Last year, we rang in the new year with a small town dance at the American Legion. The hall was packed with people as music and laughter filled the air with the traditional spirit of New Year's reverie. This New Year's eve will be more sober, as we plan to sit around a fire ring with a very small number of close friends, thankful for the blessings God has granted us in 2020 while longing for better days in 2021.
Here is a prayer for New Year's Eve from the Lutheran Prayer Companion that seems especially fitting for the close of 2020...
O Lord God, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God. When You created all things, You made the lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years. We acknowledge Your steadfast love especially at this time when the old year departs and the new year enters in. We must not only extol Your wisdom, which by these lights gave us this year with its signs and seasons, days and nights, but also honor Your great attention in so wonderfully providing food and drink, clothing and nourishment, care and protection, and Your grace and blessing on all our good endeavors. We humbly beseech You to let all Your grace and truth abound to us, that with the old year our sins may be sealed shut, and with the new year the door of grace may be open to us anew; that with it we may also find new power of body and soul, and so be enabled to walk in newness of life, that it may be well with us and our children forever. O trustworthy God, as You once brought faithful Noah out of the ark and set a limit to his sadness with the old year, so lead us our of the ark of sadness and grant grace, that with the old year the old tempest may pass over us, and with the new year a new and joyful sunshine may arise. And as of old You gave Your plentiful blessings in Egypt not one year only, but seven, year after year, so let Your blessing always be upon us, so that we are obliged to extol and magnify it every year, both in the old and in the new. May we not only remember this as befits a Christian people, but also give You thanks for it at all times; through Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Amen.
Note: For those unfamiliar with it, the Lutheran Prayer Companion records nearly 500 prayers and over 100 hymns for every occasion imaginable, from the seasons and Sundays of the year to harvest time to times of political strife and so on. These prayers are steeped with Holy Scripture and devotion to Christ. This work is an exhaustive treasure trove of prayers and would make a fine addition to any Christian's bookshelf.
(H/T: the Gottesdienst Blog)
Photo by Yeo Khee on Unsplash