Thursday, January 6, 2022

Hello 2022!


Hello 2022!

I'm ready for a new year, but unfortuneately it is starting just as 2021 did. We can only pray and hope that it ends in a different manner. Two weeks ago, when asked by my friend, Bernice Hopper, if I had selected a word for 2022, I said that I had not. At that time, since nothing had come to me, I was content to think I may go for a year without a guiding word. I didn't want to force it or simply select a word becausee I "had to" have a word. But then as I slowed down after weeks of being busy, a word appeared and began to take shape as the days progressed to the close of 2021.

My word for 2022 is 'formed'.

To be formed, according to Webster's, is the act of giving form or shape to something; to come into existence or being. It's root word, form, is at the heart of so many significant words: spiritual formation, transformation, transform, inform, information, reform, conform, format, perform, formidable, formulate. Plus some newer words I am ready to explore such as cruciform and Christoformity.

Formation is at the heart of the life of those who are in Christ, for the goal of our life is to spend our life in the process of being formed into the image of Christ. We see this call on us throughout Paul's writings. A few examples are:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters." Romans 8:28-29

"...until Christ is formed in you." Galatians 4:19

My desire this year is to continue to be formed by the Word of God. To continue to dig deeper in Bible study, and this year, to also dig deeper into theological reading. We are continually being shaped and formed by something - our relationships, politics, the culture, family systems, entertainment, life experiences, etc. But as Christ-followers we must choose to be formed by God, who calls us to be formed in increasing measure into the likeness or image of Christ. 

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18

To be spiritually formed in His image we need to be formed by God's Word, by His Spirit, by our faith community, by those more matrure in Christ, by theology, and by serving and loving others. It is God's Word that reveals to us how and why we are to be shaped by all of these things.

I so enjoy taking words or passages from the Bible, studying them and then putting it together with some form of creative expression, such as what I do for the Advent Words and other Words challenges. However, doing a daily study, art and blog post is something I can only handle for a month at a time periodically through the year. This year I thought I would do something a little different to keep myself going in this habit on a more continal basis, and to go along with my goal to be formed by the Word and my word of the year. I thought I would try to do this weekly, posting on Fridays. I'm not going to generate a set list of words in advance as I do for a daily challenge, but rather take the words out of whatever I'm studying at the time. I'm going to start this month with the first Words post on January 14 and see how this flows with my schedule.

If you would like to join along, you can read my Words posts on Fridays and respond creativly, maybe even doing your own study of the word for that week. You can then share how you respond in the Words Challenge Facebook Group and/or on social media with #formedbytheword and #wordsartandfaithgroup.

Have you selected a word for 2022? If so, please feel free to share in the comments section below otr in the Words Challenge Facebook Group.

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