Reflecting on the theme of Peace for this Advent Sunday and on the death of Nelson Mandela.
God of Peace,
We gather together this Advent season
in acknowledgement and anticipation of your presence among us.
In you we live and move and have our being.
And its your presence which calls us out of ourselves
and opens us up to each other.
In you we find points of commonality
and it is only in you we can celebrate our differences.
In you we find peace.
Open our hearts to the prayers of concern and utterances of joy of this congregation:
[read aloud the congregational prayer cards]
Still our minds
and calm our anxieties.
We trust you to hold those moments of delight left unspoken
and those cries of anguish too painful for words.
Hear our silence as well- such silence is also an act of faith.
[pause for silent prayer]
Teach us how to best love one another.
And teach us, in remembrance of Madiba,
to work for justice,
to practice forgiveness,
to seek reconciliation,
to be servants of Peace.
Remind us that peace is so much more than the absence of violence.