Friday, January 01, 2010

Fresh Starts and Covenants - a New Year Friday Five

Sally of the RevGals writes thus:
We stand at the beginning of 2010 looking not only at a New Year, but at a new decade full of promise and possibilities. For some of us this will be exciting, but others will approach it with trepidation and probably most of us stand on this threshold with a mix of emotions and reactions.

It is at this time of year that many (British) Methodist Churches celebrate their Annual Covenant Service, a service that will include this prayer:

I am no longer my own but yours,
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now glorious and blessed God,
Father , Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
May it be so forever.
Let this covenant now made on earth
be fulfilled in heaven. AMEN

This prayer is said every year, and offers every member an opportunity to renew their covenant with God. This is no soft or easy prayer, it states in the company of others our willingness to worship God come what may, not that we should become doormats, but that we place God above all else. ( And every year if we are honest we have to acknowledge that we fail).

With this prayer in mind I bring you this Friday Five:

1. What will you gladly leave behind in 2009?
The diary that was in charge of me...This year will be the one in which I am in charge of the diary. I have a red pen and a steely resolve - I too nearly came unstuck, close to vanishing under mountains of self-inflicted overwork at points last autumn,  and I'd have only myself to blame if that came to pass.
But I can say No.
Even to things to which I believe I should say Yes.
And if I do, I might just survive long enough to be useful.

2. What is the biggest challenge of 2010 for you?
Sitting light to the tyranny of the immediate and learning to tell people when they aren't pulling their weight, rather than simply taking up their slack myself.

3. Is there anything that you simply need to hand to God and say "all will be well, for you are with me"?
One decision in particular which seems to be between "bad" and "not good"...even not making it is fraught with difficulties.

4. If you could only achieve one thing in 2010 what would it be?
Letting go of the need to achieve...

5. Post a picture, poem or song that sums up your prayer for the year ahead....

Lord, teach me to live today.
Help me to see that love and holiness have dirty feet
through dancing joyfully about the earth, hands joined in yours.
That life with you is whole and holy;
That everything I do
can bear your imprint
can be coloured by your love. 

(Eddie Askew, from "Breaking the Rules" pub The Leprosy Mission, 1992)


Sally said...

Love that Askew quote, and hope the diary is gone never to return!

Mrs Redboots (Annabel Smyth) said...

That Covenant prayer is so terrifying. And I have to say it next Sunday (not tomorrow).... pray for me!

Cal said...

Thanks for sharing the Covenant prayer (thoughI agree, terrifying) and a big Yay for diary control and prayers for decision making.

Jan said...

That quote is so good that I'm copying it for an opening meditation of the book club I lead each Tuesday. Thanks. Hoping your new year is what you want!

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Dirty Dancing, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.