We gather together to worship,
knowing that God is already here among us;
knowing that there is nothing that separates us
from the presence of our Lord.
Wherever we are, wherever we go,
God is near.
Let us enter into this service of worship
with confidence and hope,
knowing that God is already with us,
and that He stands eager to meet us
and bless us with His love.
We worship in the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
you have given us so much,
but too often we take those gifts for granted,
or as something to which we are entitled.
You call us to live in caring community,
but too often we place our wants and needs first,
with those of others a distant second.
You call us to share your gifts with the world around us,
but we are worried that there may not be enough,
and our worrying gets in the way of our sharing.
For all the times when we mistreat and misuse Your gifts,
for all the times we assume that we get what we have by ourselves,
forgive us and lead us back to the path of wisdom.
God is a gracious giver.
God is gracious in forgiveness.
God calls us to new patterns and new life.
We are a forgiven people,
and we pray to our God in community, holy in One.
What does the Advent season mean to you?
In what ways can we embody the Advent narrative?
How can others experience peace and hope through the way we live?
Go in peace, assured that God has heard,
and will continue to hear your prayers.
Remember that no curtain separates us
from the presence of the Lord.
Therefore, every table at which you will sit this week,
be it a school desk,
a work bench,
a lunch counter,
a meeting room table,
an office desk,
your own kitchen or dining room table;
every table is God’s altar.
So boldly pray,
hold fast to hope,
and encourage and provoke one another
to put love into action.
Live this week, praising 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 William’s Wish Wellingtons @ Flickr]