In this Advent season,
we give you thanks, our Father in heaven,
and we praise you through our Lord Jesus Christ.
You promised him as our Savior
to a humanity gone astray.
His truth is a light for those who seek,
his power gives strength to the weak,
his holiness brings forgiveness to sinners.
For he is the Savior of the world
whom you sent because you are faithful.
You have shown us through your Son, your
concern for all that is weak and wounded.
If Jesus is alive among us,
let us extend his care through us.
May the Lord continue to dwell in our world
through our love and compassion.
And so, with all the angels and believers
around the world, we proclaim your glory
and joyfully await your coming presence as we
light the first candle of Hope
and sing our hymns of praise.
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,
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,
What or who are you thankful for?
In what way do you show gratitude?
Give thanks to God for his gifts in life.
Take time, in the busyness of this season, for quiet reflection—
For the light of God’s love is discernible everywhere.
We will let ourselves be surprised by wonder,
And set aside time to offer quiet thanks.
The good news of Advent is this:
Christ is coming to the world.
Christ is always coming.
We will welcome Christ into our hearts.
We will let ourselves be guided by his ministry.
We will go forth from this place in hope.
In the name of the Father,
of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by evanistan @ Flickr]