Advent -- Service Prayers

God-with-Us!
Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

(Each Advent service includes a simple candle-lighting prayer; others may be found at

http://www.ucc.org/worship/worship-ways/archive.html )

 

Candle Lighting Prayer  

 

How may God’s Love take shape in our world?

In dreams which move us to risk compassion;

In a vision of a community whole and peace-filled;

In hope which leads to work for peace.

So we light this candle of Love and pray:

 

Come Lord Jesus! 

Open our hearts to the Love which you embody;

Let that Love flow through us into your world!

 

Call to Worship  (Isaiah 7: 14)

 

We look for an extraordinary sign of hope for our world

but God’s sign is most ordinary of all:

A young woman is with child.

 

We look to power for strength in our world

but God points to the most vulnerable:

                        She gives birth.

             

            We look far and wide for a key to God’s mystery,

            but God points us home:

                        She calls this child Immanuel: God-with-us!

           

Let us rejoice, and worship our God

in our ordinary, vulnerable lives:

God-with-us!

 

Invocation  (after Matthew 1:18-25)

                             

Surprising God,

you make your presence known in unexpected ways,

and challenge our comfortable assumptions about how you work.

Meet us here today

and open our hearts to recognize you in our midst

calling us to live into your new thing:

a world where your love takes shape in justice and peace.

In the name of the One who is coming, we pray:  Amen!

 

Prayer of Confession   (after Psalm 80)

 

In this last week before Christmas,

The busyness and the anxieties of this holiday season

May overwhelm us, and keep us from feeling the wonder of these days.

Let us take a moment to re-order our lives in this reality:

In Jesus Christ, the Love, Compassion and Justice of God

is breaking into our world. 

 

Silence

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel!

You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth:
Stir up your might, and come to save us!
Restore us, O God;

let your face shine,

and change our lives with your justice.

O God of hosts,

how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?
You have fed us with the bread of tears,

and given us tears to drink in full measure.
Restore us, O God;

let your face shine,

and heal our lives with your compassion.

Reveal to us your Promised One,

the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you;

give us life, and we will call on your name.
Restore us, O God;

let your face shine,

and delight our lives with your love.

 

Assurance of Pardon

In Christ, the light of God’s love shines in our hearts,

and we are forgiven and given strength to forgive. 

Let us give thanks that in Jesus, Emmanuel,

God is truly with us.

 

Let us celebrate this great grace by offering to one another a sign of Christ’s peace.

Passing the Peace

 

Call to Offering

 The Love of God is born new in the world

as often as we embody that love

in the works of compassion, peace and justice.

            Let us offer our gifts in a spirit of generosity and hope.

 

Prayer of Dedication

             With these gifts, dear God,

            accept the praise and thanksgiving of our hearts,

            which rejoice in your goodness and love.

            Let our gifts point to your presence in the world,

            and further your dream for the world

            through Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us.                             Amen.

           

Benediction

             Let us go forth with eyes to see and ears to hear and voices to proclaim:

                        In the ordinary and the vulnerable: God-with-us!

                        In the challenge of the unexpected: God-with-us!

                        In love giving life in justice and mercy: God-with-us!

                        In the work of peace: God-with-us!                           

 



God-with-Us! Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, was written by the Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation, Local Church Ministries.

Copyright 2010 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, 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. 

 

 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org