The beginning months of a year are like a seed God plants in our hand. The seed God plants in us beckons us to approach the unknown future with a spirit open to growth, change and newness. So much of our future transformation will depend on carefully tending this life and keeping a hope-filled outlook. Like Mary of Nazareth who “kept all these things – reflecting on them in her heart,” we live each day, month and year mindfully receiving their unfolding with trust that there will be opportunity aplenty there for us.
Seed of Restoration, reach into the layers of my past. Bring into view the positive gifts that I missed due to clouded expectations and unwanted experiences. Soften the inner places hardened by hurt.
Seed of Insight, expand my ideas and thoughts so the lessons of your love keep influencing the way I think and act. Visit me with unexpected turns of understanding and perception. Urge me to be transformed into an ever more gracious and caring person.
Seed of Equanimity, disperse my anxious remnants of fear and concern. Strengthen me to free them from my tight grasp. When I await with uncertainty, draw your enduring tranquility into my heart.
Seed of Happiness, enter the gray spaces in which I lose my sight of joy. Awaken my enthusiasm. Loosen whatever restrains my spirit from life-giving energy. Release gloom when it wraps around me. Let it slide off like the shell of a seed giving way to a greening shoot.
Seed of Oneness and Relatedness, touch my heart to the suffering of others through each kind thought and caring deed. Let compassion spread like droplets of rain seeping into the soil of humanity. Thank you for your life resonating in the heartbeat of our planet Earth. May there be inclusive love, unity, reconciliation, justice and peace in me and in our world.
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
Then work of the year begins:
To find the lost and heal the broken,
To feed the hungry and welcome the unwanted,
To include the excluded and forgive the guilty,
To show mercy where it is missing,
To bring unity amidst differences and divisions,
To practice hospitality to the shunned and rejected,
To release myself from bondages of the past that imprison me,
To be open to the power of God in me to be all I can be and all
God wants me to be. Amen.
“The Seed of a New Year” by Joyce Rupp, adapted.
“The Work of Christmas” by Howard Thurman, adapted.