Creator of this new year, and every year,
thank you for the changeable gift of time.
Some years slip through our fingers like too many beads to hold,
beautiful memories bouncing every which way.
Other years are like burrs in our hair, unwanted, uncomfortable,
and really hard to shake off.
We stand at this threshold of the old and the new,
hoping for a good year.
We all want health and peace in our time,
we want safety for loved ones,
food on the table every day and clean fresh water.
For gifts we have received this past year,
we give you thanks and praise.
Thank you in advance for the gifts you will give us
that we don’t really want.
For the ability to survive violence,
for the perseverance to endure sickness,
for the strength to not return evil when evil is done to us.
Thank you that you will bring beauty to us
even when we don’t look,
you will provide good paths to take
that we will likely disregard.
Thank you that in spite of our failings,
you never fail us.
We long to follow in the footsteps of Jesus this year,
and we trust that you will be our coach,
whispering encouragement, nudging us when we need nudging.
Help us to be the generous, gracious people you created us to be,
living in communities that are welcoming
and brimming with good news for all.
Finally, we pray for this good earth.
As it takes another trip around the sun,
in your mercy protect it from our excesses,
and teach us how to live gently, walk humbly
and love the earth deeply every day of the year ahead.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.