Occasionally I come across a blog post I really wish I'd had the wisdom to write - this post from the always amazing Parker Palmer really struck a chord with me. As we turn the calendar to a new year, I commend it to you. His five questions (rather than "resolutions") resonate with where I am in my life, turning fifty-two this year and trying to learn how to fall upward. Questions to live into - wherever we are in our journeys:
- How can I let go of my need for fixed answers in favor of aliveness?
- What is my next challenge in daring to be human?
- How can I open myself to the beauty of nature and human nature?
- Who or what do I need to learn to love next? And next? And next?
- What is the new creation that wants to be born in and through me?
I also have always loved the poem, translated from an older Slovak text by a Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor named Jaroslav Vajda that speaks to this day and the intersection between the beginning of a New Year and the eighth day of Christmas, the day of Jesus' bris. (See Luke 2:21.) Vajda's poem is found on page 250 of The Hymnal 1982. The refrain is a reminder to give thanks for what has been, for what is, and for what will be - and that it's all sheer grace.
1. Now greet the swiftly changing year with joy and penitence sincere; rejoice, rejoice, with thanks embrace another year of grace.Happy New Year!
2. For Jesus came to wage sin's war; this Name of names for us he bore; rejoice, rejoice, with thanks embrace another year of grace.
3. His love abundant far exceeds the volume of a whole year's needs; rejoice, rejoice, with thanks embrace another year of grace.
4. With such a Lord to lead our way in hazard and prosperity, what need we fear in earth or space, in this new year of grace?
5. "All glory be to God on high and peace on earth," the angels cry: rejoice, rejoice, with thanks embrace another year of grace.