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Advent Candles: Light of the World

Light of the World: Hope from Romans 8:19-25

We gather this morning as the children of God.

In hope that all creation will be set free from bondage and decay.

We offer ourselves as the first fruits of this redemption.

For in hope, we were saved.

We light this candle in the hope that saved us and the hope of what we do not yet see.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

 

Light of the World: Peace from Isaiah 9:2, 6; John 14:27

We gather as people who walked in darkness but have seen a great light.

Once we lived in a land of deep darkness—on us, the light of peace has shined.

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.

He is the Prince of Peace.

We light this candle in the peace of Christ and for the peace the world has yet to know.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

 

Light of the World: Joy from John 15:11, 16:20-22

We gather as people of hope and peace.

May our joy be complete.

Though the broken world may bring us to lament and repentance, our sorrow will turn to joy.

No one can take away the joy Christ completes in us.

We light this candle with the joy of those who have heard and experienced the Word made flesh even as we wait for Christ to come again.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

 

Light of the World: Love from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 12

We gather in the love of Christ: a love that is patient and kind; love that is not envious, boastful, arrogant or rude.

In love, we rejoice in the truth.

Through the love of Christ, we find we can bear all things, believe all things, endure all things.

In love, we hope in all things.

We light this candle to declare a love that never ends and for the day when it is fully known in the world.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

 

Submitted by Michelle Henrichs

Confession: wild grapes

Prayer of Confession            from Isaiah 5:1-6

Beloved, God, you had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.  You dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines. You built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it.

You expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.

What more could you do for your vineyard that you had not done in it?

When you expected it to yield grapes, why did our lives yield wild grapes?  What now will you do, Lord?

We confess that we stray from the way you call us, choosing to trust in what is temporary:

do not remove your hedge, or we shall be devoured.

We confess that we build our own walls through injustice and indifference to others:

do not break down your wall, or we shall be trampled down.

We confess that we are destroying this earth you created:

do not make it a waste.

When we confess are many sins to you, Lord, may the Spirit of Truth change our hearts:

prune us so that we shall not be overgrown with briers and thorns.

When we cry out to you in humility:

send your living water so that we may be cleansed. 

 

Assurance         from John 15:7

Hear the words of Jesus:  “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”  When we offer our confession to God with a humble and contrite heart, we will receive forgiveness.

In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!

prayer: love deep and wide

Note:  Two voices can do the call and response rather than a congregational response.

Leader:            Lord, Your love is deep and wide:  a love that covers us even when we wander into the wilderness becoming hungry and thirsty.

People:            Nothing can tear us from the grip of Your mighty love.

Leader:            Jesus, Your love is fierce and strong:  a love that is the bread of life satisfying our hunger and the living water quenching our thirst.

People:            Nothing can tear us from the grip of Your mighty love.

Leader:            Spirit, Your love is sweet and wild:  a love leads our hearts to repentance as we cry out, “Lord, help!”

People:            Nothing can tear us from the grip of Your mighty love.

Leader:            Lord, You will not accuse nor will You condemn those who turn to You.   May our hearts be humble as we rest in the saving power of Your Name.

 

Submitted by Michelle Henrichs