And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The week between Christmas and New Year's is perhaps my favorite week of the year. It's an odd week that usually feels like a time of limbo - drifting between holidays usually means less work needs to get done (or in any case less work gets done) and sometimes I can't even figure out what day of the week it is. It's also a great time to prepare for the new year - to reflect on what has been in the year that is passing, and what we hope to be in the year that is coming.
For a lot of people (myself included) this time of year is a time of making resolutions we may or may not keep. For 2019 I have set some goals for myself, both personal and professional, and plan to work towards those goals throughout the year. But I also want to let this scripture from Colossians be my guide for the coming year.
Because these are some pretty darn good resolutions:
- Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart
- Be thankful
- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
- Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus
What I love about these as resolutions is that they are less something to accomplish and cross off a list, and more a way of life. While my other goals may take all year (lose weight, write a book, etc.) I can come to the end of each day knowing whether or not I have lived into this way of life - peace, gratitude, Jesus at the center.
I want to close this final devotion of the year with a prayer from John Wesley known as the "Covenant Prayer." The language is old fashioned, which I love, because it makes me think a little bit harder about the words as I say them. May this scripture and this prayer help you start the new year off right, and I'll see you in 2019!
I am no longer my own, but thine.
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,
exalted for thee or brought low 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 art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.