I ran across a New Year’s Eve prayer, the first petition is:

       Let us pray with thanksgiving to God for another year of grace. Almighty and everlasting God, maker and preserver of all things, we give You thanks for the manifold blessings that You have graciously bestowed upon us during this past year.  In the midst of hardships and troubles, Your guiding hand and fatherly providence have sustained us. Enlighten our hearts by Your Holy Spirit that we may continually be aware of Your grace and be strengthened in times of tribulation and temptation through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  C  Amen.

Even for those of us who faced great adversity or loss in 2018, God has indeed blessed us, most especially with a new life and an eternal HOPE through the Babe of Bethlehem, our Lord Jesus. The closing petition of the New Year’s Eve prayer reminds me that our Lord will be with us (Immanuel “God with us”) through out the challenges of this 2019 “New Year”:

And finally, let us pray that the Lord would abide with us in both life and in death. O Lord, lead us onward in life until our rest is won. And when our last hour does come, support us by Your power and receive us into Your heavenly kingdom which has no end, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  C  Amen.

May our Lord bless all of us and our ministry here at Zion in 2019. I would like to challenge us all to be more intentionally in God’s Word, Bible Study, and Divine Service throughout 2019.

See you in Divine Service,