December 1st: Hope – “Ordering Up a Hope Sandwich” Communion and White Gift Sunday
We recall the prophets, particularly Isaiah, who raised expectations when he foretold the coming of Messiah.
Prayer: We enter, O God, into this season of preparation and anticipation, longing to skip ahead and celebrate the coming of your light into our darkness—but you would have us first slow down, breathe deeply, and prepare ourselves to receive your gift. We know that your Holy Spirit comes in powerful and unexpected ways and so we pray we might recognize you moving in and through the season. In Christ’s name and in Christ’s way, we pray in hope… (a moment of contemplation)
December 8th: Peace – “Imagine! Peace!”
We reflect on message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward all.”
Prayer: We live in a world where peace seems like a distant dream, O God. And so we pray—not just for the absence of violence and conflict, but for the deep peace of knowing and trusting your will and your way. As the darkness and coldness of December set in, we trust that the light and the warmth of your Holy Spirit will enfold us and remind us of the shalom that is to come and the shalom that is already within us… (a moment of contemplation)
December 15th: Joy – “What Are We Waiting for?”
We remember the joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus, turning from repentance to celebration.
Prayer: God of light and love, this morning we rejoice and celebrate in your reign and seek to participate in it through our acts of faithful living. We celebrate justice and righteousness, and with joy we accept your Christmas presence as we strive to give you our presence. In the name of Jesus our Christ we pray that you might bless us with an audacious, daring, and joyful faith, just like his… (a moment of contemplation)
December 22nd: Love – “Anybody Listening?”
Our attention turning to Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and the manger.
Prayer: Our waiting has brought us to Christmas week, O God of light and love, and our hearts are brimming with anticipation. In a few short days we’ll celebrate once again the coming of the Light of the World. Open our hearts and minds to hear this old story in new ways and fill us with the kind of faith that Mary had as she made her Advent journey. In Christ’s name, and in Christ’s Way, we pray… (a moment of contemplation)
Prayer: Holy One, born anew each Christmas Eve, be born anew in us this night. This is the sacred moment we have waited for. These are the open hearts we have prepared. Come, Holy Child, and transform our living. Come, Holy Light, and kindle our spirits. Come, Holy Love, and fill us. This is what we have been waiting for. Come… (a moment of contemplation)