to live these days with you

                                  Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash                          
 
Surrounded by good powers, faithful and still,
wonderfully protected and comforted –
in this way I want to live these days with you
and go with you into a new year.
 
The old year still wants to torment our hearts;
the heavy burdens of evil days still hold us down.
O Lord, give our frightened souls
the salvation for which you created us.
 
And if you hand us the heavy cup, the bitter one,
of sorrow, filled to the highest brim,
then we take it thankfully, without trembling,
from your good and loving hand.
 
Yet if you want to give us joy once again
in this world and its sun’s bright light,
then we want to remember what has passed,
and then our life belongs fully to you.
 
Today, let the candles glow warm and bright
that you brought into our darkness,
and if it can be, bring us together again!
We know your light shines in the night.
 
When now the profound stillness spreads round us,
let us hear that full sound of the world
that widens invisibly all around us,
the high hymn of praise of all your children.
 
Wonderfully secured by good powers,
we confidently await what may come.
God is with us in the evening and the morning,
and most certainly in each new day.
 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1906 – 1945, German Lutheran theologian and martyr
 
_______________________
 
 
 
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.

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representing our compassionate Savior

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane / Robert Walter Weir / CC0

 

Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief,
we pray for our brothers and sisters who mourn.
 
We pray for each one who feels the keen grief that death can bring,
    You have told us that death is not the end of life,
    that beyond the grave is the resurrection,
    yet you wept at the side of a grave,
    you understand our grief.
    Strengthen those who mourn.
 
We pray for our brothers and sisters
    who are shut off from the rest of society
    by their color or their accent.
    If we are part of their trouble,
    help us to correct what lies in our power to correct.
 
We pray for each one who is in pain
    because of sickness or injury.
    You knew pain so deep and intense
    that you thought the heavenly Father had forgotten you.
    Be the light for those who are in the valley of the shadows.
 
Compassionate Savior,
    you have called us to represent you
    in compassion with your brothers and sisters who mourn.
    You have done your part;
    help us to do ours.
 
Andrew W Blackwood Jr, 1882-1966, Presbyterian pastor and professor
 
_____________________________
 
 
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

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