December 2, 2018

Liturgy, Reflection and Benediction 2018.12.02


Everlasting God, the changing seasons testify to your handiwork.
The vibrant hues of red, orange and green remind us that you
have always been at work in us, through us, and around us.

Even in the dying beauty of autumn, your hope springs anew,
promising the cycle of life, death, and resurrection to continue
your redemptive pattern.

Arrest us from our complacency, awaken us to the beauty of your kingdom,
and draw us closer to you now, that we may find hope in the source of all creation.

And so, on this first Sunday of Advent,
we light the candle of hope,

as we gather and pray in the name
of God the creator,
Christ the teacher,
and the Holy Spirit the breath of life.

Community Confession

Holy God, our days bleed into one another.
We let days turn to weeks, and months turn
to seasons that carry us through without a thought.

The gift of life becomes burdensome and heavy,
and the joys of love, laughter and friendship are
reduced to common amusements.

We confess in our brokenness that we have
interpreted your silence as indifference.
Lord, in your mercy, let us hear your voice.

We put our security in the tangible and temporary
instead of trusting you with what is already yours.
Lord, in your mercy, tear down our idols.

We indulge ourselves with distractions and apathy.
Lord, in your mercy, disrupt our complacency.

We write ourselves into the programming
that makes us big and you small.
Lord, in your mercy, show us the
story that we were written for.

Lord God, wake us from our stupor,
bolster your children with courage,
and stir our hearts to never
forget the cost of grace.

We ask this in the name
of our triune God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Sermon and Reflection

Sermon Podcast 12.02.18 – Attention

What would you like to pay attention to in this advent season?

How can you slow and quiet down your life to experience God’s gentle nearness?


May God give you the strength to live in true hope,
to proclaim the disruptive and inconvenient
Gospel of God’s love for a people, and to walk
towards the kingdom that is coming into this world.

May you sit at the feet of the Savior, Jesus Christ,
to know his presence; then follow to walk with him
in the tension of joy and sadness,
peace and destruction,
prosperity and poverty.

May the presence of the Holy Spirit direct you
to new springs of hope along the journey,
and be our constant companion as we learn and
relearn to love God, each other, and ourselves.

Go now from this place, and walk in the blessing
of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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

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

[Photo by Adam Marshall @ Flickr]

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