Bishop Gregory V. Palmer

Beloved in Christ Jesus: 

We have just crossed the threshold of a new calendar year. 2022 gave way to 2023 as Christmas faded all to quickly into the background and we either rejoiced or bemoaned the outcome of College Bowl games. In one sense I feel like I am frequently starting some “new year”. Like you I live with multiple and overlapping timetables. Think about it. We have the calendar year, the liturgical year, the school year, the conference year, the fiscal year. These are but a few of the many calendars you might live with. Oh, did I mention the start of specific athletic seasons that define the calendars of some?   Add to all of these and those specific to you the starts and finishes you live with because of family members.  

We are always starting some “new year”. When we do we hope that it will exceed the performance or expectation of the previous year, season, cycle, or budget. So, it goes without saying that when we plunge into the new or the next, we do so prayerfully. Or at least we ought to. To that end I offer this prayer from Howard Thurman for your prayers and reflections as 2023 unfolds. 

Through the Coming Year 

Grant that I may pass through 

The coming year with a faithful heart. 

There will be much to test me and to make weak my strength before the year ends. In my confusion I shall often say the word that is not true and do the thing of which I am ashamed. There will be errors of the mind and great inaccuracies of judgement which shall render me the victim of my own stupidities. In seeking the light, I shall again and again find myself walking in darkness. I shall mistake my light for Thy light and I shall shrink from the responsibility of the choice I make.  All of these things, and more, will be true for me because I have not yet learned how to keep my hand in Thy hand. 

Nevertheless, grant that I may pass through the coming year with a faithful heart. May I never give the approval of my heart to error, to falseness, to weakness, to vainglory, to sin. Though my days be marked with failures, stumblings, fallings, let my spirit be free so that Thou mayest take it and redeem my moments in all the ways my needs reveal.  Give me the quiet assurance of Thy Love and Thy Presence. 

Grant that I may pass through 

The coming year with a faithful heart. 

 

Yours in Christ Jesus,

+ Bishop Gregory V. Palmer