Monday, November 27, 2006

First Sunday of Advent - Year C

Call to Worship

The time is surely coming
when our love for one another
and all of God's children will increase.
We would live into that time
with hope and joy.
The day is surely coming
when God will strengthen our hearts
with humility and holiness.
We would anticipate that day
as we reach out to serve
all of those in need.
The days are surely coming
when we will walk the paths
of faithfulness and steadfast love.
We begin this journey,
knowing that all of God's promises
will be fulfilled.

Prayer of the Day

Word creating God,
we trust the days are coming:
days of justice,
and days of mercy;
days of humility,
and days of hope;
days of righteousness,
and days of peace;
days when promises come true.

Jesus Christ,
Womb-dwelling Word:
as you draw near to us
with your kingdom
cradled in your arms,
may we not fear your coming,
but be alert for your presence
in every moment of service,
in every person bearing your grace.

Holy Spirit,
Word of Comfort:
when despair is the gift of the world,
you bring us joy;
when we cannot utter a sound,
you pray for us every night and day;
when we are lost and afraid,
you place our feet on the right path.

God in Community, Holy in One,
be with us in this waiting time
as we pray together as Jesus, your Word,
taught us to pray, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Because it is so hard to wait, it is not easy to live through Advent's days. But watch what God does during this time. God waits for us to turn from our old ways to find the right paths; God waits for us to admit what we have done, and failed to do, so we might be forgiven and graced with new life. Let us approach the One who waits - for us!

Unison Prayer of Confession

It is never easy for us to confess our sins, Waiting God. There are the hurts we have caused to our families and friends, which we would like to forget. There are
those we believe are impossible to love, and so we don't try. There are people who live on the edge of our society, and we ignore their cries for help.

Forgive us, God who comes near to us. When we have lost our way, show us yours. Lead us in humility down the streets of your kingdom. Teach us your truth, so we might be able to keep your Word, revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon

God does not remember our sins, but does
remember the promises which have been
made to us. God does not shame us, but
lifts us to new life.
Lead us in your hope, O God, and teach
us your love. You are the God of our
days, we wait for you to come to us.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

As we wait to celebrate Christ's birth,
may the Lord be with you.
And also with you.
As we await Christ's return,
let us lift up our hearts.
Our hearts are lifted to our God.
As we trust the one who comes to us,
let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Joy is in our hearts,
and praise is on our lips.

Glory and praise are offered to you,
God of Advent.
On the first day of eternity,
you began to create all
that is true and just,
beautiful and blameless,
calling all that you shaped and formed
Our ancestors danced in Eden's fields,
pure and innocent,
but hearing the tunes the world played,
they turned away from you.
When you called us back
through the mouths of the prophets,
we defied you
to follow those with power and pain.
Then you sent John, your messenger,
to proclaim the coming of the One
who ushers in your kingdom
of justice and righteousness.

Therefore we praise you,
joining our voices with those who,
from the first day to the last,
glorify your name, singing,


Holy are you, Steadfast Love,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
your Compassion, our Hope, your Son.
Into the midst of the status quo
of rulers and events beyond our control,
he came to place our feet
on the Kingdom's street called Peace;
into the shadows of our lives
caused by sin and defiance,
he carries the Light of your grace;
taking the brokenness of our world,
he reshapes us into
pure and blameless people;
into that dread valley we call death,
he strides in obedience and faith,
so we might be brought to life.
As we prepare to celebrate his birth,
as we remember his life, death, and resurrection,
as we anticipate his return,
we sing of those mysteries we call faith:

Memorial Acclamation

Holy Spirit, come to us,
and to these gifts of the bread and the cup.
As you transform these everyday objects
into sacramental grace,
transform us from ordinary folk
into the citizens of God's kingdom.
Fill us with the Bread of heaven,
so we would feed the hungriest of your children.
Pour the cup of grace into us,
so we might overflow with love.
Make us a compassionate people,
who have a passion for your justice.

Through your Son, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit in your holy church,
all honor and glory are yours,
Great God, our Hope, our Peace,
now and forever. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman