a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: in the desert

God who comes where we least expect, your prophets spoke of the coming Messiah as new life growing in dry land, a desert teeming with flowers. Yet we forget the prophecy, and so in our own desolate landscapes see only poverty and despair, frustration and rejection. In this Advent, when we await Your coming, we confess our failure of imagination: our inability to believe You could possibly change the shape of the world.

And yet we know that You have come, long ago, to a forgotten corner of the world, to a people on the verge of losing hope, to a woman no one thought could bear a child, and the world has never been the same. Hear us as we pray, that we might find flowers in the desert and celebrate life where it seems impossible. May we look to the darkness of our time and discover there a Light like no other, waiting to shine in us, in whose name we pray, Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Laura Cunningham, Western Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.

Communion: Turning

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Then let us sing!

Canticle of the Turning v. 1-3

Mighty God, we rejoice with all who hunger,
for your Son Jesus, whose coming we proclaim,
spreads a table of blessing before us
and feeds us with his very presence.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this meal,
that we might be united with Jesus Christ,
and with all who magnify his name.
Sustain us with your presence
and keep us faithful to the end,
singing with joy and confidence:

Canticle of the Turning v. 4

We pray with the One whose life turns the world
and we say together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Confession: Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Advent is a season of singing.
We sing as we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus.
Let us sing and pray our confession together:

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 1

Lord Jesus, set us free from slavery to sin,
and establish your kingdom in our lives.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 2

Our hearts long for your blessing,
and our world yearns for your presence.
Come to us now with forgiveness
and rule in our lives forever.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 3-4

*suggested tune: Stuttgart

 

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

confession: forgotten prophets

Your Prophets call us!
Your Promises invite us!
And yet we have forgotten our prophets and we no longer believe so many of Your promises.  Have mercy upon us O Lord of Love…
(Silence is kept)
Be with us as we journey through Advent.  We confess to you our doubts, worries and fears that hold us back….
(Silence is kept)
Be with us as we prepare for the birthing of the Christ Child into this world.  We confess to you our failings as we seek to follow him alone….
(Silence is kept)
O Lord our God, hear our prayers of confession this day.  Remind us of your love and the high calling you place on the live of discipleship we seek.
Have mercy upon us this day and send us out from this place refreshed and renewed.
Submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ

CTW: wonderful things

The Lord has done wonderful things for us,
offering us new life when we were in the wilderness…
Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!  O my soul!
The Lord has done wonderful things for our community,
offering us the gift of new opportunities, new vistas in ministry…
Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!  O my soul!
The Lord has done wonderful things for us,
offering us the challenge of changing paths…
Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!  O my soul!
Praise the Lord!  Let us gather to praise our God!
Let us gather for worship in this Advent Season
of waiting, of preparation, of new life, and new possibilities!
Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!  O my soul!  Amen.  
submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampon, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ