Scripture Verse

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Introduction

portrait
Ludwig van Beethoven
1770–1827

Words: Ca­ro­lyn W. Gil­lette, 1999.

Music: Ode an die Freude from the 9th Sym­pho­ny of Lud­wig van Beet­ho­ven, 1824. Adapt­ed by Ed­ward Hodg­es, 1864 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Carolyn W. Gillette
1961–

Lyrics

On this day of ce­le­bration,
At this time when hopes are new,
God, we ga­ther as your peo­ple,
Called to put our trust in you.
You have made the world we live in;
You have worked through his­to­ry.
In your plan we find our pur­pose,
In your love, our un­ity.

Long ago, you sent our Sav­ior
To this world in deep des­pair.
In your Word made flesh you came,
Our life to know, our sins to bear.
Christ has died and Christ is ris­en!
At this new year we pro­claim:
Yesterday, to­day, for­ev­er—
Jesus Christ is still the same!

Through two thou­sand years of changes,
Through these pass­ing cen­tu­ries,
You have called your church to wit­ness
To Christ’s love that claims and frees.
Each new ge­ne­ra­tion hears you,
Each must find a fresh new way
To make known the life you of­fer,
To the peo­ple in their day.

On this day, we pause and won­der
What the fu­ture years will bring,
Yet we know you clothe each flow­er
And you make each spar­row sing.
How much more will you pro­tect us
With your guid­ing, car­ing hand!
By your Spi­rit, lead us bold­ly
In the fu­ture you have planned.