Vol 8 No. 1 Readings for the New Year

Dear Folks,

Welcome again to the New Year. Here are three passages that were meaningful to me so I thought I would share them with you. The first I read last week from Alice Munro’s book of short stories entitled The Progress of Love, which I found particularly touching. The bolded lines are particularly helpful. Munro is not someone I usually associate with faith, but the sympathetic portrayal is moving. The second quote is for your own personal devotion, a small group or even church worship and last, from Alistair Maclean, who in the poetry of the Psalms and his own poetry, always help me at the beginning of the New Year to realize that both my times and my life are “In His hands”.

From The Progress of Love by Alice Munro:

My mother prayed on her knees at midday, at night, and first thing in the morning. Every day opened up to her to have God’s will done in it. Every night she totted up what she’d done and said and thought, to see how it squared with Him. That kind of life is dreary, people think, but they’re missing the point. For one thing, such a life can never be boring. And nothing can happen to you that you can’t make use of. Even if you’re racked by troubles, and sick and poor and ugly, you’ve got your soul to carry through life like a treasure on a platter. Going upstairs to pray after the noon meal, my mother would be full of energy and expectation, seriously smiling.”

From Gathering for Worship published by The Baptist Union of Great Britain:

New Year:  New Beginnings 


Thanksgiving and Trust (147)

Lord of the ages,  you are our beginning and our end.
Everlasting God,
we place our days within your care.
We trust you and praise you
for your faithfulness in the past,
and for your constant care.
We put ourselves into your keeping,
to guard and guide us this day and every day;
and we offer our lives for your service,
through Jesus Christ,
your eternal Son, our Saviour.

Collect (148)

Lord of history,
to whom a thousand years are as a day:
renew us by your Holy Spirit,
that, while we have life and breath,
we may serve you with courage and hope;
through the grace of your son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Blessing (149)

May the blessing of the God of Eternity,
the God who calls time into being and marks its passing;
the God who enters human history in Jesus;
the God who gives the gift of his Spirit to all, for all time;
be upon us this night
empowering us to live our time in faithfulness to the gospel,
now and always.


From Celtic Daily Prayer, Inspirational Prayers & Readings from the Northumbria Community:

Day 20


Even though the day be laden
and my task dreary
and my strength small,
a song keeps singing
in my heart.
For I know that I am Thine.
I am part of Thee.
Thou art kin to me,
and all my times
are in Thy hand.
– Alistair Maclean



In Christ,