There is a time for everything
and a season for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted,
a time to break down, and a time to build up,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace,
God has made everything suitable for its time.
Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.
Eternal Father, you have placed us in a world of space and time,
and through the events of our lives,
you continue to bless us with your love and generosity.
Grant that in this new year, we may know your presence,
see your hand at work through us in our city,
and live in the light of the event that gives us joy forever –
the arrival of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
We ask in the name of you, the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
God of new life, God of life made new,
We begin this new year as we ended the last –
embraced by your Spirit of love and your presence of peace,
We leave behind the old year in the knowledge that
whatever we have done in selfish desire;
whenever we have participated in injustice;
however we have strayed from Jesus’ way;
You have forgiven us.
Lead us now into the abundant life of the new year.
Give us eyes to glimpse your presence in each moment.
Give us ears to hear the quiet promptings of your Spirit.
Give us hearts open to the joy and the pain of the lives that surround ours.
We set our feet once again on the path walked by Jesus.
These steps of peace may be difficult.
These steps of justice may prove tiring.
These steps of love may be painful.
Give us the wisdom, give us the strength to take these steps anyway.
Each day a new step.
Each step a faithful movement toward your kingdom.
Each step taken only by your grace, only in your power
our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
We ask all this of our God in community, holy in One.
— written by Joanna Harader
How can we resolve to seek Jesus more this year?
How can we resolve to follow Jesus more this year?
How can we resolve to worship Jesus more this year?
A new year has dawned!
Despite what we see and hear in the world around us,
the sun will always rise.
When it comes, it will break through the darkness of our world—
darkness caused by violence and death, hunger and despair.
And all those who now sit huddled in the shadows
will be able to rise and walk with confidence in the light.
So go from here with courage and hope,
to love and serve the Lord,
that all may know of our Savior and rejoice
in name of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by lawa @ Flickr]