We trust God, whose love and justice are revealed
over and over through creation, community, and story,
through the voices of prophets and the lives of ordinary people,
through a helpless newborn baby.
We trust Jesus the Christ, embodiment of God’s word,
born a refugee, raised in poverty,
dependent on the kindness of others.
His obedience to God’s call brought him together with the most unlikely characters,
and his insistence on God’s radical love for all led him to the cross.
Yet God’s love was more powerful than human force, and on the third day,
Love walked out of the tomb, alive and free in the world.
We trust the Holy Spirit, breath of all life, calling us to the same path Jesus walked,
and leading us all in the holy dance of life in the kingdom of God.
Even as days grow dark, even in the midst of uncertainty, even now:
the fire of God’s love burns bright, the wind of the Spirit can not be contained,
streams of living water flow in the desert, and all earth cries glory,
as we wait the dawn of God’s new day.
And so, on this first Sunday of Advent,
we light a candle to symbolize our hope in God the Father,
God the Son
and God the Holy Spirit.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
God of light and love,
in this Advent season and beyond,
we confess our lack of attention
to the prophets and messengers you send.
Lord, in your mercy, hear and forgive.
We confess that we do not keep our eyes and ears open
to the ways you reveal yourself and announce your message in our lives.
Lord, in your mercy, hear and forgive our self-centeredness.
We confess our dismissal of those who might be speaking for you
in our lives, who in our minds are not old enough,
not educated enough, not refined enough.
Lord, in your mercy, hear and forgive our arrogance.
Open our hearts, our eyes, our ears and our minds
to watch and listen for your Word,
that we may learn to serve and worship you more fully.
We pray to you, our God in community, holy in One.
How can we find the joy of anticipation this Advent season?
How can we create space and intention to wait and listen?
Make room for the advent of God!
Make room for unforgettable transformation!
Make room to see the world turned upside-down.
Valleys will touch the sky…mountains will be flattened…
And we will all see it together!
Make room for a new kingdom,
a new love to transcend all others.
Go into this Advent season, remembering the story of our Savior,
and serve in the name the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by coolhandluke @ Flickr]