Scripture

1 Chronicles 16:7-36

That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner:

 

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
10 Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
11 Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

12 Remember the wonders he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
13 you his servants, the descendants of Israel,
    his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
14 He is the Lord our God;
    his judgments are in all the earth.

15 He remembers his covenant forever,
    the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
16 the covenant he made with Abraham,
    the oath he swore to Isaac.
17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
18 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as the portion you will inherit.”

19 When they were but few in number,
    few indeed, and strangers in it,
20 they wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
21 He allowed no one to oppress them;
    for their sake he rebuked kings:
22 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
    do my prophets no harm.”

23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

25 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
30     Tremble before him, all the earth!
    The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.

31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
    let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
33 Let the trees of the forest sing,
    let them sing for joy before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior;
    gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
    and glory in your praise.”
36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.

Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”

Reflection

Pray this prayer slowly and thoughtfully today. Perhaps several times through the day and/or week:

Holy One, as I stand at the beginning of this new year, I confess my deep need for your presence and guidance as I move into the future. I have hopes, plans, and expectations for the year ahead. But you alone hold the future. It is by your strength and wisdom that I can meet the challenges in the days, weeks, and months to come. So I humbly put my plans and dreams into your hands, and I trust you to go before me and with me into the future. 

Good and beautiful God, thank you for your goodness to me in this past year. May I remember that you re always good, even when life seems dark, you are good, with me, and for me. Forgive me for the ways I have hurt others, failed to follow you, and not lived into the full potential for me, as you created me. This year, I choose to follow you more closely, spend time with you daily, and listen to you more clearly.

Lord of all, in the midst of life’s struggles and uncertainties, assure me of the certainty of your unchanging love. In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, remind me to turn to you for stability and comfort. In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of self-will, help me seek your will above all else. 

Give me courage to follow your leading, even if it seems painful or scary.

Creator God, in the midst of a daily preoccupation with myself, open my eyes to the needs of others. Show me the hurting, the lost, and the persecuted. Guide me to respond with compassion, grace and mercy.

Eternal One, thank you for the promise and hope of the new year. I look forward to it with expectancy and faith. Thank you for the gift of your grace and mercy every day. I love you. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.