“I waited patiently for the Lord. He lifted me out of the mud and mire, he set my feet upon a rock. He put a new song in my mouth.” (Psalm 40:1-3)
God, awaken us to a new year. Awaken us also to a new spirit, a new will, even a new way.
As we tear away the calendar of the old year and look hopefully at the clean page of the New Year, we remember that You are the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. You are the God who forgives our yesterdays, who walks with us today, and guides us toward tomorrow. This is why we dare to be hopeful.
God, You promise newness in so many ways: a new song in our mouth, renewed strength, a new self, a renewed mind (Romans 12:2), a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), a new name (Revelation 2:17), even a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-2).
God, like You, we can spin the globe in our mind and find our finger touching upon this place, or that: The Democratic Republic of the Congo; Syria; Turkey; the United States; North Korea and South Korea. We see forces at work, good and bad, among people yearning for all Your newness. We thank You, God, for the Bishops of the Congo, united to begin a new season of democracy after so much sorrow. We thank You, God, for the talks in Geneva, Switzerland as the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey aim to bring peace to the island of Cyprus. We thank You, God, for the freedom of discourse as South Korea discerns its leadership.
We thank You, God, for the rescue of twenty-six North Koreans by Japan from a sinking cargo ship off the coast of Japan. We thank You, God, for the slightest glimmers of peace in Syria, the slightest evidence of unity among Muslims and Christians and Jews against the terror wrought by terrorists, the oppression by oppressors or the intolerance by bigots.
Across teeming cities and rural villages we give thanks, God, for each new birth, for every new opportunity, for new ideas, new starts, and new faith.