God of the new, and of this New Year,
help me, I ask, as I resolve to bag up my old judgments, my self-doubt and suspicion of others,
and put it all out at the curb.
May I shed the clutter of worn out ideas,
and clean out the corners of my over-full mind.
Let me count my steps in working for justice,
and track my acts of kindness.
May I lose the weight of self-importance
and bring down the count on my high expectations.
Help me put my need for safety and success in shiny plastic bins
to take out only when they’re needed,
and instead display kindness, welcome and laughter.
In the name of the One who never had to make a list, Amen.
Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church of Detroit, a diverse church in a deeply interesting city.