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Mary's Musings: On 2021

By Mary Bridges, chaplain

My mom’s theory about holidays was, “It’s just another day. You can pick whatever day you want to celebrate.” New Year’s resolutions are hard for me because I am not good at stick-to-it-iveness. I start out with good intentions, but lose interest in a few days, a week or a month.

Reflecting on our lives and looking for ways to improve ourselves is a good idea. However, it’s silly to limit it to one day of the year. Using my mom’s theory, any day can be New Year’s Day. We can start over or make new resolutions at any time.

For the new year, I am going to make a mandala to use for my prayers and select a personal mantra for my devotional time. In Joyce Rupp’s book “May I Have This Dance?” she invites us to “join God in the dance of life.” She encourages readers to choose one or more of these scriptures listed to serve as a motto, mantra, guiding principle, blessing, prayer or resolution for the new year:

  • May your God be someone who you can lean on in your weak and painful moments. May you know God as your rock, your shelter, your strength, your wing of comfort and support. (Psalm 94:18)
  • May you be aware of all the places your feet carry you in the new year. May you know “How beautiful are the feet of the messenger of good news.” (Romans 10:15)
  • May you not be afraid of the questions that press upon your mind and heart. May you welcome the questions and wait patiently for the day when they will have their answers. (Matthew 11:3)
  • May you be the one with welcome in your smile and hello etched upon your hand, the hand you extend to everyone who blesses you with presence. (Luke 7:36-50)
  • May yours be the gift of reverence for all created things. May you face bravely and enthusiastically the responsibility to preserve and care for the beauty of the earth. (Sirach 42:15-43:33)
  • May the wellsprings of compassion flow deep within you until you can taste tears of your brothers and sisters. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
  • May you awake each morning with thank you on your lips and in your heart, recognizing that all is gift, that is all blessing. (Psalm 138:1)
  • May your friendship with God be strong and healthy. May that love be both a comfort and a challenge as you struggle to find your way in the new year. (John 21:15-19)
  • May your spirit be open and perceptive in discovering the will of God for you. May your prayer be that of wisdom, guidance, and a deeper understanding of God’s way for you. (Luke 1:26-38)

Closing Prayer

"God of this new year, we are walking into mystery. We face the future, not knowing what the days and months will bring to us or how we will respond. Be love in us as we journey. May we welcome all who come our way. Deepen our faith to see all of life through your eyes. Fill us with hope and an abiding trust that you dwell in us amidst our joys and sorrows. Thank you for the treasure of our faith life. Thank you for the gift of being able to rise each day with the assurance of your walking through the day with us. God of this new year, we praise you.” Amen

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