My Reflection, in writing this column for The New Year is on The Congregational Ritual as The Late Great Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery led every Sunday at Central Church Atlanta. As the Words pour from my heart, I know now… it is the 51st Psalm:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgression: and my sin is ever before me.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Create in me a clean heart O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise”.
“One of the simple things that is very good and very positive about a New Year is the fact that one does have another chance, that there is available to the individual the fluid dimension of time that has not been frozen and has passed on into the past. It is liquid, living, vital, quick in the sense of being vital. The individual stands in the midst of a stream of vitality, awareness, and fluidity, and is able, by an act in the present moment, to do for him or for the context in which he is operating, something that nothing else in the world can do. Therefore when we think about the New Year, we think in terms of the sense of alternatives, the sense of options, that are still available to us. It means that all of the options are not frozen, that it is still possible to do something about a situation. Now, this is one of the very simple things.” Howard Thurman
“Ring out The False. Ring in The True”. Alfred Lord Tennyson
“We will open the book. It’s pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and it’s first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Edith Lovejoy Pierce
“Those who gave thee a body furnished it with weakness; but He who gave thee Soul, armed it with resolution. Employ it, and thou art wise; be wise, and thou art happy.” Akhenaton
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. Benjamin Franklin
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. T. S. Eliot
“The New Year means for many people a time of the making of resolutions, the time of deciding that the present and the future will be lived more intentionally than in the past, and it is important, this matter of making resolutions, because it organizes the formal intent of the personality in a given direction; it is a commitment of the individual to a performance in the future based upon an intention in the present. And this is very important. Whether the individual is able to carry out in detail the resolution— whether you are able to fulfill the thing that you intend to do— there is a clear gain in being able to bring together all of one’s self in a point of focus and say that this is the thing that I intend to do tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.” Howard Thurman
“Marvel not that I say unto you, ‘You must be born again.” Jesus (John 3:7)
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