Loving God, we open ourselves to you,
trusting that this is how you made us:
you created us for joy-filled hearts and lives.
Show us the creative power of hope.
Teach us the peace that comes from justice.
Fill us with a joy that can not be contained, but must be shared.
Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you,
That we may walk in the light of Christ.
Today is the third Sunday of Advent.
We have lit a candle for hope,
and for peace,
and today, we light the third candle of Advent for joy.
Emmanuel, God with us,
look in mercy on our anxious lives.
Day by day
we struggle to achieve,
rarely stopping to ask
if our achievements match your will.
Grant us your hope, oh God
Day by day
we battle to communicate,
rarely remembering to check
if our communication is a channel
for your good news.
Grant us your peace, oh God
Day by day
we endeavour to control,
rarely pausing to ensure
that first we are controlled
by your Spirit.
Grant us your joy, oh God
Forgive the frantic fury
of our anxious lives;
speak to us
in the midst of the struggles
of daily living;
catch us now,
We confess to fix our thoughts
on what is true, and honorable,
and right, and pure,
and lovely, and admirable.
We confess to think about things
that are excellent and worthy of praise
We pray God Emmanuel, be with us this Advent season, Amen.
How do we tend to engage mourning? Do we brush it off in a dismissive way or are we willing to be guided into lament?
How can we be a community of prayer that is present with the pain and suffering of those around us?
How can we be present in advocating for those who are oppressed so they we can experience peace and joy?
Rejoice in God always, and again I say, rejoice
For God has created you with the capacity for joy.
We will find what makes us joyful,
And make that our gift to the world.
Trust in God’s good will for all of creation
and open yourself to God’s gentle, transforming love.
We will welcome new possibilities in our lives.
We will offer ourselves to God’s goodness.
We will go forth in hope, and peace, and joy.
In the name of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit, we pray,
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.