Today we’re honoring the changes that we’ve made over this last year and the growth that comes from these positive changes. We’re saying goodbye to our old ways and saying hello to what will hopefully be the beginning of a future with hope.
We remember how Abraham and Sarah set out to a new country and a new life, not knowing where they were being led. Change and growth are full of uncertainty.
We remember how Jesus left his carpenter’s tools, went into the wilderness, and began his new vocation. Change and growth require obedience.
We remember how the fishermen left their boats and women left their traditional roles to follow Jesus in his nomadic ministry. Change and growth require the courage to try new things.
So today let’s offer thanksgiving for the ways in which the Lord has helped us change this past year—intellectually, emotionally, physically, morally, spiritually, and socially.
Let’s let go of our past and go forward into the future with faith.
We come also to repent of the ways in which we have failed to grow
….for our failure to show mercy to others even when we have been shown mercy
….for our failure to forgive others when you, God, have been forgiving toward us
.…for our failure to be good stewards when you have been so generous to us
….for our complacency and inaction in the face of all that you have prepared and called us to do.
We come to you Lord, in humility, bringing ourselves, right where we are, as a new starting point, remembering that there is a time for everything – for holding fast and for letting go.
To “Let Go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do the work of growing for someone else.
To “Let Go” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another.
To “Let Go” is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.
To “Let Go” is not to care for, but to care about.
To “Let Go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To “Let Go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being and simply love and accept.
To “Let Go” is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality.
To “Let Go” is not to deny, but to accept.
To “Let Go” is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To “Let Go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.
To “Let Go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To “Let Go” is to fear less and love more.
Lord, send our roots deep and help us to grow strong in Christ. Establish us firmly in the faith we are being or have been taught. Transform us by the complete stripping away of the things of the world that attract and hold us. Hear our confession, Lord, and let us be, in all ways, the new creatures in Christ that You have made us.
Letting go of the past, and going forward into the future with faith, we offer thanks for the new part of our journey that is about to begin. Amen