O God of new beginnings and wonderful surprises,
thank you for the gift of a new year.
May it be a time of grace for all we meet,
a time to grow in faith and love,
a time to renew our commitment
to following your Son, Jesus.
May it be a year of blessing for us,
a time to cherish our neighbors, family and friends,
a time to renew our efforts at work and within our city,
a time to embrace our faith more fully.
Walk with us, please,
in every day and every hour of this new year,
that the light of Christ might shine through us,
in spite of our weaknesses and failings.
May we remember this year that we are your church,
to live as Christ lived and to love and serve you.
What does it mean for you to engage the person of Christ?
How can you use your resources, positions and abilities to serve those in need instead of your own ambitions?
Are you limiting and being exclusive with who you extend grace to?
In this new year,
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
Go in peace and live the church.