Life Notes—December 31, 2009
“You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” Ephesians 4:22-24
I have vivid memories as a child watching the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. I was in our living room, sprawled on the floor in front of our grainy, black-and-white TV, mesmerized by this band of rebels from England, their shaggy hair and new brand of music. I watched them play guitars and sing and knew I wanted to do that one day.
As I entered my teenage years I was captivated by the music and lyrics of singers and songwriters like Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce and others, and I dreamed of doing that one day. I was obsessed with their songs, playing them over and over and over, listening and studying the nuances, trying desperately to figure out their secrets. I wanted to write and sing songs that moved people the way these artists moved me. It was a driving passion, and it all began in the ‘spirit of my mind.’
I’ve never been very good with New Years resolutions. In different years I have vowed to lose weight, exercise more, stop complaining, be more attentive to those around me. You name the positive change, I’ve probably vowed to make that change—and consistently failed. Am I alone? Where do I go wrong? I think Paul’s letter to the Ephesians provides a clue.
Paul tells us to be “renewed in the spirit of (our) minds, and to clothe (ourselves) with the new self…” Change begins between the ears. It requires a desire strong enough to overcome the comfort and security of remaining the same. My desire to be a singer/songwriter was strong enough to carry me through many years of practice and discouragement. Granted, I never became a famous artist, but I went far enough to know it wasn’t the type of life I wanted anyway. But I do still enjoy the fruits of those labors, Sunday mornings at First Church. And if my music occasionally moves another, my blessing is doubled. For me, as with Paul, I cannot ‘put away my former life’ until I have a vivid picture in my mind, ‘clothing myself’ with the new life I desire. What will I clothe myself in for 2010? Hopefully, something in the likeness of God.
Tom’s sermon this Sunday is entitled, “New Beginnings,” and will utilize the scripture found in Ephesians 4:17-24. Life (Living in Faith Everyday) service is at 10:45 in Brady Hall. Traditional worship in the sanctuary is at 8:30 and 11:00. Contemporary worship at the west campus begins at 9:30.
Come home to worship this Sunday! New self or not, begin the New Year with us!
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator