On Sunday we ended the year 2013 with a message by Mark Mikel based on a covenant prayer used by John Wesley in a service in 1790. Mark contrasted the prayer with our tendency to make resolutions each year usually to DO something or NOT DO something. This prayer asks God to do with me what God will do with me--that sort of makes our resolutions a bit irrelevant.
In discussion after the message, many people felt that there were a specific pair of lines in the prayer that spoke to them as they approached the new year. We discussed how maybe instead of resolving to do (or not do) something specific, we should instead resolve to BE God's in the new year. "I am no longer my own, but thine."
The Upper Room meditation for Dec. 29 followed a similar theme: "As we come to the end of the year we starting thinking about New Year's resolutions, about making a decision to fix something, change something, or resolve something. What if this year we resolve" to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world?
A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition
I am no longer my own,
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.
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 are mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.