Recorded December 5, 2019
(Adapted from a video script by Bishop Peggy A. Johnson)
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions in January every year. Health clubs and diet plans abound; but often we forget these resolutions before the end of the month.
However, I appeal to you all: In 2020, let’s “Go for the Gold!”
The summer 2020 Olympics will be in Tokyo, Japan; and as we know, athletes from around the world will be competing to win gold medals, the top achievement. Silver and bronze medals are still worthy, but gold is always the highest and best.
For the Christian we find gold in the Word of God. Psalm 19 says that the law, the testimony, the precepts, the commandments, the rules of the Lord are “more to be desired than gold, even much fine gold.”
“Going for the gold” as disciples who “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14) means reading and studying that Word of God. It means thinking about the Word constantly and citing its wisdom in our daily meditations and conversations.
1) Why not read the whole Bible in 2020? You can download a copy of this kind of lectionary on the www.oneyearbibleonline.com.
2) Also, as you read and study and talk about the Word, be sure to also DO the Word. Let it live in your daily life manifested in your actions of goodness and righteousness in this world. The Book of James says “Be doers of the Word and not just hearers” and “Faith without works is dead.”
3) Everything we do should pass the test of the Golden Rule from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, “Do unto others what you want done unto you.” Can you do more of that in 2020? Where can you grow from bronze to silver to gold in your quest to demonstrate more patience, kindness, love and faithfulness?
4) Finally, spread the Word in 2020. As this is an Olympic year we should become more aware of our vast, global, human family, with all its giftedness and yes, its challenges. One of our greatest global challenges is unimaginable poverty that is profound and painful for many people. Yet, it is also a true fact that most of the world’s people do not own a Bible in their language.
5) Our Congo Partnership provides Bibles in French and Otetella (one of the tribal languages of the Central Congo Annual Conference of the UMC). Why not “go for the gold” by donating some Bibles to the Congo Partnership this year? You can do so online at www.congo-mission.org, or send donations to your annual conference and mark them for “Congo Bibles” in the memo line. Bibles in the French language cost $15 each, and Bibles in Otetella cost $20. Give some of your gold so that others might have beneficial access to the Word of God.
Go for the gold in 2020: read the Word, do the Word and spread the Word. If you do that, you will be an Olympic Champion for God.