New Year’s Day Worship: Year B
Summary of the Text
In this well-known passage from Revelation, John receives a vision of the New Heavens and New Earth that will come with the return of Jesus (The Second Coming of Christ). The preacher may want to connect this vision of newness with our own desire to live into our nature as “new creations” (2 Cor.5:17), where the “old has gone and the new has come.”
When we live into our identities as “new creations,” we witness to Christ’s kingdom and ultimately his return, where God will “wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (vs.4-5)
The New Year, the New Year. Everywhere during the New Year! The Old Year was already looked upon as dead; and its effects were selling cheap, like some drowned mariner’s aboardship. Its patterns were Last Year’s, and going at a sacrifice, before its breath was gone. Its treasures were mere dirt, beside the riches of its unborn successor!”
Charles Dickens, The Chimes (Illustrated by Maclise, Doyle, Leech and Stanfield)
The Fresh Start Effect
Take the prevalence of New Year’s resolutions. The Wharton professor Katherine Milkman said she found it striking that “at the start of a new year, we feel like we have a clean slate. It’s the ‘fresh start effect’
. . . all of my past failures are from last year and I can think, ‘Those are not me. That’s old me. That’s not new me. New me isn’t going to make these mistakes.’ ” In other words, New Year’s resolutions are not really about the resolutions. After all, for most people, the resolutions haven’t changed. Most people wanted to lose weight and save money on December 31, too. What we’re doing on New Year’s Day is more like a mental accounting trick. Our past failures are left on the ledger of Old Me. New Me starts today.
Taken from Dan and Chip Heath, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, , Simon & Schuster.
Additional Sermon Resources
Call to Worship
Adapted from Ecclesiastes 3
There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under the heavens.
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to keep and a time to through away,
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
Spirit of wisdom, please help us to know when.
Submitted by Austin D. Hill
Prayer of Confession
A Litany Of Thanksgiving And Confession
Almighty God, another year has passed. These previous 365 days were filled with good and bad experiences.
For the times we experienced your mercy, we give you thanks.
For the times we took advantage of your grace, we ask your forgiveness.
For the times we took bold steps of faith, we give you thanks.
For the times we ignored your calling in our lives, we ask your forgiveness.
For the times we learned more about you, we give you thanks.
For the times we were too proud to see you at work around us, we ask your forgiveness.
Merciful God, guide us in this new year, help us to see you more clearly than ever before. Amen.
Submitted by Austin D. Hill
Assurance of Pardon
The good news is that Christ calls us to new life and enables us to begin again and again and again and again.
Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel.
People: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!
1 Timothy 1:17
To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.