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A Prayer for the New Year

By January 3, 2013 No Comments

Image from a stunning collection by Clare Benson


Standing on the threshold,

all we’ve left undone smirking in our periphery,

all we carry with us a finger’s breath away, waiting, waiting.

Unfinished business clings heavy, disappointment,

pressure, expectations straining at the seams.

And what we would love to step out of

and leave behind in an unwashed heap on the floor

abandoning on tipsy tiptoe, light and free.

It’s all right here, balanced, but barely,

on the threshold.

One day is pretty much the same as the last. 

Let’s not kid ourselves.

One day is completely new and  altogether different.

Anything can happen.


We belong to you. 

(Pause and take it in. It’s beyond taking in, really.

Just pause, then, as near the reality as you can stand

for as long as you can stand it).


Outside time, but entering all olds and news,

permeating every yesterday and each today,

inhabiting already all tomorrows, before they come upon us,

unannounced but right on schedule.


To whom we belong.

Meet us here, Holy One, on this threshold.

Holding for us what was, carry us into what will be.

Drawing from strength we’ve been steadily building throughout the years,

exhaling the rubbish we’ve been steadily breathing throughout the years,

taking in instead the clean, the fresh timeless promises and bracing hope,

sucking them deep into our lungs,

with mouths and hearts wide, thrown open,

featherless, and trusting,

filling our strong bodies and sturdy dreams,

awakening with gentle possibility and mighty grace,

meet us on this threshold.

For the considerable stumbling we have ahead, grace.

For the remarkable triumphs yet to come, grace.

For the hot tears and searing pain before us, grace.

For the unrestrained laughter on the horizon,

and the astonishing joy waiting

around the corner, ready to spring, grace.


And to love.

Oh, to love.

(To You, Love, we belong, after all).

For this we pray.

In all things. 

All people. However

we might, faltering and faithful,

trembling and tenacious,

May we Love.


For this, then,

Holy, eternal, entered in You,

for the new year and all it holds,

for the past however it persists,

for love brimming over and unrelenting,

and for Us each one, standing 

here on the threshold of whatever may be,




This poem was written by Reverend Kara Root, Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church. (Reprinted with permission.) You can find this poem, sermons, and other reflections on her blog, In the Here and Now: Musings on Motherhood and Ministry

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