New Year devotional from your Synod Staff


Galatians 5:22-25  (NRSV)

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”

It is the beginning of a brand new year.  What if our collective resolution as members of the Body of Christ was to be guided by the Spirit in 2023?  In its original form, our English translation of “guided by” was that of “keep on walking.”  Keep on walking: together – in the Spirit whereby the fruit of the Spirit in our personal life, our congregational lives, our council decisions, our annual meeting budgets reflect that the Holy Spirit is indeed, very much alive in us;  and, that we are being guided by God’s own Spirit.  When we keep on walking in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, how might others see Christ in us?  What if other people might be drawn to Christ because they are witnessing first hand the Spirit of God being lived out by our words and actions?  How is the Spirit encouraging you to keep on walking in order to bear the fruit of the Spirit for the sake of the world?

Let us pray:

Holy God beyond all time and space, giver of grace beyond all measure, we stand at the precipice of a brand new year with a deep desire to keep on walking together by the leading of your Holy Spirit.  Open our minds to your desire to do a new thing.  Open our hearts to the gift of your Son Jesus Christ who came, died and rose again for all people, for all of creation.  Open our hands that we might give generously of our time, our talents and our possessions to carry out the ministries your Spirit is guiding is to do.  Thank you for guiding us and providing for us through this past year.  Thank you for your steadfast love and faithfulness, your promise to be with us always as we keep on walking into the New Year.  We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.