Monday, January 2, 2012

Comfort for a New Year

Since New Year's Day fell on Sunday this year it was beautifully appropriate to be reminded of Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 1. This isn't exactly a New Year's resolution, but living one's life in light of these truths is transformative.

Q. 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

A. That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

Q. 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?

A. Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.

I'm not one to make resolutions, but if I was Psalm 34:1 would be a good one.

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

In other words: I'll bless God even when I'm not feeling "blessed" -- which in American Christian parlance often means "my life is going so great right now." The Psalms turn the language of blessing upside down, where it's more about God's people blessing him by loving and fearing him, than about God blessing us.

Happy New Year, dear readers!

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