Dreams, Friendships and Memories. That was the theme of the 2011 Rose Bowl Parade. Every year, the tradition in my house is watching the parade. We love to “ooh” and “aah” at the beautiful floats and wonder where the creative energy to craft such masterpieces springs from. We marvel that all the floats are created out of flowers and natural materials. One year, during a trip to California, we saw the floats in person. While they looked smaller than on television, nothing could detract from their stunning splendor.
This year’s theme, though, made a greater impact on me than the floats. Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories. Isn’t that exactly what Christ is calling us to do? He certainly placed the utmost importance on friendships. He did ministry in a group of twelve, and reached out to outcasts such as the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene. Life in Christ is lived on a higher plane because of His overflowing forgiveness, love and guidance. We follow Him not because of a dusty theology, but because of His lavish relationship with us.
And what about dreams? Christ knows we have aspirations and wants to help us achieve them. While He isn’t a magical genie ready to answer every wish, John 10:10 says, “I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” The life He gives right now is richer and fuller. It is eternal, yet it begins immediately. He gives us God-sized dreams and then walks alongside us giving us the strength to achieve them.
Memories are probably the easiest. In the Old Testament, altars were built in remembrance of God’s covenant with His people. Noah built one after the flood had subsided. Abraham built an altar after Isaac was spared. An altar was built in the temple. In the New Testament, when Jesus broke the bread and drank the wine with His disciples the night before He died, He asked that we “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) In all the uncertainties of today, Christ asks us to hold steadfastly onto one very special memory – the one of Him.
The floats at the Rose Parade will be withered and dying (or dead) in a few days. Just like the floats, our days on earth are also numbered. We must make the most of the time we have hear. There are many uncertainties in our world but what matters most will never change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Because of this, I know how I am going to spend 2011. Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories safe in the arms of Jesus.