If you’re gathering together as Small Church, or simply watching and considering on your own this New Years Eve, Happy New Year to you!
While lighting a candle to remind you of God’s Presence, have someone read the candle prayer:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You have called us out of darkness into light.
Open our eyes to your presence,
Open our ears to your call,
Open our hearts to your love.
Spend some time thanking God for the day, for what comes to mind in gratitude in your life and in the world. Notice what is around you, what you see, and hear – offer up thanksgiving.
Share a consolation (what you are most grateful for) and desolation (what you are least grateful for) from the past week.
Watch the video:
What is it that we celebrate or observe at New Years?
How have New Years gatherings and parties changed in the last number of years in your experience?
Would you say that people’s anticipation of the future is mostly positive or mostly negative? How has this anticipation changed in the last 5 years?
From what you know of Christian belief as you have been taught it or seen it, is anticipation of the future mostly positive or mostly negative? (for those who believe, for those who don’t, for most people who have ever lived)
How is newness in Jesus, judgment unto life, not death something that can lead us to anticipate joyfully rather than sorrowfully or fearfully?
In what ways does the world need Christian faith that is truly hopeful?
If there is time and inclination, pray for one another, or ask one person to pray for the group.
Close with someone reading the blessing over you all as the candle is blown out.
May the Father of many resting places grant you rest;
May the Christ who stilled the storm grant you calm;
May the Spirit who fills all things grant you peace.
God’s light be your light,
God’s love be your love,
God’s way be your way.