Every New Year brings with it a mix of hope and anxiety and as we know, January is always a harder month for our general mood level.  This year will be like others.  Some of us will struggle and others will display a more optimistic outlook.  This is normal.  What is different this year is that we are more aware of each other in it all, more aware of the challenges everyone is facing and more aware of our need for God’s presence and grace.

Like you, I so miss meeting as a church family.  I miss meeting in smaller groups, one on one, and as a larger church family.  I miss the feeling I get from being around others engaged in worship, and prayer, and learning.  I miss the way being with others helps me concentrate and engage.  I miss the sense of God’s presence among us.

Like you, I miss the comfort and the care of others – the smiles and the gift of small encouragements, the prayers of others for me, the sense of belonging and being known that seeing each other gives me.

Like you, I am having to dig deep into my own personal spiritual life – taking time at the start of each day to pray, to open my hands to God’s presence in me, and to give time to allowing scripture to do it’s forming work on me. 

Like you, I am learning to trust God for my family, for my future, for my work, for my leadership.  Everything is up in the air and I need his direction more than ever.  I am learning to take one day, one week at a time once again.

In my prayers this morning, as I surrendered myself to God’s love once again, as I prayed or you and held you before God, as I paid attention to my feelings and my anxieties, as I allowed scripture to speak to my heart and as I gave voice for things I am grateful for, I sensed I was being held, that we were being held.

Surrendering to God is all we have right now. We aren’t in control of our circumstances. Not that we don’t have any agency at all – exactly the opposite – we can change many things around us and within us. But we can’t control everything. And in this situation, we are learning, surrendering to the will of God is our safe place, our security, our peace.

Join me, as you start this new year, resting, surrendering, opening your hands, letting him have his way.

Like Mary did.

Like Jesus did.