It is so easy to surrender to despair. It is so easy to grow blind to the evil around us. It is so easy to stop our ears from hearing the cries from the billions around the planet who suffer. It takes no effort to throw up one's hands, insisting that we cannot change the world, that we are helpless, powerless, nothing.
My prayer for the New Year is that we see in the eyes of our fellow men and women precious children of a loving God. Every single one of us has been bought at a great price. The greatest gift we can give them is the understanding they are of infinite worth because of what God in Jesus Christ has done for them. Weep with those who mourn. Bind up those broken. Visit the lonely, the prisoners, those most despised in a world that finds it easy enough to dehumanize. Give your time, your energy, your resources, as much as you can give for those the world has said are irredeemable.
My prayer is that we are no longer afraid to hope. My prayer is that we are no longer too aggrieved to believe. My prayer is that we have eyes and ears and lives open to love those around us who are called unlovable. They, too, just as we, are children of a loving God, for whom Jesus came to sacrifice so that all of us, and each of us, could have life, and that more abundantly. We must endeavor to do this in our actions, in our lives. Not just in words.
That is my prayer for 2012. All of us, and each of us, can give to the world that which is greater than the pearl of great price, that which is more wonderful than a treasure buried on a plot of land. Let us, all of us and each of us, be the widow who searches for the lost coin, the shepherd who travels through the bramble and rocks and thorns for the lost sheep.
This is my prayer. That we live as God in Christ through the Spirit would have us live - for this world for which God gave everything. This world, and each person in it, is the most precious thing there is. We should live so that the world comes to believe this is true.