Prayer and Scripture for Christmas and New Year

Prayer for Christmas

We Greet Your Coming
We greet your coming, God, with wonder:
You come to be with us; yet you remain far greater than we can imagine.
You are near; yet your wisdom sets you apart from us.
You appear among us; yet we cannot describe your glory.
We greet your coming, God, with repentance:
We are more or less satisfied with ourselves; but your presence exposes our sin and failure.
We are self-confident; but you challenge our confidence in ourselves.
We are proud of our understanding; but you show us that we do not know everything.
We greet your coming, God, with joy:
We had no true idea of what you are like; but you have shown us yourself in Jesus Christ.
We felt our human life could be of no importance to you; but you have shown its value by appearing among us as a man.
We are aware of the gulf between us and you; but you have bridged it with love.
God, we greet your coming in Jesus Christ our Lord!
Contemporary Prayers for Public Worship, ed. Caryl Micklem (London: SCM Press, 1971), 111-112.
Courtesy Xavier University online resources

For the New Year
Ecclesiastes 3:1-14
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.
Courtesy New International Version (NIV)
Photo courtesy Bigstock.

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