Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." John 8:12

Today is a day for making resolutions for the coming year. Many people will resolve to lose weight, exercise more.....the lists go on and on. I prefer to ponder the past year and pray for help in giving up the things I cannot change. I am always ready to start a new chapter, a new year and find it much easier to start when the slate is clean. I loved playing with an etch-a-sketch when I was a kid. I loved the fact that you could make a mistake and hold the thing over your head and shake away the mistakes. Rather than making resolutions, I want to let go of the plans I had, the mistakes I made - all the things I cannot change now - put them over my head and shake until the screen is clear again. Now I don't have an etch-a-sketch for life but I do know I can wipe the slate clean by turning them over to God in prayer.

This is a time of year when there is so much darkness and little light, Jesus comes to us in the darkness of our season, when we are overburdened with the plans and mistakes that have plagues the recent past. He comes into our midst and asks us to give our burdens to him. What is done is done and it is God's. What will happen this year is in God's hands also. In the swirl of confusion and anticipation we can daily turn our troubles, our burdens to Jesus and walk in the light. The other night, arriving at my mother's house, I was overburdened with luggage and packages from Christmas. I almost didn't look up. In my mother's small town by the ocean the heavens were exploding with stars. Light surrounded me and my burden almost prohibited me from seeing, from looking up. May this New Year's Eve be a time for us all to resolve to let Jesus in to our lives. To let the light of Christ into our darkened hearts. To let go of our burdens and give them to God in prayer. May we together make a resolution to pray and unburden our hearts so that we might walk in the light. So that we might truly know in 2009 that God is constantly acting on our behalf, strengthening our faith and giving us light to walk in. May we all let go of the burdens to Jesus. He has carried them for others, and will carry them for us, until the burden and the anxiety fade away in the light of Christ.

A Prayer for the New Year

Dear God,
My life is so full but I want to make room for more love;
Help me to let go of my burdens and entrust them to you.
My heart is broken and I can't seem to put the pieces together;
Take my broken pieces and form me again in Your image.
My hands are holding so many hopes I cannot cling to you;
Enfold my hands in Your hands so that I might offer myself to You.

Give me enough for each day, and a measure more so I can share.
Fill me with faith enough to let go of control and to follow You.
Make me a vessel of Your love in the world so I might sing Your praises all year long.
Help me when I stumble and fall to remember Your arms await me.

I ask this all in the name of Jesus, Your son, who with the Holy Spirit has come into the world
so that everyone is part of the immediate family of God. Amen.

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