Approach and confession prayer 6 January 2019

God of New beginnings

with each new day you greet us

in the sun creeping over the horizon

bringing light, even in the dark days of winter

in the call of birds in their pre-dawn chorus

in the majesty of snow-capped mountains blushed in hues of pink and red with early morning sun

they are new every morning

new, yet constant

as you are, our God

as we come before you this day

on this first Sunday of the New Year

a new year

filled with pressures, expectations, worries, opportunities

for us, for your church, for your world

as we gather to worship this hour

inspire us through your Holy Spirit

to look for the signs of your leading

to follow the star

to where the child is

to bring all we have and lay it at his feet

then go, with delight in our hearts and rejoicing on our lips

not following the old, familiar paths which will lead

but finding different ways home to you

God of New Beginnings

as we start this year

we recommit our lives to you

as our King and shepherd

may we be content in how you would use us

even us

for the service of your kingdom

may you take from us of the burdens of shame, self-loathing, guilt and sorrow which we cling to

may you cleanse from our hearts the sins we have committed and which others have committed to us

that we are made new and ready to follow the star

to where Christ is