s inviting me into: more worship. A couple of weeks ago somebody at church commented that God just loves to hear His name. That thought has stuck with me.
Since then, I remembered a handout I’d been given at a National Day of Prayer gathering back in May: 365 Names, Titles, and Attributes of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If God loves to hear His name—and I’m sure He does—then bonanza! God has enough names that I can use a different one every day of the new year!
I picked one this morning. “Bright Morning Star.” I didn’t know what that meant. So I looked it up in Scripture. It comes from Revelation 22:16 where Jesus declares that He is “the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” That still didn’t help me much. My worship effort seemed to be getting off to a shaky start.
But then I decided to google it. And zow! What I learned! The “morning star” is the celestial object (most likely Venus) that shines brightest in the night sky. It rises in the eastern sky just before dawn. It is a sure sign that night is almost over and the sun will soon shine again.
It was still dark this morning when I learned this. I went to the window and peered into the frigid darkness. I didn’t see the morning star. Nevertheless, I felt encouraged. In the blackest of darkness, hope is rising. Jesus, light of the world, came into this dark world. His light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it! (John 1:5).
I love Your name, Jesus! I love Your light. I love Your hope. I love Your beauty. You truly are the Bright Morning Star. Rise in our world, Jesus! Rise in my heart, too.
So there you go. Names of God. Anyone want to join me in this worship adventure?