Amen. Come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
~ Revelation 22:20b - 21
On this day where we suddenly notice the passing of time as we prepare to write the year 2020. It's normal for us to ask the question, "How much can I still do in the years that are left to me?"
This morning the question has been refocused and now I am asking, "How can I prepare myself for total surrender so my life can be fruitful?"
Each day that we are provided holds an unexpected blessing. What I have discovered is that we must be open to that blessing.
Only if we expect it, can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's blessing. What we must be willing to realize is that blessings can present themselves as joys, as well as sorrows.
The life we live possesses both valleys and mountaintops. All these experiences open places in our heart so that we may live our life with compassionate expressions, unconditional moments to experience life, and challenging opportunities to express forgiveness and reconciliation.
This blessing offers us the ability to share in God's creation and promote humanity that is full of grace, peace, understanding, charity, and love. These only begin to describe what God has in store for each of us each day.
May you seek out and receive the most amazing of blessings that are waiting for you.
A New Year's Reflection
I watched as the old hands of time
made their way to midnight,
and like two hands folded in prayer
I said good-bye to one year
and welcomed the next.
I can't say that I felt any remorse
as Auld Lang Syne flowed from the
Times Square television broadcast.
Somehow above the sounds
of rockets exploding,
people cheering and laughing,
a somber reminder that peace on earth
still has a long way to go.
I couldn't help but remember
the challenges the prior year had brought,
as well as the hopes and dreams crushed,
but somewhere, under memories now
covered by last season's leaves,
I noticed the emergence of a single leaf.
The reminder that time marches on.
I suppose I'm still a romantic,
filled with hope like
those who wish upon stars and cross their hearts.
Until the new year proves itself,
I might actually hold my breath
and pray I don't find myself gasping following some act.
Like so many others
on this journey,
I will raise to heaven,
with both heart and lips,
one more request.
"May God bless all humanity,
and may peace prevail on earth."
For on this day I am but one
among nations and city blocks,
"May I be healthy and strong. Be surrounded by those I love.
May strangers find hospitality, and may I be given the mind to discern Godly answers, when given the choice to answer or be silent."
"Teach me to be transparent, even when it seems overwhelmingly vulnerable."
"God of this new year, please, may YOU be, present to us always, even when we close our eyes, both when happy and in fear."
And with that, I watched as the hands of time,
slowly slipped away from one another.
In my heart it was clear,
I am the one who must now be
that will initiate all these things.
Stay in God's grip and Happy New Year...
G. Todd Williams, (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams is the author of the book, "Remember Me When..." and is a former hospice chaplain and pastor.