2018 New Year’s Prayer for the Congregations of the Eastern Germany Annual Conference and the Western Pennsylvania Conference
written by Rev. Lutz Brückner, translated by Deanna Baird
I said to the angel who stood at the gate of the new year: “Give me a light so that I can walk with safe footing toward an uncertain future.“ But he responded, “Just go into the darkness and lay your hand into the hand of God. That is better than a light and more secure than a known path.” What luck that there is this hand and that there are these angels, who tells me what is right and important. You do not know what is coming; you do not know who is leaving. But you are certain who is holding you and also carrying you across the abyss. (Uwe Seidel)
Lord, our God, at the beginning of this new year 2018 we want to warmly thank You for Your guidance and accompaniment in the past year. We laud and praise You for the experience of Your presence in our life. We are happy to be allowed to belong to You and to be able to go with You through our life.
Yet we stand insecurely at the threshold of a new year. Insecure because we do not know what will come. Insecure also because the news that reaches us daily makes us upset and fearful. So we place our fears and worries, dear Lord, on You and ask You:
Let there be peace in this world.
Let people find ways to solve conflicts without violence and to live in peace with one another. Restrain the warmongers, the armament profiteers, and those who incite hate and fear.
Help that love and mercy gain more space in the lives of people than prejudice and egoism.
Let the rulers of this earth recognize their responsibility for people and for our world and help them to act accordingly.
Help so that people no longer have to starve or live in inhumane, unworthy conditions.
Protect those who have become homeless and uprooted.
Let those receive justice who must suffer from injustice.
Lord, our God, we thank You that we can tell You what moves us and that we are allowed to know that our prayer is not in vain. So we share with You in silence our personal concerns.
Time of Silence
Lord, our God, we thank You also for our church, in which we are at home. We thank You for our fellowship as sisters and brothers among each other, who are connected to each other in their congregations through You and who do the ministry which You have bid them to do. We thank You for our world-wide church and for all the ministries that is done in Your name for all the people and for our world. We pray for our church and for all who bear responsibility for it. Help us to preserve unity even in contentious questions of life and of faith.
We thank You for the partnership between our two conferences in Pennsylvania and in Eastern Germany. We thank You for all the connections and all the relationships that have grown and thank You for what we have been able to move together. We thank you for the joint projects through which we have been able to help alleviate need and to invite people to You. Keep this partnership alive in us and in our congregations and let us discover what we can jointly do to spread Your Will into the world.
Lord, our God, let us at the beginning of this new year consciously seize Your hand again, in order to walk through time together. Let us begin the new year full of joy and confidence because we know: You are holding and carrying us, even across abysses. Amen.
For the Partnership Committee of the Eastern Germany Conference: Pastor Lutz Brückner (Kirchberg/Wilkau- Haßlau)
Translation: Deanna Baird (Mt. Lebanon, Pittsburgh)