Sunday, December 1, 2013
Image: George Mendoza
(On the church calendar, the mystery of Christ's saving love is unfolded through the liturgical seasons. This begins with Advent, a time to prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, God's Word made flesh in Jesus. So, on the church calendar, the first Sunday of Advent is the beginning of a "new year of grace.")
Good morning, good God!
With Advent begins a new year of grace, Lord,
the grace that is yours to give and ours to receive...
In this new year I want to offer you
an open door to my heart
for you to enter and make your home there...
I offer you the corners of my heart's garden
where I let the weeds grow wild:
Lord, help me weed out
whatever does not nourish my life and my soul...
I offer you the closets of my heart,
stuffed with old grudges and resentments:
Lord, help me discard anything
that fails to help me heal and grow...
I offer you my heart's cartons of wasted time,
boxes of foolishness
and bags of misspent effort:
Lord, help me clear out the trash of my mistakes
and give me a new beginning...
I offer you the cellar of my heart, Lord,
where a locked trunk of hurt and anger
aches to be opened with the key of your healing grace:
unlock what keeps me prisoner
to my memories and disappointments...
I offer you my heart's hopes and dreams, Lord,
for this new year of grace:
my pledge to pray more regularly;
my desire to grow in your love;
my need to rely on your wisdom and word;
my promise to ask for your help each day;
my hope to be more forgiving of those who offend me,
more faithful in serving others' needs,
more welcoming of those who are alone...
I offer you this new year of grace, Lord,
and ask for the strength and resolve I need to live it
as one worthy of the name Christian,
ready for the work of a disciple,
confident of your presence in everything I do
and in all I meet and know...
I offer you the new year ahead, Lord
- one day at a time -
and I pray for the serenity and grace
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference...
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Posted by Concord Pastor at 11:00 PM