Soon, we will (or perhaps we already have) see and hear what people are resolving to accomplish in the next year. In the past few years, I’ve noticed a new way to make resolutions. Along with resolution statements, some people are selecting a “word for the year.” Some resolution makers see this word selection as a word from God or some self-proclaiming prophecy.
A New Word for the New Year
I’ve seen words such as resilient, vision, peace, or presence selected. I have no idea how the year went for those who selected those words. I’m certain, however, that their whole year was filled with peace. I’m sure there were times when they felt scattered instead of present. Regardless of how strong we are, there are times in life when we are broken instead of resilient. We often have a plan for what the next year will be like, but reality always looks different than the plans we make.
As with many trends, I jumped in and participated in selecting a “word for the year.” I didn’t see it as a way to prophesy about my upcoming year or as a word from God. I can’t even recall what word I selected at the beginning of 2021. I’m a writer, and I love words. It seemed like a natural way to make a resolution without getting overwhelmed. Despite not being able to remember the word I selected a year ago, I did find it helpful when looking at the work of my different vocations. It was a practical tool for organizing my upcoming year and deciding what could reasonably be accomplished.
The Word for 2022: Jesus
While some may find this trend helpful, we do not need to select a word for the new year. We already have the Word, Jesus, who has given Himself to us. His work on our behalf provides everything we need.
John 1:1–5; 14–18 reads:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. . . .
The word we need this year and next year is and always has been Jesus. The Word created us, shines on us, became flesh and dwelt among us, revealed His glory, made us right with our heavenly Father, and gives us grace upon grace.
We cannot choose a word and create or prophesy peace, resilience, or any other concept we imagine. The Word, Jesus, is the only one who can create good things in our lives. He uses us, His creation, to serve one another. We rely on the Word and His pronunciation of forgiveness in our lives.
We do not need to choose a word because the Word has given Himself to us.
Because of the work of the Word, Christ, we begin each day, week, month, and year from a place of forgiveness. In that forgiveness, we have the freedom to set goals, work in our vocations, and serve our neighbors because of the work the Word does in our lives.
Dive into the Word and Jesus during the new year with a Bible study following the Gospels. Jesus: A Study on the Words of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John will help give you a picture of Jesus’ life.