Christmastide ends this week as we move into New Year's. As Christians we are reminded through the mystery of the Incarnation that we cross the threshold into a New Year not alone - God is with us. Thanks be to God!
By your grace, dear Lord, you have given us this New Year.
We give you thanks for more time to enjoy your goodness, more time to serve you, another year to show forth your glory that all may see your light shine through us and might come to faith in your Lordship and membership in your Kingdom.
Continue, Lord, to make all things new, even us. We move into a new year with some fears about the future. Give us faith that we venture into a New Year led by you and that you will give us all we need faithfully to serve you and courageously to follow you where you lead us.
Bless your church, we pray, set today amid new challenges and new threats. Give us what we need to meet the challenges and enable us not to be intimidated by the threats. Inspire all preachers with a fresh sense of the power and the urgency of your gospel. Fill each of our congregations with renewed vitality for the tasks that are set before them. Give us, we are bold to pray, wisdom, grace, and courage equal to the assignments that you will give us during the coming year. Help us to have half as much faith in ourselves and our discipleship as you have placed in us by calling us to be your disciples.
For all that has been, we give thanks. For all that is to be, we give you our determination to be half as faithful to you in the New Year as you have been to us in the past. Amen.
[Taken with permission from the blog of Bishop William H. Willimon, North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. Originally posted 1/3/2011]