Let us follow the Baptist’s cry
to present ourselves before the Lord,.
to repent of our sins,
and ask for forgiveness,
that we might receive the joy of his salvation.
John the Baptist gave us wise advice,
he said “whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none;
and whoever has food must do likewise.”
We confess that we do not always do this.
Our closets are overstuffed and our cabinets overflow
while people around the world freeze and starve.
Help us, gracious God, to share the joy of blessing with others around us.
May we remember that as long as there is one cold person left in the world,
as long as there is one hungry person left in the world,
we still have work to do. Amen.
Hear these words of comfort from the prophet Isaiah:
“Surely God is our salvation; We will trust, and will not be afraid,
for the LORD GOD is our strength and our might; God has become our salvation.”
Friends, God has become our salvation, indeed!
Open yourselves to the joy to be found in our forgiveness;
never more are we to be held captive by that which seeks to tear us from God.
Hear the Good News of the Gospel: we are forgiven. Alleluia! Amen!
Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY