Gratitude at the end of the year

image by Kecko CC BY-ND 2.0

O Lord, our Father!
We have gathered here at the end of the turn of the year
    because we do not want to be alone
    but want to be with each other
    and together be united with you.
Our hearts are filled with sombre thoughts
    as we reflect on the misdeeds of the past year.
And our ears are deafened by the voices of the radio and in the newspapers
    with their numerous predictions for the coming year.
Instead we want to hear your word, your voice,
    your assurance, your guidance.
We know that you are in our midst
    and are eager to give us all that we need
    whether we ask or not.
On this night we ask for one thing only:
    that you collect our scattered thoughts
    getting rid of the confused and defiant thoughts that may distract us
    and thus enable us to concentrate on your limitless generosity to us.
You were abundantly generous to us last year,
    and will be no less generous to us next year, and in every year to come.
Fill us with gratitude to you.

Karl Barth, 1886 – 1968, Swiss Reformed theologian


Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
    and refreshment to your bones.

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