New YearNew Every Morning | January 1, 2021
How shall we enter the new year? For most of us, it is not an either/or, black/white, this road/that road clear choice. We enter filled with great expectations and a touch of worry. We enter with a bundle of hope and a measure of doubt; a bold new plan and a few details not yet conceived. We are a mixture of past and future, abundant joy and lingering sorrow. We strive to be fully alive and awake each day without any guarantees. Except, we do not travel alone. Christmas is the sign and the promise that God has bent low to be with us.
—Larry J. Peacock, The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis (Upper Room Books, 2018)
What will you carry with you into the New Year? Join the conversation.
Don’t fear, because I am with you;
don’t be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
I will surely help you;
I will hold you
with my righteous strong hand.
—Isaiah 41:10 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Creator God, Give me wisdom to learn from the blessings, stresses, and sorrows of all that lies behind, and give me the strength and hope to press on to what lies ahead.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
New Year’s Day
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I suppose hope could be the thing that carries each individual on the earth forward into this new year. I believe we are all a bit less innocent as well. We recognize that our entire world, literally, and our lives can be turned upside down and inside out overnight. We realize our health and security are not something to be taken lightly and should be cherished as the God given gifts they are. I suppose along with hope we should enter the new year with a renewed gratirude for each moment and each blessing and recognize each moment’s blessings and relishh them.
Prayers for each and every person who commetns or simply visits this warm meeting place of friends. Prayers for those who keep the site up and running and choose the valuable and insightful missives that greet us each new morning. May we each glorify our Lord on each of the new mornings we are granted this coming year.
May God richly bless you all…in our Lord Jesus’ name Amen
I so appreciate the author going “there”…the either/or place vs. the both/and place. I find myself continually moving toward the both/and end of the spectrum. As I ponder the concept of being a spiritual being living in a human existence currently…I believe being comfortable and even authentic with both/and in many situations is necessary thing. I can be weary and have a deep, residing joy. I can question God and have abiding trust. I can lament and worship – for I believe honest, gut-felt lament is one of the purest forms of worship. I can love a person while not liking them in the moment.
I walked with my friend twice this week – and it was great to catch up on life and to also bounce things off of each other. I posed to her the question…as I shoveled my driveway (I have a shared driveway with my neighbor) and was utterly irritated that I was shoveling her side as well, including shoveling out her car, did that disqualify my good act, because I was grumbling and muttering in my spirit most of the time. Was God glorified by my good “act” or was it all filthy rags because of my miserable attitude. Is this an either/or scenario or a both/and scenario. (There’s much more backstory to this situation with my neighbor.)
So, when we do things we “know” we are “supposed” to do and our attitude is poor (to say the least) – what does God do with that? I guess He’s doing a lot – because this is the second time I have posed this question in 3 days…
It is good to know He is always working. May I be open to His transformative work. Not just open, but welcome it, desire it, plead for more of it.
Will be going over to my friend’s place this afternoon – the one who I travel with. We are missing our time at the beach together. She said to come on over, that she would make a big batch of calamari. She always made a wonderful New Year’s Eve dinner – we enjoyed eating in and not being out with the masses. I dearly missed my New Year’s Eve tradition of going down to the beach and sitting under the stars – retracing the steps of the year with God. It just wasn’t the same last night in my home. I am glad to be able to spend time with her and her dogs this afternoon, and take in a little football.