Happy New Year, McFarland!
If you’re like me, you’re not sad to see 2021 pass. But what is in store for us in 2022? Hopefully, it won’t be like a friend of mine joked that it might be just 2020 (volume) 2!
As we enter this new year, our Bishop has invited us to read through the Bible in the coming year. This will be an initiative of both the Holston and North Alabama Annual Conferences. Please click here to read the invitation from the Bishop (this page will also include a daily devotion based upon the reading). For full details, including links to the reading plan, links to a discussion area on Facebook, a weekly podcast, and other resources, click here. The daily readings begin on Sunday, January 2, 2022. This Sunday we will have the bookmarks with the daily readings for January and February printed as a bulletin insert. Imagine the power of the combined membership of The United Methodist Church in the Holston and North Alabama Annual Conferences reading and praying over the same Scriptures for the coming year. I hope that you will join me as we do this spiritual exercise together.
As a Methodist under the spiritual guidance of John Wesley, I pray this prayer at the beginning of each New Year (it is a contemporary language version of the Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition found at #607 in The United Methodist Hymnal):
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.
This is my prayer for you and us as we enter 2022. I hope to see you in worship on Sunday.