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WholeLife Daily Reflections
Preparation for worship on December 31
Arise to Reflection
Looking back and reflecting on a year that is past can be beneficial. We realize how we have grown, what we have learned, and sometimes are simply relieved we made it through! Most importantly, what moments or experiences do you look back on and know that God was present even when you didn’t realize it at the time?
Sunday, December 25
Devotional: New Year Reflections: “Dust in the Wind”
Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Eternal Sovereign, you are the Ancient of Days. You have always been, and you will always be. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, and your mercies are new every day. I believe you have created me for goodness, to live a life of purpose, and I invite you to guide my steps today. Amen.
Music: Unexpected Roads
Monday, December 26
Devotional: How to Anchor Our Souls in a Drifting World
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Spirit of Mercy, you move with compassion where there is anger, hurt, and pain. When your children struggle, you offer strength. In situations that seem hopeless, you provide courage. As your love and grace heals my brokenness, use me as a blessing to others. Amen.
Music: Firm Foundation
Tuesday, December 27
Devotional: All Things New
2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Heavenly Potter, all good things are the work of your hands. You create with beauty and perfection, and anything you touch is sacred and blessed. In a world broken by sin, you are the One who redeems and makes all things new. Take my life, and make me a masterpiece of your grace. Amen.
Wednesday, December 28
Devotional: New Beginnings and New Prayers
Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”
Maker and Redeemer, your compassion has no boundaries. You treasure and delight in those you have created and who are called by your name. What is destroyed by evil, you remake with gentleness; what is broken by sin, you redeem by grace. I will live in your mercy, trusting I am safe in your love. Amen.
Music: As I Am
Thursday, December 29
Devotional: Looking Back Before Moving Forward
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
God of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, you provide the joy in celebration and the balm in healing. You remain present in every circumstance and are working for good even when unseen. Thank you for your faithfulness and unending love. Amen.
Music: Hope Has a Name
Friday, December 30
As the final WholeLife Church devotional I will post, I thought it was appropriate to end with a prayer and blessing. Sarah Bessey wrote this prayer and blessing for the new year of 2022. However, its message is relevant and meaningful for the new year we will begin next week. The only adjustment I made was in the date [placed in brackets]. Happy New Year with love!
A Prayer and Blessing for 
May the God of hope and faith, be with us in this coming year.
May you take the time today to look back over your year and honor those days and the person you were in them. As I said last year, everything sad won’t come untrue in  and this year will hold its own tragedies and sorrows. We’ll relearn lament and fight for joy.
May we say good-bye to the things that do not serve us - the selfishness, the fear, the illusions of control, the bitterness, the doom-scrolling, the self-pity, the martyr complex, the us-and-them fire stokers - and say hello to wisdom, to kindness, to justice, curiosity, wonder, goodness, generosity, possibility, peace making.
May we throw open the doors of our lives to the disruptive, wild, healing Holy Spirit. May this be a year of unclenched hands and new songs, of good food and some laughter, of kind endings and new beginnings. May we be given a mustard seed of faith, it will be enough to notice and name what you love in particular about your life as it stands.
We may not see an end to the pandemic. We may not see the great changes we hope for, at least on grand scales. I do pray for it though. I dare to pray for it. May God bless and keep those working to keep us safe and healthy. We pray and we work towards it but my prayer for you is that those realities, those challenges, these powers and principalities that rule in our world still, will not reduce you or twist you.
Instead, may you rise to the demands of our time with dignity, grace, and not-sitting-down-not-shutting-up hope. May justice roll down like mighty waters, as the prophet Amos said, sweeping up and away everything meant to diminish the image of God in any of us.
It is precisely in these moments, in this wilderness, in this apocalypse, that we need to be rooted in the love of God. May our roots go down deep into that marvelous Love. May you bear the fruit of the Spirit - that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control - right in the teeth of despair and brokenness. I pray that your life will become an outpost of hope and love. May the things that were meant to destroy us be cast down and come to nothing. May you rise from the ashes with a grin, a wild heart that won’t be talked out of love and possibility.
May  bring you unexpected goodness and hope. May you light a candle in the dark night and tend that flame, set it high in a window, let the world see that you are not undone, not yet. In fact, I pray for love - however that looks and however it comes - for you this year. Lashings of love, love that covers you and holds you, love that restores you and blesses you.
May we release our efforts to save ourselves and to save the world, resting in God’s good salvation, more than enough salvation. May new strength come to you in your sleep and in the stars. May you endure well. May your life be peaceful and whole from the inside out.
I pray for gentleness in you and for you this year. May you see the goodness of God in your actual days. May you be given wisdom and joy, may you walk in truth and justice. I pray for cold water when you are parched, for warmth when you are cold, for a hand to hold when you are lonely, for the steady and abiding presence of God in the night.
I bless you. I bless you for the work God has given you to do. I bless you for the ways you have loved this year, for the resolute faithfulness of you. I bless the unseen and uncelebrated ways you have done your bit to repair the world. I bless your resilience and your suffering, I bless how you have forgiven and released and welcomed this year. I bless the work you do and pray that you find God’s good rhythm there.
As we turn towards a new year, may the God of all goodness and hope walk with you on this road, singing as we make our way home. May you be welcomed in this new year with joy and rest.
And may you greet  with courage and grace, knowing and resting and abiding in your belovedness.
Alongside of you still,
Music: This is the Day