Ever-creating God, I praise you for the gift of this world. Every branch on every tree stands as a witness to your power. They are strong yet, able to bend so that they can dance with the wind. I marvel at the beauty of each limb that stretches to find its own way to the sun. You do this, not just outside my window but outside every window across the globe. Each creation a masterpiece and perfectly suited for its location while it is ever-adapting to the environment in which it lives.

You are so good, precious Lord! You look at me and call me beloved on days when I struggle to feel lovable. You hold me closer when I pull away and whisper I am your own. Be in my heart and guard it. Be in my thoughts and calm them. Be in my words and soften them. Be in my actions and direct them. In every way you can conform me to your will, be in me. Be born in me again and again until I am all you desire. May this new year be filled with your peace and transforming grace. I am humbled to be called your child and grateful that you are my God.  I pray in the precious name of Jesus who showed us the way to love as you love. Amen.

-Pastor Maria