Scripture

Romans 12:1-2

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Reflection

As we approach the new year, many of us will begin anew. New plans. New goals. New focus. And like many years before, many of us will fail at keeping these new commitments. So what if this year, we looked at it a bit differently? In the verses above, Paul suggests we take our everyday, ordinary life - the sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Do you get that? Our whole life should be an offering to God. Not just the good stuff, the going-to-church days and the bible reading times, but also the everyday, mundane and messy parts of our life. Imagine what that would look like for you. Recall the past day or so and think about how each moment could become an offering to God. It’s about focus and intention. Fix your attention on God and you will be changed from the inside out. Your life will be transformed into a daily, living offering to God.

So let's start off this year with a covenant prayer instead of a resolution. Pray this Wesley Covenant. You might want to print it out and keep it handy. Praying it daily will lead you to more of God and less of you. May it be so with each of us.

“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.”

Prayer

Dear Lord, Don’t let me become so familiar with the Christmas story that it doesn’t still move me to worship and praise. Remind me to treasure the gift of Immanuel, God with us. Help me to be more than just a spectator to the birth of Christ, and allow me to participate with you in your story! Guide me to share in the awe and wonder of the nativity and let me worship Christ at his holy manger today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.