Greetings in Christ, youth members and everyone reading this!
Can you believe that 2023 has already started whether we like it or not!? Let's be honest and real with each other - was 2022 the year that you thought or hoped for? Maybe, maybe not? I know personally, 2022 brought a roller-coaster of ups and downs and turns. Or what I like to call these ups and downs and turns as learning experiences. Every year that last week in December it seems that everyone starts planning and making New Years resolutions - how long they last; seems to depend on the person. This year in 2023, after pondering in the whole month of December, I decided my New Years resolution is to be BOLD in 2023.
What does it mean to be BOLD in 2023? Well, if we do some googling, we find the definition of bold is to be courageous, confident, and fearless; ready to take risk. Showing or requiring courage. That type of resolution seems like a whole attitude change right? Well, yes it is; however if we look at Jesus's life and teachings - he was BOLD. Let's take a look at my favorite story of Jesus being BOLD.
Feeding of the five thousand
1 After this Jesus went across the Galilee Sea (that is, the Tiberias Sea). 2 A large crowd followed him, because they had seen the miraculous signs he had done among the sick. 3 Jesus went up a mountain and sat there with his disciples. 4 It was nearly time for Passover, the Jewish festival.
5 Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, “Where will we buy food to feed these people?” 6 Jesus said this to test him, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip replied, “More than a half year’s salary worth of food wouldn’t be enough for each person to have even a little bit.”
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, 9 “A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that for a crowd like this?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted. 12 When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten.
14 When the people saw that he had done a miraculous sign, they said, “This is truly the prophet who is coming into the world.” 15 Jesus understood that they were about to come and force him to be their king, so he took refuge again, alone on a mountain. (John 6:1-15 CEB)
Can you imagine what Jesus must have felt with this crowed of people following him because of the ministry work that he has done so far? Not sure about you but I would be pretty nervous. However, what did Jesus do? He was BOLD - Jesus was courageous, confident, fearless, ready to take a risk. Let's take a look at his disciples, seems like they were not BOLD yet. They were concerned and worried about where they are going to get all this food to feed all these people - and the cost alone was going to be more the a half years salary. Jesus was ready to take risk and multiplied the bread and fish and fed that crowd.
So how can we be BOLD like Jesus in 2023? Well, no matter how hard we try, we don't magically change overnight - we have to make a habit of being BOLD. Here are a few things you can do to be BOLD.
Live Generously - Volunteer your time with a non-profit organization, whether that is a church or some other organization by helping out with ministry opportunities.
Love Radically - We all face struggles and hardships in our lives. We all know people who have wronged us or have hurt us in many ways. This might be hard but forgive them. Love radically those people who have different points of view than you, or dress differently than you.
I'll close this out with this, one of my favorite Christian bands - Hillsong Young & Free have a song called World Outside Your Window - in the song the chorus goes like this...
It’s not time to be silent
Don’t you dare hide your light
There’s a world outside your window
So don’t let it pass you by
Lift your hands to the heavens
Lift your voice to the sky
Praise the lord of all creation
Let his name be lifted high - (Hillsong Young & Free "World Outside Your Window")