Category Archives: Advent

Third Week of Lent: Generosity

Gracious God,

We’re feeling particularly generous this time of year, Lord.
It is a time of giving.

You demonstrated to us what it means
to give Yourself wholly in Jesus.
He is wholly Divine: nothing held in reserve.
You gave yourself to us.
To be with us; to be one of us.

Teach us to imitate you.
To not be miserly with our most precious possessions—
our kindness,
our forgiveness,
our peace.
Teach us to live in the freedom of your abundance.

Remind us whose we are
So that the question shifts from
asking ourselves what we should give
to what we should keep.

Because You gave yourself so freely,
we live out of the abundance of your generosity–
a life with an open palm and a loose hand
instead of a tightly gripped fist.
Your generosity is our grace.

And it is out of this generous grace
that we open our hearts to one another
and hear each other’s concerns
and celebrate each other’s joy.
Let us hear the prayers of this congregation!

[read aloud prayer cards]

And we acknowledge that we all have concerns
or moments of joy
which really aren’t fit for public consumption.
So we hold these quietly, to ourselves.
But have confidence that you hear us, even in our silence.

[pause for silent prayer]

Your unreserved generosity holds us in grace.

And the new fallen snow refreshes and reminds us
that new every morning is your love
Great God of Light
and all day long you are working for Good in the world.
Stir up in us a desire to serve
To live peaceably with our neighbors
and to devote each day to walking in the living tradition of Jesus
who lived without reservation
and welcomed those who were isolated
and cared for the poor
and tended to those in need.

Blessed Be!

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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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December 15, 2013- Third Sunday of Advent

Celebrating the Third Sunday of Advent with the theme of “Joy”.

Gracious God,

We gather together today feeling restless-
anticipating the holidays
anxious for your presence.

Wars and famine and storms rage.
The world isn’t the way it should be:
our relationships are broken,
our hearts are in need of healing,
our perspectives in need of change.

We long for peace, for health,
for a sense of belonging,
for community.

Hear the prayers of this congregation:

[read aloud the prayer cards]

And sometimes our longings and hopes run too deep for words.
Hear our silent unspoken prayers as well.

[pause for silent prayer]

Teach us how to best care for one another.
And remind us
that your presence always already enfolds us
that contentment is a daily practice
that seeking peace,
welcoming the stranger,
and tending to those in need
opens our hearts to profound joy.

Teach us to practice happiness
in anticipation of the good in the world.

Amen.

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December 8, 2013- Second Sunday of Advent

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.

Blessed Be!

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2nd Sunday of Advent- 12/09/2012

Gracious God,

We gather in this sanctuary
as a radical act of peace
Laying aside the weapons
of the battles of our week:
Our frustrations and struggles
-anything which might cause us
to react out of fear.

In peace we share our joys and concerns
and lift them up in hope.

[read aloud the prayer cards]

And Lord, for all those concerns
which are too tender to the heart
to be spoken aloud…
And for those delights
we’ve only been able to silently ponder in our hearts…
We lift those to you as well.

[pause for silent prayer]

Together we pledge to be mindful of your peace
which surpasses all our understandings.
And we in hope remember that
Love is renewed each day.
It works for good in the world.
It stirs up in us a desire to serve.
And to live peaceably…
Devoting our days to the living traditions of Jesus.

Blessed be.

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