United Church of Christ

Advent 1—December 1

Keeping Watch
Service Prayers for the First Sunday in Advent
December 1, 2019

Isaiah 2:1-5  • Psalm 122  • Romans 13:11-14  • Matthew 24:36-44

Call to Worship

All around us days shorten and nights lengthen,
but we are told that the night is almost over, and a light is drawing near.
We wait on God’s light together

Chaos surrounds us as the business of the season approaches,
but we are called along pathways of peace
We wait on God’s peace together

In this season of friends and family,
we dearly miss the faces that are absent this year
We wait on God’s comfort together

Though the world can seem dark and chaotic both within and without
we are told that God will build a house among us
We wait on God’s presence together

Invocation

Unknowable God,
you come to make yourself known to us in loving relationship.
You come with a message of peace and comfort
for those who are hurting and those who are tired.
As you did centuries ago, be with us again today
as we seek to learn from you and from one another.
In the name of your Child, Jesus Christ
who walked among us, Amen

Prayer of Confession

Lord of mercy, God of grace,
we give thanks to you with one voice for the joy and hope this season brings.
At times we find ourselves distracted
by all the preparations and stresses that surround us.
Help us to focus on you our Rock and Redeemer.
Restore our hearts to your message of love and your call to peace. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

We worship a God who is not distant nor apathetic,
but a God who is with us—a God who loves us.
Let us keep our eyes open and look for God’s daily presence
and conform our ways to God’s teachings of compassion and grace.

Let the Holy Spirit shine like a light in our hearts
fueled by the love and teachings of Jesus Christ
who came into the world that we would be forgiven. Amen.

Call to Offering and Prayer of Dedication

We are a people of peace,
living in the light of God’s promises.
In this spirit may we so give.

God of hope and wonder,
even surrounded by confusion and trouble
we look for you.
Take these gifts and use
them for acts of justice, peace, mercy, and hope.

Receive also the gifts of our time and our
actions that are just as precious to you as silver and gold. Amen.

Benediction

As we leave this place, take with you God’s promise to be with us,
the peace of the Holy Spirit,
and the watchful perseverance of Jesus Christ.
As God came into the world to know us,
now go out into unknown places
with the same compassion that has been given to us. Amen.

Keeping Watch, Service Prayers for the First Sunday of Advent, was written by Laura Hodges, a Member in Discernment.

Copyright 2019, Faith Education, Innovation and Formation Ministry Team (Faith INFO), 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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