I wrote this new year prayer for my church community and thought I’d share it with you all as well. (Hopefully six days in isn’t too late to still feel like it’s a very very new year.)
I also have two links to offer. The first is a piece on Trumpism and some of Jesus’ words in the book of Revelation that I wrote and shared a year ago on the day of the insurrection. I offer it as one way to reflect on that day now that a year has passed.
The second is a piece Christians for Social Action posted on their website, which is super exciting, because they’re great. It’s an adapted (mostly much shortened…like, from >3k words to <900 words) version of a sermon I preached a while back on Elizabeth and Mary as marginalized women who speak bold prophetic words. Here’s the link, hope you enjoy!
Wishing you a sense of God’s care and presence in 2022.
God, You are God of open doors and new beginnings, and you are our comfort in the face of closed doors and endings. You have been with us in the joys of 2021, and in the sorrows. There have been so many of both. Our hearts have been full to bursting with wonder and delight. Our hearts have been scarred, broken, spilling out tears of loss, pain, and sadness. Our hearts have been numb, when everything is too much. This year has been a rollercoaster for some of us and a deep sea of grief for others. Hold us all together in beloved community through it all. Give us kind, caring people to process the year with us—to hold it, to hold us. Give us courage to face the past honestly, and give us friends to face it with. May we be those who unbind one another’s graveclothes. God, at times your gospel of love and justice has burned brightly, fully alive among us. Other times it has felt dim and distant. You love us through it all, and you teach us how to love one another. God, community is hard. You are with us in the tension. You are with us in the misunderstandings, the hurt and apologies and forgiving and transforming and healing. God, you have removed many scales from our eyes. And you just keep doing it. Sometimes the journey is exhausting, but it is also good. Would you give us strength, give us rest, give us gentleness—with ourselves and with others. God, thank you for the community partnerships that have been forming and flourishing. We ask for continued favor and guidance. For relationships that are mutual and lifegiving and breathe shalom in our community. God, our needs are many. Would you take care of us, and help us take care of one another. Would you help us welcome the newcomers among us, warmly. Would the children and youth among us know they have a home and will always be loved. Would the older ones among us know they have so much to offer and are not forgotten. God, help us see the gifts you’ve given us and offer these gifts freely. As our thoughts turn toward resolutions and hopes and dreams, we look—to you and to one another—for wisdom, guidance, solidarity, partnership. Give us vision to look forward with creativity and integrity. Give us energy to keep moving into your gospel fully alive. Give us grace when we have no energy. God, bring us closer together this year—closer to you, closer to our communities. Closer to people different from us, uncomfortable as it may be. Closer to our true selves, in bold authenticity. Closer to justice, to equity, to beloved community. God, we look toward a new year with hope, cynicism, love, fear, excitement, anxiety, uncertainty, anticipation. Thank you for being with us in all these things. Thank you for giving us yourself and one another. Amen.