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What Do You Want For The New Year?

Let’s admit it. We want more for ourselves, to serve all our wants and desires. There is of course a
place to pray that God would provide for our needs and even beyond. For all His blessings in 2018 and those
coming in 2019 we should indeed be thankful, even for the blessings that essentially benefit us only.

Do you remember what Solomon asked for when he began his reign (1 Kings 3)? He was the son of the
great king and warrior David. David was not perfect, but he feared the Lord and loved Him and His Word. He
cherished the words of God and His Law. He was led by the prophet’s words and the Holy Spirit to see his
sins, to repent and believe God’s Word of forgiveness (see Psalm 51 which he wrote to ask forgiveness for his
sin with Bathsheba). He was a man after God’s own heart. The Lord appeared to Solomon and said to him to
ask whatever he wanted. What would you ask if the Lord appeared to you? What are you asking for 2019?

Solomon was entering into his vocation of both political King and spiritual leader of God’s people. He
was to fill the shoes of the great King David. He felt inadequate. He could have asked for wealth for himself
and for the death of his enemies. But this is not what he asked for. He asked for discernment or wisdom in
administering justice, his vocation in life. He was called to serve God and was to be a good and just king. That
is how he would please God. So, instead of asking for himself, he asks the Lord to enable him to serve better
by giving him discernment. So, the Lord gave him a wise and discerning heart as well as many other blessings
he did not ask for: riches and honour.

So, let us ask the Lord to make us better servants rather than to give us all we want for ourselves. The
same Lord who spoke to Solomon, our Lord Jesus, says to us all, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His
righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:32). This first means to make God’s Word
and promises our treasure for 2019 (‘’Let the Word of Christ dwell in you: Colossians 3:16’’). It means that daily
I will kneel before God like Solomon did and daily receive from Him His forgiveness in Christ and His Spirit’s
power to walk in obedience to His Law. It means that I will trust that God will provide for my basic needs for this
life and that I will not worry as if God would let me down. It also means that our prayer for 2019 is that we
become better servants of God whatever our callings (vocations) in life are.

Luther gives a list of vocations in his small catechism in the section called ‘’Table of Duties’’. Quoting
Scripture, he lists the duties of pastors, hearers (parishioners), people in government, citizens, husbands,
wives, parents, children, workers of all kinds (employees), employers and supervisors, youth and widows.
Review the Table of Duties from the Small Catechism, reflect on all your responsibilities and pray God to help
you grow in wisdom and discernment as you serve in those stations in life. ‘’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

Do not be anxious (Matthew 6:25-32). You are in your loving God’s hands who
loved you to the point of giving you His only-begotten Son so that you will not
die forever, but now have life everlasting through Him (John 3:16).

Happy and blessed new year in Christ Jesus.

~ Pastor Jason

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