As I prepare this post I am aware that it will be posted on New Years Day. We stand at the beginning of 2010 looking not only at a New Year, but at a new decade full of promise and possibilities. For some of us this will be exciting, but others will approach it with trepidation and probably most of us stand on this threshold with a mix of emotions and reactions.1. What will you gladly leave behind in 2009?
It is at this time of year that many (British) Methodist Churches celebrate their Annual Covenant Service, a service that will include this prayer:
I am no longer my own but yours,
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you;
let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours.
May it be so forever.
Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven. AMEN
This prayer is said every year, and offers every member an opportunity to renew their covenant with God. This is no soft or easy prayer, it states in the company of others our willingness to worship God come what may, not that we should become doormats, but that we place God above all else. ( And every year if we are honest we have to acknowledge that we fail).
With this prayer in mind I bring you this Friday Five:
I gladly leave behind my mistakes and failures of 20009 in hopes that I have learned what I needed from them.
2. What is the biggest challenge of 2010 for you?
My biggest challenge of 2010 is to honor this body as a gift from God. I have not treated it well and I want to live well, for God, for myself, for my family and friends. I want to be around as LONG as possible so I can shake things up for God!
3. Is there anything that you simply need to hand to God and say "all will be well, for you are with me"?
Everything! Specifically, the commissioning process. I keep saying that I trust God, just not the church but perhaps God is asking me to stop being rude and cynical and to trust the churh, trust the process.
4. If you could only achieve one thing in 2010 what would it be?
Hmmm....ONE thing? Lead the churches I serve to be missional churches, that it becomes part of our church DNA.
5. Post a picture, poem or song that sums up your prayer for the year ahead....
Sally never makes things easy! ;)
PS. We prayed our Wesleyan Covenant Prayer this past Sunday and here is the revision/modern translation I wrote,
A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition, Revised(updated language by Rev. Crystal Karr)
I belong not only to myself but to You, Holy One.
I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll befriend whoever you ask.
Give me a good life, give me a hard life.
Let me work and earn all that I need for me and my family,
or let me struggle to provide for myself and my family.
Never let me experience hunger or let me starve.
Give me all kinds of stuff or give me nothing.
I will take everything that you give me—wealth or poverty and I will dedicate my life and livelihood to You.
Wondrous and amazing God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, You belong to me, and I belong to You.
Let us always belong to one another.
Let this prayer and promise I’ve made this day be blessed and sealed by You and all of heaven, as an everlasting contract between us.