BBC Prayer for the Day – 2 January 2011

Good morning.

At New Year I ask people in my congregation to bring something with them to church for a special blessing. I ask them to bring their diaries and at the end of the service they all hold them aloft as I ask God’s blessing on them. It is a way of getting people to think about how they will use their time in the year ahead and to think about how to consecrate some of that time for the greater good. These days, time is one of our most precious gifts. In a busy world, the offering of a few hours to someone or something which needs time  is a gift of great richness.

These days when I ask people to turn up with their diaries, they arrive clutching all manner of things. Spiral bound notebooks are still in evidence but there are just as many electronic gadgets. Tablets, mobile phones and even the odd laptop [could be] held on high as I ask God’s blessing on the seconds, the minutes, the hours and the days ahead.

The biblical book of Ecclesiastes famously says that for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to love and time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.

When I bless those diaries at New Year, I hope for life-giving times, peacemaking times and joyful times, full of friendship and love.

God of the universe, fill our time with opportunities to do good. Help us this year to usher in a world which is sustainable and just and prompt us to bring about a more even distribution of the world’s riches. Amen

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