a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

benediction: delight God’s heart

Servants of God, who delight God’s heart,

go forth by the power of the Holy Spirit

to do justice, strengthen the weak, and free those in bondage.

Go forth as ministers of the covenant

made for us in Jesus Christ.

Go forth in the hope of the new dawn,

shining in God’s light.

As you go forth,

may the hope of Christ’s coming,

the power of the Spirit’s presence,

and the glory of God’s kingdom

be with you always. Amen.

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

confession: isaiah 42

Prayer of Confession – Isaiah 42:5-7

(each section is a portion of the sanctuary seating)

Leader: Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out…
Section 1: We confess that we have polluted and over-consumed, living a life that uses up resources with no plans for renewal.
Leader: Who spread out the earth and what comes from it…
Section 2: We confess we have only paid attention to our corner of the house, of town, of the church, of the world.
Leader: Who gives breath the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it,,,
Section 3: We confess that we have stood by and watched when others cannot breathe.
Leader: I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations…
Section 1: We confess we have lived no differently from those who worship no God.
Leader: To open the eyes that are blind…
Section 2: We confess that we have not pointed out injustice.
Leader: To bring out the prisoners from the dungeon…
Section 3: We confess that we have not shared the good news of your love and forgiveness.
Leader: From the prison those who sit in darkness.
All: Forgive us our sins, loving and powerful God. We confess these out loud and others to you, silently now.

Time of Silent Confession

Assurance of God’s Pardon – Isaiah 42:8-9

Leader: Listen to what God says through the prophet Isaiah, “I am the Lord, that is my name. …See, the former things that have come to pass, and new things I now declare.” In the name of the Lord, I declare forgiveness. I declare mercy. I declare love that is stronger than sin and death. And I declare these things to you.
Sisters and brothers in Christ, believe the good news of the Gospel.
People: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

 

Submitted by Rev. John Weicher, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, Swarthmore, PA

confession: let line shine

O Lord our God, light of the world, we confess that we are not always good at letting your light shine through us. We insist that the earth is ours, not yours. We insist on building walls that keep others out. We insist on serving ourselves first, and offering you our leftovers. Forgive us for all the ways we obscure your light, and turn our attention to you, that all our days we may glorify only you. Amen.

~silence~

 

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

Advent Candles: light in the darkness

Advent Candle Liturgy 2014
(Narrative Lectionary Year 1: Habakkuk 1-2-3, Esther, Isaiah 42, Matthew 1)

One: In the darkness a light shines
though shadows lengthen, the flame burns bright.
All: Day by day God draws nearer;
day by day we prepare.

Hymn 350: Keep Your Lamps, verse 1

~the candle is lit~

One: In the depths of creation, God planted a vision
breathed it into life,
wrote it on our hearts.

add in week 2 (ideally a second single voice):
In every time and every place,
in this time and this place,
we are called to witness to real power, real authority:
Love made flesh.

then add on for week 3 (with 3rd voice):
God declares a new thing,
heavens and earth sing glory.
The promise is true,
and we are its messengers.

then add on for week 4 (4th voice):
Do not be afraid:
God is with us!

All: The Spirit calls us still to share the good news:
light shines, and darkness will never overcome it!

 

(It’s possible that each week we’ll begin with no candles lit, and light a new one between each additional segment.)

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