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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 22, 2014

Parson to Person: Pick a word, any word

By AIMEE GOLDMEYER, New London Presbyterian Church | Jan 18, 2013

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. . . And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:12-17

As I considered setting New Year’s resolutions this year, I came across the idea of choosing just one word to represent a particular change I want to make over the next twelve months.

While I have not chosen a specific word yet, I am intrigued by this idea because it allows for more specific goals to be set and invites God to direct my steps more fully. With many personal and professional changes to be considered, I hope to discover a word that helps to make my life and the lives of others better.

Perhaps it will be the word I received when my congregation celebrated the wise men’s visit to Jesus – loyalty - that rings true this year or perhaps it will be something else. No matter what word I pick, I hope that love will add another layer to everything I say, think and do. I invite you to consider choosing a word that will be your theme for the year as you seek to fulfill God’s plan for your life each and every day.

In Les Miserables, Jean Valjean spends his adult life seeking freedom after being put in jail for stealing a loaf of bread. As characters enter and leave his life, we discover their motivations for living through their words and actions. Javert, a French officer, worries about obeying the law and holding others accountable to each and every part of it. A group of citizens seeking a better France works to create freedom and equality for all by staging a second revolution, which ultimately fails.

The priest who offers Valjean shelter and becomes the victim of theft offers grace by backing up Valjean’s story and dedicating his life to Christ. Whatever motivates each character controls the decisions they make and the depth of their relationships. In the end, love proves the greatest motivator of all as Valjean seeks to meet others’ needs and ensure the happiness of his adopted daughter, Cosette.

What word or words represent the person you want to become through God’s help in 2013? Who exhibits that quality in your life and what steps can you take to imitate that person in the coming months? Perhaps you wish to be more courageous, merciful, kind, grateful, forgiving or hopeful in the coming year. Maybe you need confidence, clarity, patience or something else.

Whichever word you pick, I hope you include love so that everything you say and do reflects the grace and love we receive from God. May God bless you today and always.

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