Maybe it's because I've been remembering a line from Against The Wind, a song both Bob Seger and Waylon Jennings covered:
"Well those drifters days are past me now
"I've got so much more to think about
"Deadlines and commitments
"What to leave in, what to leave out"
Or perhaps it is because I've been remembering my High School literature teacher, Frank Austell, who introduced us to The Odyssey by talking about the different ways in which translators had translated the opening line describing Ulysses; and how that laid the groundwork for how the rest of the work would be.
What is it that struck me? It is the truth that every preacher tells his/her own Life of Jesus. We aren't always conscious that we're doing it. Perhaps we would deny it and claim that we're sticking to the scriptures like glue. But each of us, in our choices of scripture, our means of reflecting on that scripture, and the emphasis we put on it in relation to other passages, tells a Life of Jesus that is particular to us...even when it is similar to that told by others.
Having been struck by this truth, I begin thinking about what my own Life of Jesus would look like if I took the material I've written over the last few years of blogging and preaching and placed it in some sort of reasonable order. Where are the gaps that I would want to fill in? Am I placing emphasis where it doesn't belong? What would a clear, intentional examination reveal? What is the picture of Jesus that I carry in my head? Am I clear, even with myself, on what it looks like?
So my New Year's resolution is to, in my preaching, my writing, and my blog, to be clearer about that picture. I want to take the pieces of the mosaic in my mind and lay them out for examination. And when the picture that emerges does not balance with the teachings of scripture I want to honestly address and correct my portrait.
This will be the underlying goal in much of my writing here as we move into the New Year. Thought it would only be fair to warn you. Hope you'll stay along for the ride and join the conversation as you're able.
All that being said, I wish everyone who reads this blog a safe and wonderful New Year. May God's Shalom come a little closer as we seek to explore and imitate the life of Jesus and it's claim on us in 2017.