A Prayer for New Beginnings
In his book Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth (Fortress Press), Walter Brueggemann writes in an Epiphany poem:
... this is a time to be born.
So we turn to you, God of our life, God of all our years,
God of our beginning....
We dare pray that you will do for us and among us and through us
what is needful for our newness. Give us the power to be receptive,
to take the newness you give.... There is a time to be born, and it is now.
We sense the pangs and groans of your newness.
Come here now in the name of Jesus. Amen.
How fitting that the Epiphany season and the new year coincide! Epiphany reveals a new King, the beginning of his ministry, his new disciples,his first healings, his “new teaching — with authority” (Mark 1:27). We, too, experience newness, now and year-round. But newness can be tough. So we trust that God, who “[makes] all things new” while banishing “mourning and crying and pain” (Revelation 21:4-5), walks with us in this new year — and always.
Tired of making small talk at church about the weather or sports? Then follow Edward Welch’s advice to “enter in” to the lives of your fellow worshipers.
A church goer once asked Welch, author of Caring for One Another(Crossway), two simple yet profound questions: “What was the best thing about your week, and what was the worst thing about your week?” About a month later,when some issues were weighing heavily on Welch’s heart, he wondered who’d bewilling to pray for him. Immediately, the person who’d asked him those two questions came to mind.
When worshipers are willing to enjoy one another’s blessings and be burdened by one another’s difficulties, Welch says, the body of Christ gets built up.
“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.
“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”
—Henry David Thoreau
“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone's life. Be the light that helps others see.”
—Roy T. Bennett
Articles from Communication Resources NewsletterNewsletter January 2019 edition.