Worship Words-End of the Year

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For the last several years, I have documented the year by placing memories in a jar. I keep the jar in my living room. As we attend concerts or movies, I place the ticket stub in the jar. When a loved one visits, I start a new job, we buy a house, I paddleboard for the first time, etc., I write this information on a small piece of paper, date it, and place it in the jar. By this time of the year, the jar is full and ready to be emptied. So either on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, my husband and I dump out the jar and remember the year. We give thanks for the good memories. Sometimes I cry when I remember someone who has died. We laugh and talk and remember things that had slipped from our memories. And when we have read all we saved from the last year, we place it in an envelope, date it with the year, and begin again with an empty jar. This has become an important way for us to remember and give thanks.

How do you celebrate the year that is ending and prepare for the new year?
A Prayer for 2015.
God, Another year is ending. It was a year filled with joys and tragedies. It was a year of laughter and tears. And through it all, you were our constant companion. We thank you for your faithfulness when we struggle to remain faithful. We thank you for your love when we struggle to love each other. We thank you for your compassion when it hard to be compassionate.
Loving God, We give thanks for the year that is ending. For all we learned and the ways we changed, we give you thanks. For the new challenges that we faced and the old customs that brought us comfort, we give you thanks. For the ways we came together as families and communities and for the times we didn’t and will strive to do better, we give you thanks.
As this year ends, we look ahead to a brand new year filled with hope and promise. And we thank you for being with us in the new year as we look forward to what will be.
Amen.

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