According to a recent report from the BBC News, inhabitants of a village in northern Nigeria are celebrating the renaming of their village. The old name of the town was “Area of Idiots.” Wonder why they wanted to change it? “Area of Idiots.” The new name of the village is “Area of Plenty.” I believe you will agree with me that’s an improvement.
The local emir announced the name change after residents complained that they had been mocked for years because of that name and were ashamed to tell people where they came from. “It was shameful telling people outside I come from ‘Area of Idiots,’” said one resident.
The village, in Kano state in Nigeria, gained its initial name about 70 years ago when people settled close to a river known as the Idiotic River. It is not clear why the river has that name.
How many of your New Year’s Resolutions have made it intact through the first full week of 2021? Have you missed a day of exercise yet? Have you stuck to your diet? Are you texting less, communicating more, never gossiping, always telling the truth? Most “resolutions” we make are self-directed: things like get thinner, work smarter, be stronger, take control of your life. We want to make changes that will help us, improve us and bring us good feelings about ourselves.
What if instead of trying to live resolutions that make us feel good about ourselves we actually resolve to live in a way that makes God feel good about us? What if we resolve to live a life that brings pleasure to God?
First of all, we are none of us Jesus, so we will make mistakes. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try, with God’s help, to live with resolve in 2021, that kind of resolve that means in January of 2022, God can look back at our year of living and declare “Your life brings Me great pleasure. Well done good and faithful friend.”
MATTHEW 2: 1-12
One of the venerable old saints of the church jumped up and stomped out of the annual Christmas play being held at the church. The minister couldn't figure out what was wrong so she hurried after him. When she caught up with the old man in the parking lot and asked what was wrong she was told, "Preacher, I've gone along with a lot of changes through the years, but this thing tonight just went too far, I mean who ever heard of the three wise men walking up to the baby Jesus in the manger and presenting him with....gift certificates."