Newsletter Article

From the January 2009 edition of The Parish Visitor:

A View From the Pulpit: a New Year Covenant Prayer
Rev. Jennifer Collins

This week marks the beginning of a new calendar year. And if you’re anything like me, it may take you a few weeks to get used to writing 2009 instead of 2008. As with any new thing, it takes time to get used to it. With the new year and the resolutions that often accompany it, we may find ourselves promising to make changes or resolving to do things differently. And more often than not, we tend to make resolutions to take better care of ourselves, whether that is eating better or exercising more or getting rid of some bad habit. A resolution to take better care of ourselves is one way we can be good stewards of God’s good creation.

In the Christian Year, the new year started just over a month ago with the beginning of Advent. The beginning of the Christian Year begins by celebrating the advent, or the coming of Christ as a baby into the world, and looking forward to Christ’s second coming when all things will be put right in the world. During Advent we remembered Mary and Joseph, ordinary people called by God to do extraordinary things. On Christmas Eve we celebrated that the Light has come into the world and the darkness has not overcome it.

In the midst of all of the New Year celebrations, it is fitting that this Sunday Rev. Jack Gregory will be sharing with you what we call, “A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition.” The Covenant Prayer is a prayer we pray to once again commit ourselves to following Christ. It is a prayer that asks God to use us as God’s servants. It is a prayer to affirm our covenant with God. Along with any other resolutions we make this year, may we resolve once again, or perhaps for the first time, to be servants of God. Whether or not you are at worship this Sunday at First UMC, I invite you to join in praying this Covenant Prayer:

“I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.” (UMH 607)