a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: God’s Anointed

People of God, Jesus comes to bring God’s mercy to all people.
Therefore we are bold to sing our prayers
to the one whose reign is justice, peace, and joy:

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 1

We pray for those who are captive to violence, oppression, and sin.
We pray for all who are hungry, sick, sorrowing, or afraid.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 2

We pray for everyone who longs for new beginnings.
We pray for those who celebrate and rejoice.
We pray for all who travel to be with families,
and we pray for those who celebrate the birth of the Savior alone.
We pray for the gift of peace, in our hearts and in our world.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 3

We pray for those in positions of power,
for those who have more wealth and power than they realize,
and for those whom we are called to serve.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 4

Let your kingdom come in this world, O God,
and let our hearts welcome the birth of the Holy Child,
who teaches us to pray as we say together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

Confession: A Superficial people

God of Truth and Justice, you do not judge humanity by its appearance. But we do.
We are a superficial people, seeing only what we want to see, hearing what we want to hear.
We have little patience for events that puzzle us, little practice with the search for deep answers.
Yet you call us to be people who do what is right, no matter how long the journey.
Have mercy on us when we defend our half-baked opinions with all our strength
instead of seeking the wisdom that comes from you.
Have mercy on us when reduce our neighbors to our idea of who they are,
without seeking to know them first.
Give us the humility that leads to justice.

Submitted by Lisa M López, Christ Presbyterian Church in Hanover Park, IL

confession: justice is too hard

O God, You are faithful to all generations—from the beginning of time, you have called all kinds of characters to be your people. When we forget that their story is our story, forgive us. When we admire them from afar while insisting that kind of faith isn’t practical for us, forgive us. We confess that your justice is too hard for us to do, and we prefer to create our own. We confess that we do not often bear the fruit you expect of your vineyard, resisting your kingdom’s way when it conflicts with our desires. Forgive us yet again, and plant your word of justice deep in our hearts and lives. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, The Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

Advent 2: The Path to the Holy Mountain

Call to Worship/Lighting Advent Candles

The Advent journey has begun.
We have started getting ready for Christmas.
The light of one candle has guided us this little way.

The hope we have for something new is not enough to show us the way.
We need more light for the journey
if we are to find our way to God’s holy mountain,
the place where beloved community becomes real,
where all creation can dwell together without fear.

As we light this second Advent candle and continue on the journey to this holy place,
we remember that God’s light shows us that things can and will be different.
When things are at their most broken,
God can and will make all things new.

Friends, let us share our hope for this journey together:
Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!


Prayer of Confession

God of hope,
you promise a new and different way of life,
and you invite us to join you on the path to get there.

Yet we usually prefer to stay on our own path.

We put ourselves before others
and so destroy the gift of life in each of us.

We fill our days with human pessimism,
assuming that nothing will ever get better
rather than welcoming your deep divine hope.

Forgive us, Lord.

Show us your hope anew in Jesus this Advent,
that we might see your branch sprouting anew in our midst
and fill our lives and the whole earth with our embrace of you.

 

submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York
part of The Path to the Holy Mountain series

confession: strange economy of grace

Call to Reconciliation
God has a vision of a time and place where enemies
become best friends, where the world is a playground
for all children.  But we know how we resist living in
such a kingdom, for our eyes are blinded by sin.
Let us confess to our God, as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
On this day we confess, God of righteousness, how we have not been your
people.  When we are offered the opportunity to get between the poor and
those who would shove them aside, we too easily step out of the way.  When
we could stand up for those in need, we prefer to sit on the sidelines.
When we are called to be servant leaders, we choose to act as if others
should wait on us.
Have mercy on us, Blessing God.  As we repent, we would see the kingdom
which is in our midst.  By your grace, we discover that in your strange
economy of grace, all people matter; by your love, we can bear fruit of
compassion and hope; by your peace, we can clothe others in your justice,
even as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, wraps us in justice.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L:  We confess, and so we rejoice, for God has accepted us for who we are,
and claimed us as God’s own children.
P:  We lift our praise to God, who fills us with hope and grace.  Thanks be
to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies

prayer of the day: Advent 2

You come,
so the poor might
get a fair shake
(not a shakedown);
so faithfulness and righteousness
might be the suspenders
we put on each morning;
so we might listen
to the voiceless
without judgment.

When we long for a
leader beyond our imagining,
you show us a
picture
of a dusty-footed
itinerant preacher,
with a ragamuffin
group of followers
and say to us, ‘here’s who
you are looking for.’

In the midst of bigger and brighter,
louder and flashier ad campaigns,
you offer a vision of
cows given milk to wolf cubs,
snakes charming little kids,
lions, and tigers, and bears (oh my!)
playing hide and seek
on our front lawns.

God in Community, Holy in One,
bring this kingdom closer to us,
even as we pray as we have been taught,
Our Father . . .

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies.

CTW: season of crowded stores

L:  In this season of crowded stores
and unpacked stress,
P:  we will welcome one another
    as God has welcomed us.
L:  In this time of hurried hellos and curt replies,
P:  we will greet one another
    with words of hope and peace.
L:  In a culture of increasing isolation,
P:  we will embrace our sisters and brothers
    as God has enfolded us in grace.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies.

confession: lost sight of your peace

O Lord our God, too often we have lost sight of your peace, forgetting your call upon our lives. Instead we have believed the lie that peace is elusive, or that it will never arrive or that it is dream we should stop wishing would come true. We have turned over our faith to other things, weapons of war, instruments of violence, or monetized “values.” We have ignored the prophet’s proclamation and have turned our back on the teachings of our spiritual ancestors.

Have mercy on us in this Advent Season.

Restore in us once again your peace.
Re-ignite in us once again your hope.
Renew in us once again your call.
Remind us that we are to be the people of peace, no matter the cost, no matter where it takes us.
Reconnect us again to Jesus, for whom we wait with expectant souls in this holy season of Advent.
Amen. Amen. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield NJ

CTW: O Advent Day of Peace

One: O Advent Day, O Day of Peace!
All: May the reign of Christ outlast the sun, outlive the moon—age after age after age!
One: We gather to wait together for our Savior, the Christ, whose birth is drawing near.
All: May he outlast the sun, outlive the moon—age after age after age!
One: Today, Scripture reminds us of our calling…to be those that co-create Peace…
All: May our efforts outlast the sun, outlive the moon—age after age after age!
One: Salvation will come from the places we least expect it, and arrive in the places most in need!
All: Come let us Worship! Come let us gather to hear the Story once again!
Let us remember that Jesus the Christ, the Savior of all
will outlast the sun, outlive the moon—age after age after age! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ