Happy New Year!

New Year’s Day
January 1, 2019

Friends,

In the Methodist tradition, the New Year is an opportunity to begin again not just in our calendar but in our lives with God. A few weeks ago I spoke to you about “do-overs” and how crucial they are in our lives, especially in our lives with God. At the cornerstone of our Christian faith is the understanding that God became one of us and took on our flesh. God did this so that we could be reconciled to our true selves, to all of creation, and to God. This reconciliation requires a new beginning; in fact, it requires many new beginnings.

The longer I live my life as a follower of Jesus the more aware I become of how gracious God continues to be in my life. I find myself more aware of the many ways that I fail to live love in the world, of the brokenness within me, the brokenness within the world, and of my knack for self-deception.  Basically, I am filled with gratitude to serve a God who allows me to have a new start, over and over again.

Long ago I decided to stop making resolutions but instead to name some intentions that will help me be more like Jesus on New Year’s Day in 2020 than I am today. Two words that will guide my year, that I will be accountable for, are Surrender and Presence.

What intentions will guide your year? How is God calling us as individuals and as the body of Christ to live more like Jesus in all that we do this new year?

I leave you with the Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition, this prayer has been used by Methodist since its beginnings as part of our re-commitment to the way of Jesus as we begin a new year:

I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will,
place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you
or set aside for you,
Praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.
And now, O wonderful and holy God,
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.

Happy New Year! It is a joy, honor, and privilege to be one of your pastors.
Peace & Love,

Juan Carlos+

P.S. Join us this coming weekend for our State of the Church and the beginning of our new sermon series, Reconciled.

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