This past Advent we sang a song in worship by Matt Maher, called “Glory (Let There Be Peace)”. I loved the chorus enough that I decided to use it after the New Year with WAM (Sheridan’s 1-5 grade praise team) even though it is a Christmas song. One phrase, “Singing glory, glory; let there be peace, let it start in me,” struck me as a particularly great teaching moment for our 1st-5th graders. “Let’s have a discussion about what would happen if you saw someone yell mean words at a classmate on the playground.” “What are the different ways you could respond?” “Are the things that you would want to say or do, the same things that God would want you to say or do?”
Pastor Rhonda kicked off our Worship Series, “Emotional Intelligence & God’s Wisdom Within”, by focusing on self-awareness. She mentioned how Isaiah had to look at himself in order to be what God needed him to be. She talked about the disciples and how Jesus asked them to not worry about how others were living, but instead just follow him and be his people. She reminded us to focus on the fruits of the spirit and draw strength from them.
All of these examples from the Bible, ultimately lead back to looking at our own behavior, our thought process, our emotional tendencies. How do we respond to issues that arise? How do we respond to people who we disagree with? Does our presence increase the anxiety of the situation, or do we diffuse it? Can we have conversations without adding to the drama?
As the new decade begins, consider using these faith talk questions (found every week in your bulletin) for reflection and teaching moments with your family:
– Is there a time you were made acutely aware of your emotional shortcomings or mistakes? What contributed to this? Have you practiced forgiveness? If not, have mercy, be gentle on yourself and start now.
– Both Isaiah and Jesus speak of awareness of self. When have you practiced self-awareness? What difference did it make in your life?
– As 2020 begins, a new decade awaits. What lies ahead 10 years in your future? How can your emotional self-awareness help you grow as a person and closer to God?
As the new year begins, help us to want to be the best version of ourselves, the version that you had in mind when you created us. Open our hearts to areas where we need to grow. Strengthen us where we are weak. Wrap us in your unfailing love. Do this all so that the name of your precious Son would be glorified. And then we can sing, Glory! Glory! Let there be peace, and let it begin with me. In His Mighty, Precious and Saving name, Amen.
Written by Julie Anderson
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor,‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”
Julie Anderson is a member of Sheridan’s Devotion Writing Team. She works part-time as Sheridan’s Children’s Music Coordinator where she is passionate about teaching children to use their musical gifts to praise God. Julie is married to Scott and counts her greatest honor as being mom to Adrienne, Eliot and Elise.