A very happy new year to all on this first day of 2012.
I was reminded in worship this morning of a Scripture passage from Ephesians 5 that relates to how we live our daily lives. The passage from Ephesians 5:8-16 reads as follows —
“Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore, He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’ See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (NKJV).
That phrase in the final verse – redeeming the time – became important to John Wesley when he was a young man living in Oxford. And it remained important to him throughout his life. For Wesley it reminded him of the fleeting and finite nature of our earthly lives. And it helped to focus him on the need to make every minute of every day count.
I think this passage offers a great New Year’s resolution. Redeeming the time. It’s maybe not as popular a choice as some of the ones we often hear: eating no chocolate, exercising three days a week, etc. But it’s probably a better way to go. And that’s because it points to a whole pattern of life. It points to a pattern of life that we should simply call discipleship.
We are a people called, set apart, and grafted into the tree of Israel. So we should live like it.
Every minute of every day.