Call to Worship: –
“On the first day of the seventh month, Tisri, observe a special day of rest, and come together for worship when the trumpets sound. Present a food offering to the Lord and do none of your daily work.” (Leviticus 23: 23 to 25)
For the Jewish people in Old Testament Israel, their New Year commenced on the first day of their seventh month, Tisri. That day was a special day of rest, on which they were not to do any of their normal work. At an appointed time during the day, the Levites, those who work in the Temple, would blow their trumpets. This was the signal that all the people were to gather at the Temple for worship and to make a food offering to God.
It was a time for the people to focus solely upon how God had demonstrated His love and grace towards them in the past year, to be reminded of God’s promise to always be their God and for them to always be His people, and for them to recommit themselves to the worship and service of God.
Today, people still gather together at the time of the New Year. But it is a time when people do not focus upon God at all, let alone, recommit themselves to a God whom they neither worship nor serve. The only thing people do religiously today, is to gather together to party, to overindulge in food and drink and revelry, and to offer themselves to the worship and service of the gods of pleasure and hedonistic pursuits.
On this day, when we look back upon the year that has been and look forward to the year that is coming, let us gather together to offer our worship of God, to thank God who bountifully provided for us in the past and who promises to continue to provide for us into the future, to offer our praise of God whose love is the source of our joy, hope and peace.
We sing the Hymn “Standing at the portal” MHB955
Francis Ridley Havergal
Prayer of Praise and Confession:
(from Uniting in Worship 1 p67 to 69)
We are the body of Christ. Come, let us worship God, who has called us to be a holy People, and has established an everlasting Covenant with His Creation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We come in spirit and in truth.
Let us offer our adoration to the God of love; who has created us, who continually preserves and sustains us, who has loved us with an everlasting love, and has given us the light of the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
We praise you, O God, we acclaim your majesty as Creator of Heaven and Earth.
Let us meditate on the grace of Jesus, for though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, for though he was tempted in every way as we are, yet he did not sin. He went about doing good and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
We praise you, Jesus, we acclaim you as Lord of all.
Let us meditate on the gift of Jesus, for he became obedient to death, death on the cross; he was dead and is alive for evermore. He opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers; and is seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We praise you, Jesus, we acclaim you as Saviour of all.
Let us rejoice in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, the giver of life, whose witness confirms us, whose wisdom teaches us, whose power enables us. By the Spirit we are born into the Family of God, and have a share in the fellowship we have with God and with each other.
We praise you, Holy Spirit, we acclaim your power and influence in each of us.
Yet, we humbly confess our sins, merciful God. You have set forth the way of life for us in Jesus, but we confess with shame our slowness to learn from him, our failure to follow him, and our reluctance to take up our cross.
Have mercy on us, O God, and forgive us.
We confess the poverty of our worship, our neglect of the Christian Community, our hesitating witness for Christ, our evasion of responsibilities in your service, our imperfect stewardship of your gifts.
Have mercy on us, O God, and forgive us.
We confess that so little of your love has reached others through us, that we have cherished things which divide us from others, that we have made it hard for others to live with us, that we have been thoughtless in our judgements, hasty in our condemnation, and grudging in our forgiveness.
Have mercy on us, O God, and forgive us.
We bring these prayers before you, trusting in your goodness and faithfulness to listen to us and to forgive us.
Cleanse us of that which hinders our fellowship with you and our fellowship with others. Renew us so that we give honour to you in our thoughts, our speech and our actions. To your glory we pray. Amen.
Assurance of Forgiveness
(Philippians 2: 8 & Galatians 4: 5)
The Apostle Paul reminds us that Jesus humbled himself and walked the path of obedience all the way to death, his death on the cross, to redeem us so that we could all become children of God.
Having confessed our sins before God and placed our trust in the love and grace of God, we have the assurance that God, in His mercy, has forgiven us and has cleansed us of all unrighteousness, and that He has accepted each of us as His own.
Thanks be to God.
Prayer of illumination
(from Uniting in Worship Book 1 number 12 p599)
Prepare our hearts, O Lord, to receive your Word. Silence in us any voice but your own. In hearing these words may we perceive new truths that you seek to teach us, and may we perceive your will that you seek for us to follow, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
14 Then God commanded, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate day from night, and let them serve as sign both for religious festivals and for seasons and years. 15 Let them also shine in the sky to give light to the Earth.” And it was done. 16 So God made the two larger lights, the Sun to govern the day and the Moon to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 He placed the lights in the sky to shine on the Earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good, and it was pleasing to Him. 19 Evening passed and morning came – that was the fourth day.
1 Then out of the storm the LORD spoke to Job. 2 “Who are you to question my wisdom with your ignorant, empty words? 3 Stand up like a man and answer the questions I ask you. 4 Were you there when I made the World? If you know so much, tell me about it.
31 Can you tie the Pleiades together or loosen the bonds that hold Orion? 32 Can you guide the stars season by season and direct the Big and the Little dipper? 33 Do you know the laws that govern the skies, and can you make them apply to the Earth?
34 Can you shout orders to the clouds and make them drench you with rain? 35 And if you command the lightning to flash, will it come to you and say, ‘At your service.’? 36 Who tells the ibis when the Nile will flood, or who tells the rooster that rain will fall? 37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds and tilt them over to pour out the rain, 38 rain that hardens the clods of earthy?”
1 John writes, “Then I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth. The first Heaven and the first Earth had vanished, and there was no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 Then I heard a loud voice proclaiming from the throne, ‘Now at last God has His dwelling among Humankind! He will live with them and they shall be his people. God Himself will be with them, and He will be their God. 4 He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall be and end to death, and to mourning and crying and pain; for the old order has passed away.’
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold! I am making all things new!’ And He also said to me, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. Indeed they are already fulfilled. 6 I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.’”
[Today’s English Version, New English Bible]
This is the Word of God.
Praise to you Almighty God.
8a Jesus said, 25 “There will be strange things happening to the Sun, the Moon , and the stars. On Earth whole countries will be in despair, afraid of the roar of the sea and the raging tides. 26 People will faint from fear as they wait for what is coming over the whole Earth, for the powers in Space will be driven from their courses. 27 Then the Son of Man will appear, coming in a cloud with great power and glory. 28 When these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your salvation is near.”
29 Then Jesus told the Disciples this parable: “Think of the fig tree and any other tree. 30 When you see their leaves beginning to appear, you know that Summer is near. 31 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that the Kingdom of God is about to come.
32 Remember that all these things will take place before the people now living have all died. 33 Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
34 Be careful not to let yourselves become occupied with too much feasting and drinking and with the worries of this life, or that Day may suddenly catch you like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all people everywhere on Earth. 36 Be on watch and pray always that you will have the strength to go safely through all these things that will happen and to stand before the Son of Man.”
[Today’s English Version, New English Bible]
This is the Gospel of our Lord.
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
We sing the hymn “Sing to the Great Jehovah’s praise” MHB959 AHB484
[sung to the tune Richmond – there is no introduction]
Verse 1 of 5
Sing to the great Jehovah’s praise,
All praise to Him belongs,
Who kindly lengthens out our days
Demands our choicest songs.
Verse 2 of 5
His providence has brought us through
Another various year,
We all with vows and anthems new
Before our God appear
Verse 3 of 5
Father, your mercies past we own,
Your still continued care,
To you presenting, through your Son
Whate’er we have or are.
Verse 4 of 5
Our lips and lives shall gladly show
The wonders of your love;
While on in Jesu’s steps we go
To see your face above.
Verse 5 of 5
Our residue of days or hours
Yours, wholly yours shall be,
And all our consecrated powers
A sacrifice to you.
Great Britain, Ireland and the British Empire adopted 1 January as New Year Day effective 1752. New Year – Wikipedia
You may not be aware that if Australia had been settled by Great Britain prior to 1752, whoever was living here at that time would have celebrated New Years Day on 25th March. Great Britain, Ireland and the British Empire only adopted 1 January as New Year Day effective in 1752. What today appears to be a long-established date on our calendars and in our diaries, has been the date for the New Year in our cultural corner of the World for only 270 years. It has to do mostly with when the Gregorian calendar was adopted.
As the month of January is the first month in the Julian Calendar, of which the Gregorian Calendar is a revision, it was therefore seen as the first month in the year. As the first of January is the first day in the first month of the year, it was therefore seen as the first day of the new year. Seems logical enough. However, January is named after the Roman god, Janus, the god of gateways and beginnings. https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/New_Year%27s_Day
So, one view is that, when we celebrate New Year’s Day, we are following a pattern of idol worship that was established in ancient Rome over two thousand years ago, and are commemorating an artificially assigned date that has no celestial nor cosmological significance as the beginning of anything, either in the heavens or upon Earth. But this detracts from the festivity and celebration associated with New Year’s Day, doesn’t it?
The Hebrew calendar based on the agricultural and religious year
(Handbook of Bible Times by John Thompson p133)
The Hebrew calendar, in contrast, was based on their agricultural seasons: that is, such things as the dry season, the cold season, the rainy seasons, their periods for the harvesting of different crops. As mentioned previously, the Hebrew New Year’s Day was the first day of their seventh month, Tishri. This month was the month of the early rains, after the time for the harvesting of summer figs and dates. John Thompson’s diagram above presents the calendar as cyclical, in that the end of one year leads to another yearly cycle that is a repeat of the past year. Each part of the cycle is recognised by signs and changes in nature, which are set in Nature and are repeated year after year.
This was highlighted in several verses from today’s readings. In our reading from Genesis 1 we read of the stars being signs both for religious festivals and for seasons and years. (Genesis 1: 14)
This is repeated in our reading from Job where God questions Job, saying:
“Can you guide the stars season by season?” (Job 38: 32)
Elsewhere, God asks of Job:
“Who tells the ibis when the Nile will flood, or who tells the rooster that rain will fall?” (Job 38: 36) Here, God is reminding Job of signs in nature that indicate that a season has come.
Jesus, in the parable about trees that he shared with his Disciples, reminded them:
“When you see their leaves beginning to appear, you know that Summer is near.” (Luke 21: 30)
In the Hebrew culture, people’s concerns all related to coping with and working with the seasons and the changes that each season brought. As long as they planted or harvested or reared their flocks and herds as was determined by the seasons, they would be assured of having sufficient food and material goods to meet their needs for the yearly cycle. You depended upon God to ensure that the seasons came and went, that the rains came at the right time each season so that the grass grew and their crops grew. You depended upon God for the rain because you could not ask the rain to fall, as God clearly indicated to Job.
“If you obey the LORD your God, … He will bless everything you do.”
(Deuteronomy 28: 1a and 6)
What God required of the people, so as to maintain this balance of the seasons, and so as to guarantee abundant crops and flocks and herds, was their faithful worship and service. God sought this from His people as their response to God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises to care for and to nourish them. (Deuteronomy 28: 1 to 6)
The Prophet Amos wrote of a time when the focus of the people of Israel had drifted away from God. He condemned the people of Israel for their way of life and for the way they mistreated others. The people of Israel had decided that they would not be dependent upon God for providing what they needed, but rather would rely upon what they could do themselves to ensure their future prosperity. Progress changed from being one of being able to meet their yearly needs, to one of increased profit over time. Their year changed from cyclical to linear, from what they could achieve year after year to what they could achieve year upon year. And with the change of focus from being upon God and His provision for their needs, so too was there a change in their response to God, for they neglected their need to obey God and to worship God.
“The Lord says, ‘The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. (Amos 2: 6)
Amos records the message that God has for the people of Israel:
“The Lord says, ‘The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. (Amos 2: 6)
God condemned their decadent lifestyle, their love of fine houses (5: 11) , their love of luxurious furnishings (3: 12 & 6: 4) , their love of fine food (6: 4) , and their love of drinking wine and liquor (4: 1 & 5: 11) .
God condemned their mistreatment of the weak and their oppressing the poor (4: 1) , their taking bribes and preventing the poor from getting justice in the Courts (5: 12) , their overcharging for goods, their use of incorrectly adjusted scales to cheat customers, and their enslaving of poor people who could not pay off their debts (8: 5 & 6) .
Amos is telling the people of Israel that they have brought God’s judgement upon themselves for their “contempt of God’s law and for their religious complacency”. (Gerhard von Rad in The Message of the Prophets p106)
The world is no different today. God equally condemns the people of today for exactly the same things; for their contempt of God’s laws as guidance for just and equitable relationships and for ethical business practices, and for their complacency regarding God’s call to worship and fellowship with Him.
“Be careful not to let yourselves become occupied with too much feasting and drinking” Luke 21: 34
The New Year period is an ideal example of that about which Jesus warns his Disciples, of “becoming occupied with too much feasting and drinking”. (Luke 21: 34) Such behaviour has become the lifestyle prevalent among many people today and preferred by many people today, to the extent that feasting and drinking has become their god. They have neglected the true and worthwhile worship of their Creator God.
“Be on watch” Jesus says, “and pray always that you will have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21: 36)
Jesus gives a second warning:
“Be on watch” Jesus says, “and pray always that you will have the strength to go safely through all these things that will happen and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21: 36)
Jesus is alerting us to a time when he will return with the power “to bring judgement and redemption” upon Humanity (Joel Green in The Gospel of Luke p743) . At that time, we will all be required to “stand before Jesus, the Son of Man” and give an account of our lives, of either our faithful service to God and worship of God, or of our faithless quest for pleasure and purpose outside of a relationship with God.
“When you see these things happening, you will know that the Kingdom of God is about to come.” (Luke 21: 31)
We live in a Time in tension. The regular and cyclic “signs of the seasons” are as visible and are as predicable as they were in the time of Job. Our lives are guided by the annual coming of the seasons and by the changes brought about by the coming of the seasons. One focus in our lives is the celebrating of those annual events in our personal lives that are meaningful to us and to our family. Another is on celebrating those annual ‘festivals’ in our liturgical year that are meaningful to our Church ‘family’. And there is no harm involved in these celebrations as long as they are undertaken with temperance and with reverence for God. And make no mistake, New Year is both a significant personal event and an important liturgical festival for the Church.
But Jesus warns us of other signs, signs of “strange things happening to the Sun, the Moon, and the stars” (Luke 21: 25) , signs by which we know that “the Kingdom of God is about to come.” (Luke 21: 31)
These signs will not be the regular or cyclic signs of the seasons, but none-the-less are to be expected and welcomed. They indicate that “our salvation is near” (Luke 21: 28) and that “at last God has (made) His dwelling among Humankind, (where) He will live with (us) and (we) shall be his people.” (Revelation 21: 3)
Upon reflecting on the signs of the seasons, Job was led to understand that “God is not aloof in some far-distant heaven, but is present and active in His Creation.” Job was led to respond with “a sense of awe at God’s unlimited creative power”. (Donald Hilton in International Bible Reading Association Notes on Bible Reading for April 13 1989 p76)
Upon reflecting on the words of Jesus in Luke 21 concerning the coming of the Kingdom of God, we are led to an assurance that “no matter what happens, there is one relationship which will remain steadfast, Christ’s relationship with us.”, and that this assurance “should remove our fear about the future and encourage our trust in God, remembering that nothing can separate us from His love”.
“Every day, (as our response to this assurance), we are called to live the kind of life which bears witness to the things we believe, the love we know, and the truths we have learned from God.” (Iain Roy in International Bible Reading Association Notes on Bible Reading for March 12, 13 & 14 1989 p55 & 56)
May this be our New Year’s resolution that we make this year and which we will endeavour to keep throughout 2022. Amen.
Dedication of the New Year (from Uniting in Worship 1 p66 and 72 to 74)
At this time of the New Year, let us recommit ourselves to God, renewing our promise to love and to serve God. In so doing we are submitting our will to the will of God, and restating our hope and trust in the grace and benevolence of God.
In the Old Covenant, God chose Israel as His People, and gave them the gift of the Law. In the New Covenant, He made the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, who fulfills the Law for us. We stand within the New Covenant and we bear the name of Christ.
God promises us new life in Him. We receive this promise and pledge to live not for ourselves but for God.
Today we meet to renew that which binds us to God. Beloved in Christ, let us again claim this Covenant for ourselves and take the yoke of Christ upon us.
To take this yoke upon us means that we are content that God appoints us our place and work, and that He Himself will be our reward.
Christ has many services to be done: some are easy, others are difficult, some are undertaken in public, others are undertaken and known only to God. Yet the power to do all things is given to us in Christ, who strengthens us. In our baptism we are brought into union with Christ who fulfills God’s gracious Covenant. In the Communion elements, we receive the fruit of obedience. So, with joy, we take upon ourselves the yoke of obedience and commit ourselves to seek and to do God’s perfect will. I am no longer my own, but God’s.
I am no longer my own, but yours, O God. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you; let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours, to the glory and praise of your name. Amen.
“For the life that you have given” TiS774
[ sung to the tune Austria – there is no introduction]
[This YouTube is for another hymn so disregard the words – only the one verse is needed]
[alternatively, if you have the facility on your computer to play such music, double-click on the Mp3 file below and then select ‘open’ – there is a very small introduction]
For the life that you have given,
For the love in Christ made known,
With these fruits of time and labour,
With these gifts that are your own:
Here we offer, Lord, our praises;
Heart and mind and strength we bring;
Give us grace to love and serve you,
Living what we pray and sing.
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Prayers for Others
Almighty God, we come to you in this brand new year with a desire to move forward, not backward. Last year is gone and with it all the foolish mistakes we made. We are eager to put the past behind and to press on toward the mark of knowing you, loving you, serving you, and making Your name known in this coming year.
At the start of each day, help us to recognize you above all else. Enlighten the eyes of our heart that we might see you, and notice how you’re at work through our lives. Give us the wisdom to make the best choices, fill us with a desire to seek after you more than anything else in this world. Let your Spirit and power breathe in us, through us, again, fresh and new. Thank you that you are greater than anything we may face in our day. Thank you that your presence goes with us and that your joy is never dependent on our circumstances, but it is our true and lasting strength, no matter what we’re up against. We ask that your peace lead us, that it would guard our hearts and minds in you. We ask for your grace to cover our lives this day and every day.
Almighty God, thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you’ve allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day.
We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said “no,” “not yet,” or “wait.” We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts.
We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honoured by our lives, and others would be drawn to you. We pray that you would keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations, that you would whisper in our ear when we need to run and whisper in our heart when we need to stand our ground.
We pray for your protection over our families and friends. We ask for your hand to cover us and keep us distanced from the evil intent of the enemy; that you would be a barrier to surround us, that we’d be safe in your hands. We pray that you would give us discernment and insight beyond our years, to understand your will, hear your voice, and know your ways.
God of all times and seasons, on this threshold of a new year, we turn and return again to you. The year spreads before us with possibilities and challenges, joys and concerns. There is beauty all around: in the smiles of children, in the love offered between friends, in the beauty of the earth. But there are also challenges already surfacing. In the closing days of last year we have seen the images of war torn countries, terrorist attacks, hunger, poverty and despair, and the COVID pandemic continue.
Your heart grieves when your children anywhere are hurting. Then again, we know that even in the midst of winter there is hope for spring, and even in the midst of grief there are signs of hope: children embraced, lives touched by grace, heroes who surface in times of trial. In the midst of the good and the bad, hear our prayer for this New Year.
May you help us to love a bit more deeply, see the beauty around us more clearly, listen more earnestly, speak more honestly. May we be troubled by injustice and be moved to act. May we be led by compassion and be moved to serve. May we walk softly upon this Earth and be gentle towards your creation. May we be a courageous and bold witness for you. May we be a living example of your gracious love, not only in word but in deed. And may we daily give thanks for the others in our lives and in the world that do the same and more, every day, in innumerable ways. For the promise in this New Year, we give you thanks. Help us to live it wisely and well.
Jesus, you are the light in our darkness. You bring grace in our sinfulness, peace in our strife, joy in our sadness, hope in times of despair and courage in our weakness. We thank you for Christmas. Your coming showed us your tender loving care for us. As we move into this new year, we acknowledged that we have fears, questions and uncertainties. We acknowledge unfinished business in our lives, tasks we had hoped to complete that we have left undone, strained relationships that need healing, mistakes we have made this past year we do not want to repeat. We need your strength to journey towards new beginnings.
Humble us afresh so that we may receive your forgiveness and welcome you afresh into our lives.
As we look back on this past year, we also thank you for all your blessings. Just as you have always gone before us preparing the way, and stood beside us, guiding us, and urging us on, help us to trust you now. In you we live and move and have our being, all our times are in your hands. All our beginnings and ending are known to you. Take our lives into your keeping that we may begin and continue this year in the hope, peace, joy and love that comes from you. Loving God, we bring these prayers to you, trusting in your compassion and care. To your glory we pray. Amen.
We sing the Hymn ‘Great God we sing that mighty hand’ AHB52 TiS124
[sung to the tune Truro – there is no introduction]
Verse 1 of 4
Great God, we sing that mighty hand
By which supported still we stand;
The opening year your mercy shows,
And mercy crowns it at its close.
Verse 2 of 4
By day, by night, at home, abroad,
Still are we guarded by our God,
By His incessant bounty fed,
By his unerring counsel led.
Verse 3 of 4
With grateful hearts the past we own,
The future, all to us unknown,
We to your guardian care commit,
And peaceful leave before your feet.
Verse 4 of 4
In scenes exalted or depressed
You are our joy, and you our rest,
Your goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.
Sacrament of Communion
(following Uniting in Worship 2 p162 to p222)
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.
Christ, our Lord, invites to his Table all who love him, all who earnestly repent of their sin and who seek to live in peace with one another.
Prayer of Approach
Lord God, we come to your Table, trusting in your mercy and not in any goodness of our own. We are not worthy even to gather up the crumbs under your table, but it is your nature always to have mercy, and on that we depend. So, feed us with the body and blood of Jesus Christ, your son, that we may for ever live in him and he in us. Amen.
Narrative of the Institution of the Lord’s Supper
Hear the words of the institution of this Sacrament as recorded by the Apostle Paul:
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night when he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new Covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, for the remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’”
And, so, according to our Saviour’s command, we set this bread and this cup apart for the Holy Supper to which he calls us, and we come to God with our prayers of thanksgiving.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
With all we are, we give you glory, God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the one and holy God, Sovereign of all Time and Space. We thank you for this wide red land, for its rugged beauty, for its changing seasons, for its diverse people, and for all that lives upon this fragile Planet. You have called us to be the Church in this place, to give voice to every creature under Heaven. We rejoice with all that you have made, as we join the company of Heaven in their song:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and Earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed be the One who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
We thank you that you called a covenant people to be the light to the Nations. Through Moses you taught us to love your Law, and, in the Prophets, you cried out for justice. In the fullness of your mercy, you became one with us in Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for us on the cross. You make us alive together with him, that we may rejoice in his presence and share his peace. By water and the Spirit, you open the Kingdom to all who believe, and welcome us to your Table: for by grace we are saved through faith. With this bread and this cup we do as our Saviour commands: we celebrate the redemption he has won for us.
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Pour out the Holy Spirit on us and on these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ. Make us one with him, one with each other, and one in ministry in the World, until at last we feast with him in the Kingdom. Through your Son, Jesus Christ, in your holy Church, all honour and glory are yours, Father Almighty, now and for ever.
Blessing and honour and glory and power are yours for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil,
For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.
Breaking of the Bread
The bread we break is a sharing in the body of Christ.
The cup we take is a sharing in the blood of Christ.
The gifts of God for the People of God.
Lamb of God
Jesus, Lamb of God,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the World,
Grant us peace.
Receive this Holy Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, and feed upon him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.
(after all have received the bread)
The body of Christ keep you in eternal life.
(after all have received the juice)
The blood of Christ keep you in eternal life.
Prayer after Communion
Blessed be God who calls us together.
Praise to God who makes us one People.
Blessed be God who has forgiven our sins.
Praise to God who gives us hope and freedom.
Blessed be God whose Word is proclaimed.
Praise to God who is revealed as the One who loves.
Blessed be God who alone has called us.
Therefore, we offer to God all that we are and all that we shall become.
Accept, O God, our sacrifice of praise.
Accept our thanks for we have seen the greatness of your love. Amen.
We sing the Hymn ‘Another year is dawning’ – MHB954
[sung to the tune Morning Light – there is a short introduction]
Frances Ridley Havergal
May God be a smooth path ahead of you,
And a bright star to guide you
May His loving eyes be upon you
tonight, tomorrow and always.
May the God of love strengthen us
in our love for others.
May Christ Jesus be our living hope
And the Holy Spirit surprise us on the way.
(Helen Richmond, Prayers that Unite) https://pilgrimwr.unitingchurch.org.au/?p=754
And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rest upon you and remain with you always. Amen.
“By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered” TiS617
[sung to the tune Finlandia – only the one verse to be sung – there is a short introduction]
Verse 1 of 1
By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
And confidently waiting come what may,
We know that God is with us night and morning
And never fails to greet us each new day.
We shall remember all the days we live through
All of our life before our God we lay.
Translated by Frederick Pratt Green