I have heard significantly less about New Year’s resolutions this year than any year I can remember. It could be I am just not listening as much. My hunch is we are not talking about resolutions because we are not considering making changes in our lives this year. As the holidays were approaching, I heard countless people call for a cease in conflict on social media and around family tables. People have felt pressure on all fronts with politics leading the way as an area we just need a break from for a few days. Many outside and yet influential parts of our society seem outside our control. Stress does that to us as individuals and as a society. Stress robs us of the precious moments we need to imagine a different reality than the one we are struggling to survive in. It would make sense with so many people feeling pressure outside they really didn’t take the time to reflect internally on ways God was calling us to make changes in 2020.
In times like this, I am grateful to be a part of a Church which celebrates our Christian tradition and takes advantage of the spiritual growth of our spiritual ancestors. John Wesley (the founder of the Methodist movement) popularized a covenant prayer he adapted from unknown sources. The idea was for a person or group of people to pray with God and to use this prayer to orient one’s life toward God’s purposes over one’s own. I offer it to you now as a resource for all of us. I particularly offer it for those of you who feel like you just haven’t had time to reflect on how God is calling you specifically to make changes in 2020. For authenticity sake, I am going to leave in the “thou,” “thee,” and “wilt” language. Just put in You, Yours, will, etc., and it should read better.
See you Sunday!
Blessings in Christ,
A Covenant Prayer
I AM NO LONGER MY OWN, BUT THINE.
PUT ME TO WHAT THOU WILT, RANK ME WITH WHOM THOU WILT.
PUT ME TO DOING, PUT ME TO SUFFERING.
LET ME BE EMPLOYED BY THEE OR LAID ASIDE FOR THEE,
EXALTED FOR THEE OR BROUGHT LOW BY THEE.
LET ME BE FULL, LET ME EMPTY.
LET ME HAVE ALL THINGS, LET ME HAVE NOTHING.
I FREELY AND HEARTILY YIELD ALL THINGS TO
THY GOOD PLEASURE AND DISPOSAL.
AND NOW, O GLORIOUS AND BLESSED GOD,
FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT,
THOU ART MINE AND I AM THINE.
SO BE IT. AND THE COVENANT WHICH I HAVE
MADE ON EARTH, LET IT BE RATIFIED IN HEAVEN.
Wesleyan Tradition UMH #607