New Year

IMG_0215What words will we use to usher in a new year?

What words express our hopes and visions as we look into the year ahead?

What words can enable us to release the past year and leave it in peace?

 

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Quietly the New Year slips in.
Are we now more fearful, the radio asks?
More careful?
More tired?
Are we now more aware 
of the suffering,
the violence,
the inequality,
the injustice in our world?

Holy God,
In this New Year,
We seek you
As we have always sought you.
We need you
As we have always needed you.
We hunger for your presence, your peace, your justice and your love.

Open our hearts afresh and anew.
Open our minds that we may know you.
Open our hands that we may care for you.
Open our ears and eyes that we may hear and see you
In our neighbor, in the foreigner, in the refugee,
Even in our enemy,
And, perhaps especially, in ourselves.
That we may know in the deepest part of ourselves
That you call us
And that we are capable
Of seeing and naming, doing and being
Your love, your peace, your hope and your justice
In this your world.
Amen.

Let us look for Christ wherever we go

Let us never stop seeking

Believing that there is a light that shines in the darkness

Which the darkness shall not overcome

 

And may the love of the Creator

The joy of the Spirit

And the peace of the Christ-child

Be with you this New Year, and evermore

 

Amen.

(British Poet Laureate, 1850)

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him [it] die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him [it] go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind [humanity/humankind].

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,

With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes

But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man [one] and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.