Daily Bread Jan 2

Press On toward the Goal
By Deb Crowley of Urbandale, IA, USA

Not that I have already…reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved…this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.  —Philippians 3:12–16 NRSV

The past year held many challenges. Personally, it began with a wrecked car during the January snows, an adult son moving back home temporarily, job downsizing, and loss of loved ones. On a broader scale, our nation suffered through divisive political campaigns and news of shootings, Ebola outbreaks, ISIS, and racial protests. The list goes on. But the prophet Isaiah reminds us that God is “not dead, nor does he sleep!”

The year 2017 stretches before us like a fresh blanket of snow. Sun reflects off the sparkling, fluffy drifts, beckoning us to experience it fully: build a snowman, create a snow angel, blaze a trail leaving footprints behind for others to follow.

While the past year had challenges, it was also filled with blessings: new life, new promise, unselfish acts, helpful responses to crises. Let us not forget the challenges and hardships or joys and triumphs of the past, but learn from them to become stronger, and make better choices to make the world a better place for everyone.

Judy Garland once said, “Well, we have a whole New Year ahead of us. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, and a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe next year this time we’d like each other a little more.”

What could the world look like a year from now if we all lived into the hope and promise God has in store? I invite you to join me in the daily mission prayer that opens our hearts to the leadings of the Spirit and will make a difference in the world, one person, one situation at a time.

“God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me the courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen.”

Prayer Phrase

May I see your light in all life.

Invitation to Spiritual Practice

Light of God

Close your eyes, and become centered with your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light, and it lives in you.

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