New Year and Covenants

Over at RevGalBlogPals there has been talk of resolutions and covenants.  Sally said:

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).

Then she asks these 5 questions.  (Why don’t you cut and paste and have a go yourself?)

1. What will you gladly leave behind in 2009?

Bouts of ill health which were not terribly serious but were annoying. Nicotine which I still miss daily but being smoke free for 6 months now I have to acknowledge that I am now a non-smoker and do feel better for it.

2. What is the biggest challenge of 2010 for you?

As ever, it is about managing time and trying to get that balance of work and play and family time and reading space.  Definitely need more of the latter!  And to achieve these things it means saying No to some things and that is often hard.

3. Is there anything that you simply need to hand to God and say “all will be well, for you are with me”?

Yes. (Not for blogging though!) So much so that I now wear a bracelet with Mother Julian’s motto written on it.

4. If you could only achieve one thing in 2010 what would it be?

To listen to God more.

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

Lord, take my heart and break it:
break it not in the way I would like,
but in the way you know to be best.
And, because it is you who break it,
I will not be afraid,
for in your hands all is safe and I am safe.
Lord, take my heart and give to it your joy,
not in the ways I like,
but in the ways you know are best,
that your joy may be fulfilled in me.
So, dear Lord, I am ready to be your deacon,
ready to be your priest.

Michael Ramsay 1904-1988 Ordination Prayer

(By the way, on Sunday I think we at St Mark’s will use the Covenant Prayer in place of the Creed.)


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