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.
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.