Photo by Mike Tinnion on Unsplash

I am a big fan of new beginnings – new blank notebooks, sunrises, freshly tilled garden beds ready for planting. The new year, of course, feels like a brand new beginning even though in reality it is just the turning of the calendar. As people of faith, we have the gift of being people of new beginnings, second chances, resurrection. The trick, I think, is to believe it. Do we believe that every day as we rise we are beloved children of God? Do we believe that forgiveness is for us, just as God’s promises? Do we believe that we are more than the sum of our actions, that we are worthy of God’s grace and love simply because God chooses to love us?  Just as New Year resolutions often are forgotten by February, we too forget that we are people of new beginnings and fall back into the lies that we are not good enough, not forgivable. What if this year was different?  As we live into this New Year, may we remember that we belong to the one who makes all things new. 

In Peace and Hope, Pastor Ruth

A poem for your day. 

The Year as a House: A Blessing, by Jan Richardson

Think of the year
as a house:
door flung wide
in welcome,
threshold swept
and waiting,
a graced spaciousness
opening and offering itself
to you.

Let it be blessed
in every room.
Let it be hallowed
in every corner.
Let every nook
be a refuge
and every object
set to holy use.

Let it be here
that safety will rest.
Let it be here
that health will make its home.
Let it be here
that peace will show its face.
Let it be here
that love will find its way.

let the weary come
let the aching come
let the lost come
let the sorrowing come.

let them find their rest
and let them find their soothing
and let them find their place
and let them find their delight.

And may it be
in this house of a year
that the seasons will spin in beauty,
and may it be
in these turning days
that time will spiral with joy.

And may it be
that its rooms will fill
with ordinary grace
and light spill from every window
to welcome the stranger home.

Community prayer: From Richard Rohr
O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.