December 31


God has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them we may come to share in the divine nature.

Isaiah 4:2 – 3
On that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. Whoever is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem.
You believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who shepherds the people
and sets them free.
God raises from David’s house
a child with power to save. --
--Through the holy prophets
God promised in ages past
to save us from enemy hands,
from the grip of all who hate us.
The Lord favored our ancestors
recalling the sacred covenant,
the pledge to our ancestor Abraham,
to free us from our enemies,
so we might worship without fear
and be holy and just all our days.
And you child, will be called
Prophet of the Most High,
for you will come to prepare
a pathway for the Lord
by teaching the people salvation
through forgiveness of their sin.
Out of God’s deepest mercy
a dawn will come from on high,
light for those shadowed by death,
a guide for our feet on the way to peace.
We praise you, our God, at break of day:
~ Hear and answer our Prayer.
For leadership that is wise, just and compassionate, we pray:
For all who seek the truth and search for God, we pray:
For the spirit of simple joy in the hearts of those who are poor, we pray:
For welcome and hospitality extended to the homeless, we pray:
For faith and confidence that all will be well, we pray:
For gratitude for your incarnation, God-among-us, we pray:

We continue to rejoice, Jesus, in the great gift of your birth among us. May wonder and gratitude suffuse our lives, flowing forth in contagious hope and embracing love. May we never tire of reflecting on the mysteries of this holy season, and may our reflections deepen our commitment to follow in the path of mercy you have marked out for us. We ask this in confidence. Amen.