By Valerie Boyer
God Is Always on Time!
A Call to Worship for New Year’s Day, Influenced by Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Suggestion: Consider singing the response to a tune of the song: “He’s an On-Time God!” (author: Dottie Peoples, Word Music, January 1, 1995, ASIN: B003KQZ5B0)
Leader: God, you’ve given birth to this new year and allowed the old one to die!
People: You’re an in-time God! Yes you are!
Leader: God, you’re allowing things to pass away, calling your children home, and breathing new life into a new year!
People: You’re an on-time God! Yes you are!
Leader: God, you bring people together and pull them apart. You reach out of this world and into the cosmos on our behalf!
People: You’re an outside-of-time God! Yes you are!
Leader: God, where hope and fear meet at the center of your new year, we find new life, in you!
People: You’re a “right now” God! Yes you are!
All: We don’t always know when you’re coming, how you’re coming, what you’re going to do when you come. However, we rejoice knowing that you will indeed come on time. You control time, so your timing is the best.
You’re an on-time God! Yes you are!
Creator, Artist, Master of the Playlist!
A Prayer for the First Day of the Year
God our Creator, we thank you for this day! As a Masterful Artist, you’ve painted the canvas of a new year! Some items didn’t make it into last year’s picture, but you kept us, so here we are, crafted into your perfect painting. You have called us into the season of new!
For as long as we can remember, it’s been the music of God that brought us over. God you’ve preset the playlist of this year, and some downloads won’t always make sense:
We will know the track of joy and peace,
As much as we will know the feeling of pain and sorrow.
For the song of police brutality, God,
May we hear your song of justice.
For the song of broken families,
May we hear your song of restoration.
For the song of limited resources and lack of resources,
May we hear your song of Jehovah Jireh.
For the song of talking without saying anything,
May we hear your song of pregnant silence.
For the song of incarceration,
May we hear the song of liberation.
For the song of broken-hearts and shattered-minds,
May we hear the song of the Heart Fixer and the Mind-Regulator.
Every song on the playlist won’t feel good, but as long as you are the controller of the station, we know every song works for our good. We turn our network over to you!
God, we want to feel your hand working in our lives. Holy Spirit, we do indeed need a touch from you! Make yourself as real to us as real can be. Give us a holy boldness to be as real as you would have us. We know that you do all things well! We know you make all things new!
God, be our audio, our visual, and our kinetic! We want to see you! We want to hear you! We want to touch and be touched by you! In the name of the All-Around Artist, Jesus, the Christ, we pray and give thanks. Amen!
Take Us into the New
A Unison Sending for the First Day or First Sunday of the Year
God of new seasons, new life, and new mercies, we take in the new with you. We trust you as you do new things. We look forward to the new hearts, the new lives that will see you, and a world where you’ll make all things new. You hold our world in your hands and spin it on its axis every day with a new sunrise and a new sunset. God, you are the same yesterday, today, and forevermore, and you have a tradition of doing new things to and in us. We offer ourselves to you, again, this year. Take us into the new with you. Amen.
Valerie Boyer was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, the home of Juneteenth, curated at Howard University, with a journey to Detroit, Michigan, and now Columbus, Ohio. Valerie has embraced life through the lens of preaching, praying, poetry, and activism, working to make a difference in different pockets of the world, one person at a time.