Advent -- Peace Within All Walls
First Sunday of of Advent
Call to Worship: After Psalm 122
Leader: I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of God!"
People: Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Leader: We are built to be a community that is bound firmly together.
All: We give thanks to you, O God, for you are worthy to be praised!
Prayer of Invocation
Loving God, we give you thanks for the season of Advent that reminds us that your love stopped at nothing to save us and claim us as your own.
Keep us awake during this season so that we may be able to receive all that your Holy Spirit wants to offer us.
Speak to us now.
Fill us with your power and your grace.
Let us leave here a changed People willing and ready to be your light in the world. Amen.
Call to Confession
Christ came so that our sins may be forgiven and so that we may be saved through Christ.
In full confidence that Christ stands ready to hear, accept and forgive our sins, let us confess them now, first silently and then together:
(After a time of private, silent prayer the congregation begins to pray the following together)
Prayer of Confession: After Psalm 122, and Romans 13:11-14, 13:11
Forgiving God, we confess to You that there are times when we would rather stay asleep in sin instead of awakening to live in your light.
We confess that we would rather be People who do not lay aside the works of night.
We do not trust that your armor of light is sufficient for us.
Instead, we quarrel, we are jealous and live only to gratify our own desires.
Give us courage, O God, to trust in your ways, in your peace, and in your good.
In Christ's name we pray. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
The good news of Advent is Christ's love and forgiveness of sin.
Thanks be to Christ who sets us free to love and to serve.
Rejoice! For in Christ we ARE forgiven!
God of love and mercy, thank you for your great gift of your Child, Jesus Christ, who fills us with all that we need.
Merciful God, we are fully aware that not all your children are able to bask in joy or peace during this season.
We pray for peace within all walls: walls within our own homes, walls that surround each city and town.
We pray that during this season of Advent we may usher your promise of salvation into our lives and that we may share the Good News of our Savior with others.
We pray that the promise of your birth may be the promise that we live in and share at home, at work and at school.
May we be moved to compassion and action in your name.
We pray this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ who taught us all to pray saying...
Prayer of our Savior
Offertory Prayer of Dedication
Dear God, in your faithfulness and generosity
You lavish us with so many blessings, thank You!
Help us to be generous with all our gifts.
Bless these gifts so that they may be used for your good purpose in our community, in our nation and throughout the world.
In Christ's name we pray, Amen.
Go therefore in the name of our Triune God,
Walking in the Light of God and sharing in the Spirit of Peace.
Go out in joy and thanksgiving, to live in Christ our Savior. Amen.
First Sunday of Advent: Peace Within All Walls was written by the Rev. Elizabeth Aguilar, Associate Pastor of the Medfield United Church of Christ in Medfield, Massachusetts.
Text from Psalm 122 is from The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, adapted by The New Century Hymnal.
©2007 Local Church Ministries, Worship and Education Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.