Old Year’s Resolutions: A Christian Perspective

Old Year’s Resolutions:  A Christian Perspective
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Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

The Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes is the Minister of Maple Grove United Church, and is a member of the Interfaith Councill of Halton. A chatty extrovert with a conversational preaching style, a multi-tasker who is a “multi-worrier” when it comes to caring about people’s problems, and a leader who treasures teaming with the lay people in her church, Morar says that at Maple Grove she has experienced “a deeper level of ministry than I thought possible.” Anyone who has personally received Morar’s deeply compassionate caring and wise counsel will testify to what an inspirational, healing and encouraging ministry it is.

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I like to get a head start on my New Year’s Resolutions. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I sort, organize, clean like it’s spring, and exercise like I’m getting ready to go to the beach.

This year I realize that it’s not about the beginning of a new year. It’s that it is the end of the old one.

Endings are much more important than beginnings. A marriage begins in glorious romance, but the miracle is not love at first sight. The miracle is love after fifty years.

Jesus spoke about the end times as a promise: He would come back to “gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24.31)

He doesn’t tell us what we should be doing, apart from being alert, because the end may come at any time.

Death, the ultimate end, shifts our priorities much more than a new year. As Samuel Johnson put it, “the prospect of being hanged focuses the mind wonderfully.”

If we disregard the end, we can sometimes get into trouble. Lance Armstrong had a strong beginning and middle, but when at the end, it is revealed that he was doping all along, the sad end is all that is remembered.

In his life as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis made decisions in disciplining two priests for their work in the slums that reflected their commitment to a liberation theology. Many felt his actions contributed to their kidnapping and torture, and his actions today are very different as a result of his regret. He wanted his end to be very different than his beginning.

In this last week of the year, think about endings. What can you do in this last week that will bring you closer to God? Don’t waste the end days!


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