As the year ends, God, what shall we keep from this year? 

What blessings have we wrestled out of its kick to the stomach,

its unrelenting grief and hollowing loneliness? 

And what, O God, shall we take up in the new year,

as it brings its gift of newness to our weariness?

May we hold onto gratitude, and a vision for justice. 

May we keep the grace of new routines.

May we let go of stress, and juggling, and any disregard for others’ suffering.

May we take up a hard-won appreciation for the slow and the small. 

May we hold onto the new skills of fingers and hearts. 

May we see as the Child sees, with wonder and thanksgiving,

all through the year and beyond.  Amen. 

Mary Austin is the pastor of Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church, a multi-cultural church in the Washington, DC area. The image above the the Slaughter of the Innocents, from the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona.

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