A Prayer for the New Year
January 22, 2012
Excerpt from Mark 1:14-20
"And immediately they left their nets and followed him."
Reflection by Felix Carrion
The author of the Gospel of Mark is fond of using the word "immediately" to describe a response that follows from a call or invitation. He attaches this word to the response of Simon, Andrew, James, and John to Jesus' invitation to come follow him. However, what appears to be a casual encounter in the moment actually reveals much more that is at work.
Something breaks through in the life of these four individuals and they can longer remain attached to a life that does not capture the fullness of who they are and what they are here to accomplish. Jesus invites them to separate themselves from the world they know and to find new direction. They experience a breakthrough, an epiphany of sorts, and find the strength to finally follow a new path, long buried by the sleep of delay, procrastination, or neglect.
In his poem, "The Strength of Fields," James L. Dickey cries out, "Lord, let me shake with purpose."
Sometimes a prayer like this is needed to wake us from our slumber, to shake us loose from our fears, and to set us on our way of "immediacy" toward long-forgotten hopes and longings and dreams. I think this is a prayer for the New Year.
Jump now. Leap now. Follow now. Hurry now. Go now.
Lord, let me shake with purpose. Amen.
About the Author
Felix Carrion is Coordinator of The Stillspeaking Ministry, United Church of Christ.
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