Merciful and loving God, For the covid-season we are now moving beyond – with its sorrows and joys, loneliness and uncertainty, we give You thanks;
for in every moment of it, You remained faithful to us, rejoicing and struggling with us, though often we didn’t recognise You there. And with thanks for this past season, we now release it.
May its lessons and treasures inspire us, but never bind us in regrets; and may its troubles teach us, but never hold us captive. For You who have created are still creating . . . making all things new, including this day, this new season.
Eternal God, You call us to new ventures, of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils as yet unknown.
But this we know for sure: You are always with us – You will show us the way. Give us faith to go with courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us, guiding us, your love supporting us.
Open our hearts afresh and anew. Open our minds that we may know you. Open our ears and eyes that we may hear and see you – in our neighbour, in the foreigner, - even in our enemy, and perhaps especially in ourselves.
That we may know in the deepest part of ourselves that you call us – and that we are capable of seeing and naming, doing and being Your love, Your peace, Your Hope and Your justice in this Your world.
Loving Father, This past year we have been vulnerable. We have had to deal with many changes. Thank you for helping us through all that. Thank you for helping us adapt.
Thank you for bringing us to this place, where at last we can meet again, see each others’ smiling faces – even behind masks – and enjoy being present with each other and with you. It feels good!
Keep ideas, possibilities, dreams, and hopes growing in and around us, so that change is not an inhibitor, but stimulation into new life. Cause our attitude to change to be invitational.
Keep us curious about life, exploring and discovering, growing into understanding more of the mystery of life as we walk with you: author of life and our ever-present guide.
Place people in our path that will cause us to grow and whom we can help grow. Lord, lead us into wholeness, whatever that may be. We are ready for new life.
We are ready to bear Christ into this new, changed world. We bear love and grace and justice, compassion and understanding into a world that waits with hope.
We ARE a people of blessing. Help us, Lord, to live into that as we pray the prayer your Son taught us:
Our father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us in the time of trial
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
Now and forever. Amen