Almighty God, as we move from the end of one year to the beginning of a new one, we are caught up in the idea of time. We have been through Advent, the time of preparation. We have celebrated your coming to us as a baby, and yet we often let ourselves be distracted by all of the holiday festivities and gatherings. Thoughts of the year just ended have led us to moments of joy and thanksgiving and to moments of loneliness and heartbreak. We often fail to see those moments as gifts from you. Help us to remember the moments you have given us are filled with opportunity as well as the knowledge of your continuing presence with us. We are grateful for your presence whether we count the time as a good year or as a tough year. Your love sustains us in all times and conditions of our lives.
As we face this new year, give us the determination to hold fast to the good of your creation and to find ways to live as your beloved children in a world filled with the multitude of your loved children. There is so much in the world that divides and separates us from each other; help us to see and seek ways to unite us as the family of your creation. As we think of and pray for those we know who are ill, injured, or suffering in other ways, help us to realize there are others in similar situations and help us include them in our prayers.
Hear us now as we pray the prayer Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.