Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year

by Jenny

Yes, it’s New Year’s Eve and I am at home writing for Life at Luther. I guess my social life isn’t as bustling as it used to be, but I’m ok with that. Going out on New Year’s Eve gets pretty crazy, and the freezing rain we’ve been having in Minnesota today doesn’t help.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, or even on noticing that we’re entering a new calendar year. I tend to be more reflective around my birthday, or other significant dates in my life. Therefore, I don’t have any deep insights right now—I’m just excited for whatever this new year brings, and especially excited that the days are getting longer again!

I’ve spent a good part of this post-Christmas week reading for my January term class, which starts on Monday. I’m through most of the reading for the first week, and am finding that I’m more excited about the class than I originally thought. It’s a systematic theology class, Jesus the Savior. I guess that’s an important topic and should be exciting, as dense as the readings are sometimes. Some of the language brings back memories of my days as a philosophy major, so it’s not altogether a foreign language. Yet the challenge is what I talked about in an earlier post—studying a deep and endless topic in such a way as to make it accessible and relevant to ministry in the church.

Speaking of the church…one of the new things I look forward to this year is helping to teach the Discover Jesus class at my church that I had been observing this fall, and which prompted my post about making theology practical. It’s one thing to sit on the sidelines taking notes and observing participants, wondering if they are “getting it,” and quite another to be handed a topic such as “Why did Jesus have to die?” and figuring out how you would explain it. I have yet to meet with the teaching team at my church to see who will be teaching which topics, but whatever I end up with, I expect it to be a great opportunity to put into practice all that I’m learning in seminary, keeping in mind the diverse audience of largely new believers that attend the class.

So, I am not making any grand long-term goals for the New Year—just taking it one step at a time. Between a J-term intensive class and preparing to participate more actively at my church starting in February, I have plenty to do for the moment. Besides, recently many things in my life seem to change last minute, or turn out quite differently than I expected, so I am learning to wait and not hold on to plans with a very tight grip. The planner in me hates that, but it does make room for the unexpected, which is often better than what I had planned!


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