Friday, January 2, 2009

Placing Ourselves into the Hands of God

Here is a wonderful covenant prayer for the new year from my own Wesleyan tradition:

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 for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy 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.

I believe that God is moving people to step out of the "little picture" of their lives and look beyond into the bigger picture of mystery and grace. This is my prayer for me, and for us who are on this quest.

I have decided that my task as a pastor is not to provide excellent programs, make the numbers, or please everybody. My central task is to help people embrace a bigger mystery: to step out of life as we know it into the world of the Spirit, to find the deepest blessings in a transformed perception about things already before us, and to open themselves to the lifelong process of being formed in the image of Christ from one degree of glory to another.

May this be a year of placing ourselves into the hands of God more fully, more completely.