Total Pageviews

31 December 2010

At the Change of Years ...

Lord, in your hands all time you bear;
take back the burden of this year
and change it into blessing.
Guided by you, with Christ our light,
toward the kingdom shining bright
safely we are progressing.

Since everything that we devise
soon disappears before our eyes,
perfect our years, unfading.
Unless by grace you shall us guide,
the years which you as gift provide
like garments are degrading.

Lord, in your presence who can last?
Our days and deeds are quickly passed:
just you shall be abiding.
Alone God's year does have no end,
so to yourself each day now bend,
for in the wind we're riding.

 To time we give but little thought,
yet you remain and vary not
in years forever teeming.
Under your wrath we pass away,
yet mercy springs their Lord obey,
come to our bare hands streaming.

These gifts alone, Lord, make to be
the measure for our days that we
in guilt and shame are spending.
Based on your gifts let time be told,
lest our failings manifold
to you could be ascending.

"Eternal" is your name alone;
start, end and middle are your own
as we through time are gliding:
yourself by grace to us bestow
and lead us by your hand for so
in safety we are striding.

Text by Jochen Klepper 1938. English translation by Fritz Wendt 1996/1997

Psalm 102 (which, in part, inspired Klepper's prayer above) is entitled "a prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord". As we look back on the 365 days of 2010, we realize how quickly our days and deeds are passed", and we may indeed grow "faint and weary" as we look toward the new year.

From where I stand, two things remain:

ON ONE HAND, our days here will be a constant up and down, as joy and sorrow are intertwined in each human life: "Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed" (Khalil Gibran).

ON THE OTHER HAND, the love of our God will never stop being there for us. "God," said Martin Luther, "is a glowing oven full of love."  When we get wherever it is we get in 2011, God will be waiting for us there.

As we make our procession through the remaining days from Christmas to Epiphany, let us whisper to one another that the days for the world's business-as-usual are numbered. And let us do so often! Our Lord comes: Maranatha!  Blessings for 2011!

With His love and mine,

Psalm 102

No comments:

Post a Comment