November 27, 2011

Liturgy Reflection & Benediction 11.27.11

Liturgy

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.
Advent is a season of anticipation. Of waiting.

In this season of expectation,
We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah,
Into the bustle of our lives
and the hard to find moments of solitude.

We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah,
Into our homes and situations
along with friends and families.

We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah,
Into our hearts and those often hidden parts of our lives
for beneath the surface of your story
is an inescapable fact.

You entered this world
as vulnerable as any one of us
in order to nail that vulnerability to the cross.

Our fears, our insecurities and our sins,
all that separate us from God,
exchanged by your Grace for Love.

We can not comprehend the reasoning,
and only marvel that Salvation comes to us
through a baby born in a stable,
and reaches out to a world in need.

In this season of anticipation
We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, our Messiah,
and we light a candle of hope to honor you,
Immanuel, God with Us.

Congregational Prayer

On this first Advent Sunday, let us pray to God as a community.

Lord, give us courage to prepare for your coming.

When we are tempted to busyness this season,
slow our minds and still our hearts.

When we are tempted to enrich ourselves with things,
give us, instead, a longing for the riches of your kingdom.

When we are tempted to spend our resources on ourselves
who lack for nothing,
give us hearts to serve the poor and the hungry.

When we are tempted to celebrate Christmas too early
in our own way,
show us the joy of prayer and of waiting.

Lord, give us courage,
to wait for you in faith.

We ask in the name of the Father,
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

Reflection

How has your life been enriched by God’s grace?
How are you maximizing and using the spiritual gifts that God has given you?

Benediction

Depart in peace, and take with you the certain knowledge
That Jesus is always coming into the world.

We will seek Jesus, not in a long ago stable or ancient manger,
But in the people we meet and in the depths of our own hearts.

May the blessing of Christmas make you a blessing to others;
May the peace of the season pervade all that you do.

We will welcome the challenge of discipleship.
We will offer ourselves as God’s ministers.
We will go forth in hope, peace, joy, and love as one church.

In the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.

[Photo by NettyA @ Flickr]

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