Creator God, the year turns, and we find ourselves uncertain which way to look…
Back, at the blessings you have bestowed upon us—
friends and family,
wonderful summer weather,
beautiful music and theatre,
times for fun and laughter,
new things learned and old habits put away,
the gift of your presence,
celebrations of life and love.
We give thanks for all that has been.
Or perhaps we look back in another direction, at all we have lost—
friends we have said goodbye to,
illness or pain that stole our joy,
news that hit too close to home,
worries about livelihoods and about children and about church and about the world.
We pray for healing of our brokenness,
for the comfort of your care to smooth the rough places
and for your light to shine through the cracks.
Or should we look forward, God?
Behold, you are doing a new thing…
we anticipate with wonder that the best is yet to be.
As the old year gives way to the new,
we long for the peace and justice of your kingdom.
We pray that children of every place may grow up with enough food and water and love,
that violence may at last come to an end,
that our leaders might seek the good of all,
that this might be the year when light outshines shadows.
Give us courage to trust you,
to put our hand in yours and walk forward into the unknown with hope.
As we stand at the gate of the year,
looking backward and forward,
remind us also to look inward and outward,
to seek your kingdom first of all.
Remind us that we can see your image in every face,
that you have made us your family, together,
that this world belongs to you and we are its caretakers,
and that there is a still more excellent way—the way of love, faith, and hope.
May this be the year, O God, that all people see your glory together.
We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock