O come, O come, Emmanuel. The world is weary and your people have strayed from your path. O come, Emmanuel, stand in our midst and make yourself known in our worship. Be present in our speaking and in our singing, in our silence and in our listening As we prepare for Christmas, make our hearts into dwelling-places that welcome you. O come, Emmanuel, and show us the way to God.In your Name we pray. Amen.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
(for one voice)
Lord Jesus Christ,
as we approach your throne of grace,
we meditate on your coming to us at Christmastime.
You give yourself to us in love,
yet now, as ever, we remain focused on ourselves.
We gather in church to listen to your word and to sing your praises,
But sometimes it seems
that little of the joy of your good news seems to enter our hearts.
You turn to us with your light,
but we stubbornly refuse to turn to one another;
we fail to reach out to those
whose lives are lived in the dark.
Forgive us, Lord, and show us the way back to God.
Grant us your Spirit,
that we may receive your saving word—
that it may become part of us,
that it we may accept it as Mary did:
open to the ways that you will change us.
And we ask you, O Christ, to listen to what we need from you.
Bless us with healing and peace;
grant wholeness to those we love;
prepare us this year for the beauty of Christmas.
Hear us now in the silence of our hearts…
[A silence is kept.]
We pray all this in your Name. Amen.
—Inspired by the 1999 German Reformed liturgy
Advent has begun.
So go forth and wait.
Wait for God.
And as you wait for God’s fullness,
act on the part you know:
Welcome the rejected.
Feed the hungry.
Minister to the sick and lonely.
Love the unloved.
Be to others the Christ you wait for deep inside.
For this is how we make room for God in our hearts
at Christmastime and throughout the year.
In the Name of the ✚ Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.