A New Year Prayer
A New Year prayer says a lot in just a few words:
Eternal God, we commit to Your mercy and forgiveness the year now ending and commend to Your blessing and love the times yet to come. In the new year, abide among us with Your Holy Spirit that we may always trust in the saving name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
2016 in God’s Mercy
God is merciful, and the prayer, “We commit to Your mercy” is made knowing that His care for us will be needed as we face our hopes, our sins, and the unknown events of 2016. Jesus’ mission was and is an outpouring of God’s mercy. Born into our mess and flesh, he fulfilled the law, suffered for our sin, destroyed death’s sting, rose, and filled all things FOR US, for our today and all of our tomorrows.
The Bible tells us of numerous times that people of faith called out to Jesus for mercy and He answered with healing, forgiveness, miraculous provision and ultimate atonement on the cross. The accounts display God’s kingdom come to us through Jesus, a foretaste of the restored life and creation that will be ushered in to God’s people on the final day. Today, we still witness this kingdom on display whenever meals are shared, care is given, and human need is met with “daily bread” given according to God’s infinite wisdom, goodness, and love.
God displays His kingdom in these ways, more importantly, He opens it up for us through Jesus on the cross and faith in His accomplishment. God comes close to us with love as we hear His Gospel Word, are washed in holy baptism, and are united with Him and each other in the reception of the Lord’s Supper. We remember His faithful love as our weakness and worry is met by God’s strength-giving, hope-renewing assurance that Jesus has wrapped himself up in our need and shame. He has our yesterday, today, and tomorrow in His able and loving hands.
2016 Offers Us Renewed Purpose
The world offers its usual promise of change with a heavy dose of uncertainty about what the change really means for the future. God promises us change as well, empowered by the Holy Spirit, as he calls us to, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other. (Colossians 3:12-13)” This isn’t a friendly suggestion but a Word about how God will display His kingdom through our lives. It’s a promise made not with uncertainty but with the power of the Holy Spirit and the forgiving, renewing grace of Christ. Even our stumbles that flow back into sincere repentance display the glory of a merciful God. Certainty flows from God’s unchanging declaration, even as the world and our lives change in good, bad, or ugly ways, ” that nothing – neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, shall ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)”
As God comes near to you in every situation 2016 brings to you, rejoice in the presence, power, and purpose God gives you through Jesus Christ. Rejoice in His kingdom come to us and eternal love won and given to us through Jesus.