December 23, 2012

Liturgy Reflection & Benediction 12.23.12

Liturgy

God spoke in the beginning;
out of darkness came night and day,
out of emptiness came creation,
out of loneliness came humankind.
And God said, “This is very good.”

God spoke when the world was troubled;
giving voice to prophets from the earliest days,

moving through Mary as she gave birth to her child,
crying as a vulnerable baby lying in a manger.
Still God said, “This is very good.”

God speaks today;
breathing energy into our weary lives,
challenging our celebrations and sharing our pain,
dancing with songs of justice and peace.
Now we know that, “This is very good.”

We light the fourth Advent candle,
a candle which symbolizes the love of Christ
and await the coming of the promised King.

Congregational Prayer

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

God of love,
all year long we are tempted to pursue stability, power and money,
yet you came in weakness, as a child.

All season long we want more of everything, more for us,
but you alone offer what is lasting.

Through the work of our Lord Jesus,
who comes among us full of grace and truth,
forgive us, heal us, correct us.
Then open our lips,
that we may sing your praise with all the saints.

When we allow darkness to overcome the light,
forgive us, Lord.
When we reduce Christmas to plastic and tinsel,
have mercy on us, Father.

When the hardness of our hearts keep us
from seeing and believing in your Song,
let your grace fill us, O God.

Forgive our doubts
and renew our hope in Christ alone,
that we may watch and wait
and once more hear the glad story of our Savior,
Jesus Christ, the Lord.

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

Reflection

How does God’s peace on earth make its presence felt in our lives?
How are we longing for the second Advent of Christ?

Benediction

May you live this week with an eternal perspective.

Live as if God has come among us, because he has.
Live as if God has revealed himself to you
and called you to love and good works—because he has.

Live in anticipation of the reconciliation of all creation to God—because it is coming.
Live as if your life depended upon God’s grace—because it does.

And live to celebrate the advent of our Messiah, Jesus Christ,
praising the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

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

[Photo by @ Flickr]

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