As I write, Christmas Day is rapidly approaching. Like most of us, I still have much to do. Advent has rushed by and I’m wondering where December has gone!

Of course, as Christians we cannot fail to be wowed by the enormity of the incarnation – God coming to earth in the person of Jesus. Whichever Christmas services you attend, lets all take time to thank God for his most amazing gift.

However, New Years Day will soon be upon us and we’ll all be asking how it’s possible that we’re in the year 2017. Are you one for making New Year resolutions? Many try but if we’re honest most of us fail to keep up our determination to get fitter or eat more healthily for more than a short time.

I’m inspired and challenged by what I can only describe as the Methodist Church’s ultimate New Year resolution. At the start of each year, Methodists renew their faith and commitment to Christ at their Covenant Service. Here they celebrate all that God has done for them, and affirm that they give their lives and choices to him.

At its heart is the Covenant Prayer. This makes it very clear that this affirmation is a serious one that embraces the whole of our life, in all its parts. Most people find it tough to say. In our culture we tend to prize our ability to make decisions and choose our own path in life. It can feel very hard to give that up. But this prayer is like a love poem. It is about surrendering to God in love and joy. I recommend it to you.

 

A covenant with God

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.

 

Let’s together commit our lives afresh to God in 2017, choosing to worship him in spirit and truth, follow Jesus as his disciples, and grow in being his witnesses to the world around us.

Ian

 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!