The second reason for "small steps" is to start our "new" year (Happy New Year!!). This is the first Sunday in Advent - the start of the church year. There is a lot happening -- busy schedules, changing weather, busy schedules, parties added into business meetings added into family gatherings, projects needing to be finished and, now, I'm adding something more! I'm adding taking "small steps" to a closer relationship with our LIVING Lord. I'm adding time with God, in God's Word AND in prayer. For those in worship, here, this morning (and the next two Sundays) I'm giving 'prayer cards' with a "new" prayer.
This morning's prayer card is a "new" version of the Lord's prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13 in the Common English Bible. This translation gives us "Uphold the holiness of your name" and "give us the bread we need for today." This translation helps us think of this prayer for "facing the giants" we are all facing now, today, in today's language so we can take the "small steps" to feeling God's presence with us.
Our Gospel reading, this morning is John 18:36 & 37 where Jesus is pointing out, to Pilot (and us!) He came into the world to "testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." (v. 37) So......... Do we really believe that when we are facing "our giants" - the busy schedule, the phone call we weren't expecting, the new tests that have been ordered, the new treatment, the uncertainty of waiting for results? Can we take the "small steps" to strengthen our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit?
Small steps, taking a few minutes DAILY to be with God, in God's Word AND in prayer for the closer relationship with God is where I think this "new" year should start. Small steps, starting now in Advent, we can continue to take from "now on." Small steps for the stronger relationship with the Savior whose birth we are preparing to celebrate while looking for His coming again. Small steps - can we at least try it?!