Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against someone, forgive. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And above everything else, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:12-14).
Even for those who aren’t New Year’s resolution-setting people, we can all appreciate that a new year provides a prime season for development and transformation. We can’t help but look forward to what we might be able to accomplish and change in 2017. As the year moves along, moreover, we start to reflect on the ways we might have either made strides toward reaching our goals or come up short. Regardless of the progress or lack thereof, this effort represents a means to grow and learn. We can see what we should continue to do, as well as what we might need to modify.
When we become Christian disciples, we all begin the journey with a certain degree of naiveté. We confess Jesus as Lord, but we can’t predict where Jesus will lead us. Even though we understand that the journey won’t be easy, we’re still caught off guard by just how many twists and turns our journey can take. We’re certainly not prepared for the depths of the valleys we sometimes have to pass through. Nevertheless, to answer the call to Christian discipleship is to answer a call to come and walk beside Jesus wherever he leads. As we walk with him, he teaches us while we learn and grow.
At Tabernacle, we believe an apt word to describe this continual grow is “mold.” Accordingly, our vision statement says, “Tabernacle is a church family in which Christian disciples of all ages are made, molded, and commissioned (Consistent with Matthew 28:28-20).” Through the Great Commission Jesus commanded us to not only “make disciples” but to also “teach them everything I have commanded you.” This means learning to put on the “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” of Christ.
Such an effort was never meant to be undertaken alone. We’re called to “bear with one another” and to learn to show the same forgiveness we’ve received from Christ. Our prayer is that Tabernacle would be a church family in which each member is supported and loved along the journey toward ever-increasing Christ-likeness.
For this growth to happen, we need to be connected to one another. Our vision statement, therefore, calls us to ensure we’re all being molded, as well as molding one another, into the image of Christ. May the Lord use 2017 to strengthen both our fellowship and our willingness to grow spiritually. Happy New Year!