I'm back from my summer holiday break and preparing the service for Sunday. It is a chance to give thanks for this time of year full of people, holidays, reflection and yes the possibility of the 'same old same old' routine in the new year and also of change and new horizons, the uncertainties of personal life and the blur and churn of history's flow, but also of new possibilities trusting in Jesus Christ.
As usual I humbly offer this prayer. I'm aware its very southern hemisphere orientated for the weather and seasonal nature... but hey! feel free to use any of it that you find helpful.
Happy New Year
In summer holiday time we give you praise for what you have made,
Long warm days, sand beaches, shade trees and cooling summer breeze,
The many places we have been to explore, relax, unwind and recharge,
Distant open sea, holiday coasts, countryside and wild bush destinations,
Even the stay put, open space of city park and close by walks,
We thank you for the people we have meet with
Family ties strengthened in festive celebrations,
Old friendships renewed and new acquaintances made.
In this new year we’ve taken the time to look back and reflect:
On your grace and mercy shown in choosing to become one of us;
Dwelling with us and knowing life’s joys and deep sorrow and pain.
In Jesus, we encounter the great Love you have for your people;
We know forgiveness and new life in his death and resurrection,
We know your guidance and enabling through the Holy spirit’s presence.
We see how you have been with us in the ebbs and flows of the past year
How you have worked your purposes, purposes for good, in our lives.
We thank you for the chance to have a break and holiday;
To allow ourselves to be recharged, invigorated for what is to come.
We thank you for being with us in the difficulties that don’t take a break;
Your presence with us brings us hope and gives us peace.
Thank you that in our failings and wrong doings you are with us too,
You forgive us and reconcile us to you and each other.
As we settle into the routine again allow us not to loose sight of you,
Rather to see that you are the one who leads and guides in all of life.
God who holds our time in your hands,
At this new year we look forward with uncertainty,
While it may be more of the same, we do not know what is to come,
The seasons and currents of this world seem to be in flux,
In our own lives we sense the winds of change blow,
Help us to look forward with the certainty of your presence,
Help us to move forward in faith, trusting your sovereign guidance,
Help us to know and show your generous love in all we say and do,
That we may indeed bring glory to you God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.