Year V: 12 Days of Christmas

New Year’s Day: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Happy New Year! Today is also the Eighth Day of Christmas, the traditional twelve day festival that begins on Christmas Day and runs until January 5th. During this time we concentrate our readings on Jesus’ early life. This leads us to January 6th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, where we celebrate Christ’s revelation to the world as Messiah, predominantly in the events leading up to and immediately after his baptism.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

Lord, through all the generations
    you have been our home!
Before the mountains were born,
    before you gave birth to the earth and the world,
    from beginning to end, you are God.

You turn people back to dust, saying,
    “Return to dust, you mortals!”
For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,
    as brief as a few night hours.
You sweep people away like dreams that disappear.
    They are like grass that springs up in the morning.
In the morning it blooms and flourishes,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.
We wither beneath your anger;
    we are overwhelmed by your fury.
You spread out our sins before you—
    our secret sins—and you see them all.
We live our lives beneath your wrath,
    ending our years with a groan.

Seventy years are given to us!
    Some even live to eighty.
But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble;
    soon they disappear, and we fly away.
Who can comprehend the power of your anger?
    Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.
Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
    so that we may grow in wisdom.

O Lord, come back to us!
    How long will you delay?
    Take pity on your servants!
Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
    so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!
    Replace the evil years with good.
Let us, your servants, see you work again;
    let our children see your glory.
And may the Lord our God show us his approval
    and make our efforts successful.
    Yes, make our efforts successful!

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Isaiah 65:17-25

A New Time Is Coming

“Look, I will make new heavens and a new earth,
    and people will not remember the past
    or think about those things.
My people will be happy forever
    because of the things I will make.
I will make a Jerusalem that is full of joy,
    and I will make her people a delight.
Then I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and be delighted with my people.
There will never again be heard in that city
    the sounds of crying and sadness.
There will never be a baby from that city
    who lives only a few days.
And there will never be an older person
    who doesn’t have a long life.
A person who lives a hundred years will be called young,
    and a person who dies before he is a hundred will be thought of as a sinner.
In that city those who build houses will live there.
    Those who plant vineyards will get to eat their grapes.
No more will one person build a house and someone else live there.
    One person will not plant a garden and someone else eat its fruit.
My people will live a long time,
    as trees live long.
My chosen people will live there
    and enjoy the things they make.
They will never again work for nothing.
    They will never again give birth to children who die young.
All my people will be blessed by the Lord;
    they and their children will be blessed.
I will provide for their needs before they ask,
    and I will help them while they are still asking for help.
Wolves and lambs will eat together in peace.
    Lions will eat hay like oxen,
    and a snake on the ground will not hurt anyone.
They will not hurt or destroy each other
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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