Stop and listen! The day is getting closer!
Soon the angel song will ring out again with the birth of a child.
And while we wait we prepare.
Trimming the tree and decking the halls.
As part of our preparation we gather here together
reminding ourselves of the reason for the season, opening our hearts to be filled with hope, peace, joy, and love, asking ourselves how God will change the world this year.
Creating and Refining God, in this time of worship,
push us to look closely at ourselves and our lives, help us remember to ask where we could come closer to being who you would have us be.
And when our worship is ended,
send us back into the world ready to sing carols and share the good news that Emmanuel is coming!
We pray in the name of the child whose birth we await, who later taught his friends to pray together saying...
PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God of Grace, you blow the breath of life into our lungs, you have formed us in your image.
And yet we acknowledge that sometimes we are not who you would have us be.
You challenge us to embrace the refining fire of your love, to meet you on the threshing floor of life, to be washed as with fuller's soap.
But in our heart of hearts we would rather keep those things that would be removed in such an encounter.
Through your Grace, life-giving God, accept us as we are,
Unrefined, unwashed, the chaff mixed in with the grain.
And help us to move into a new way of being
...time of silence...Listen! For this is Good News! God's Grace is wider than our wildest imaginings. God's Grace embraces us as we are and where we are and draws us out to be the people we were created to be.
Thanks be to God! Amen.
Can you be a voice crying in the wilderness? Can you proclaim that God is active in the world?
The time is near, of the crowning of the year.
We sing with angels, setting the roadways and the buildings humming
As people who are being changed, we go into a world that is being changed.
Ready to share the Good News that the long expected Jesus is coming, that we are being freed from whatever binds us.
Glory be to God! Who walks with us, sings with us, and struggles with us,
each and every day. Amen