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New Year's Resolutions

The Rev. Rainey Dankel
January 3, 2019

“Move.  Nourish.  Refresh.  Connect.”


A New York Times blogger offers us advice for the new year.  Her good suggestions for busy urbanites got me thinking about my resolutions as a busy Christian.


Do you make new year’s resolutions?  Some years I make specific resolutions.  Some years I have vague ideas of self-improvement.  Some years I promise to embark on some new practice.  Rarely do I hold myself accountable for how well I carry out those intentions.  This year, I am trying to think about small, sustainable steps that I can reasonably take.  Perhaps they will be useful as you think about the coming year.  


“Move.”  Get myself up and out to walk around our neighborhood of Copley Square.  Observe different times of day and evening.  Look for thriving street trees and welcoming sidewalks.  Who is asking for money?  Who appears to be a tourist?  Where is Jesus showing up?


“Nourish.”  Delve into the Scriptures each day.  Let the Psalter do its historic work of expressing the fears, joys, wonder, and heartache of my daily life.  Draw strength from its images.  Let the record of my ancestors help sustain me as it is internalized and metabolized.


“Refresh.”  Create a quiet moment each day to clear my mind of busyness.  Breathe more deeply and stretch my limbs.  Listen to music.  Read a poem.  Offer a prayer of thanks for God’s presence and power.


“Connect.”   Make connection each day with a friend or colleague, not to discuss “business,” but simply to say hello.  Staying in touch with individuals helps me focus on our relationship, on maintaining a friendship that is not transactional or results-oriented.  As I reflect on that relationship, I am more aware of God’s movement in my life and in the lives of others.


These are personal resolutions, designed to help me grow as an individual.  And the categories can also be helpful in thinking more explicitly about our lives together, as members of the Trinity community.  How can we live together in ways that enable us to “move, nourish, refresh, and connect”?


As we live into God’s great gift of this new year, how will our practices deepen our trust in God and our willingness to discern together where God is leading us?  We will soon be welcoming a new rector.  What better time for all of us to recommit ourselves to this journey of discovery, as individuals and as members of the Body of Christ?  God is calling us into a future that will challenge and change us, as Christ’s unfolding love for us finds new expression in our hearts and lives.  Let’s resolve to keep that vision ever before us.


With thanks and blessings,



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