December 14, 2014 – Third Sunday of Advent: Joy

Gracious God,

We gather together
in celebration of the Divine–
in, around, and among us.

Your presence overwhelms us
and instills us with a deep and abiding joy.
In you we find our peace and comfort.

Open our hearts
so that the still waters of peace get stirred.
Move us out of complacency
so that we bubble over with joy and passion.
For your joy dispels all fear.

Open our hearts to hear the prayers of this congregation–
both our concerns and our hope.

[read aloud the prayer cards]

We talk of joy
but we also have to acknowledge
that joy can be elusive for some
especially during the holiday season.
Some concerns run so deep
we cannot find words to express them.
Hear us in our silence too.

[pause for silent prayer]

Thank you for hearing us!

Teach us to also hear each other
in those gaps– in the silences.

Open our hearts
and stir up in us
a desire to serve
and live peacefully
and joyfully–
without fear
and without the need to grasp
or lay hold of answers or quick fixes.

Open our hearts
to the joy of your presence
which sustains us
regardless of circumstance
and frees us
to love one another.

Amen!

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Filed under Advent, Joy

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