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Dec 24th Morning 2017 Prayer Resource Created by Rev. Kate Johnson Martin
Call to Worship [adapted from John 1]
Leader: In the beginning,
People: was the Word and the Word was with God.
Leader: In the beginning,
People: was life and it was the light of all people.
Leader: In the beginning,
People: the light defeated the darkness and love was born forever.
Leader: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
People: Let us worship the Giver of Love and Life!
Advent Candle – Love (Psalm 130:5-8 NRSV)
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
8 It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.
Response: Sing “Love Came Down at Christmas” (stanzas 1 and 3) – Christina Georgina Rossetti
1 Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
star and angels gave the sign.
3 Love shall be our token,
love be yours and love be mine;
love to God and others,
love for plea and gift and sign.
Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon
God of love and life, we kneel before you with hearts seeking to reflect the love you bring to us with the gift of a baby, the gift of yourself in the flesh. As much as we strive to be the ongoing Body of Christ to the world, we know we have too often failed to truly love as you would love. Please forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted, the dishonor we have shown, and the failure to see and respond when your love has been needed. Help us to know in our hearts more perfectly your divine gift of love and to better be your true hands and heart in the world. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Words of Assurance and Pardon:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. [John 3:16-17]
On this special day of anticipation, remember the gift of God’s son who was born to save us from our sins. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
Response: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
Dedication of Offering
Almighty God, we give thanks for the bounty in our lives, knowing that all comes from you. Please accept these gifts in the name of your son who you gave us as an infant and for whom we wait once again. In this special season of giving, may these offerings be particularly blessed for uses that will testify to the love and name of Jesus Christ that all may know the Messiah has come to save all peoples for all time. Amen.
Holy Communion: Great Thanksgiving and Words of Institution and Blessing
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: God of all creation and all times, you formed your world and all the universe from nothing and made it to be a place of plenty and sustenance for all creatures. You formed us into being in your image and breathed into us life. You gave us the prophets of old and Moses who delivered your law that your children might grow in love and perfection.
When your children failed to keep your covenants, you did not give up on us. You became flesh so that we truly could know you, Emmanuel, God with us. You came as a baby to grow as we must grow, to endure life as we endure it, and to suffer and die as we must suffer and die. You raised him from the dead so that we might understand your perfect love for us and also rise one day. Through your son, Jesus Christ, we came to know the magnitude of your divine love, healing from our brokenness, and the promise of eternal life.
Before his death and resurrection, Jesus dined with his disciples one final time and gave them the gifts that continue to bless us even today.
He took the bread, gave thanks to you, broke it and said, “Take, eat. This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Following the meal, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, broke it and said, “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. As often as you drink this, remember me.”
We give you thanks for Jesus the Christ, Love Incarnate, as we offer ourselves to you as a living and holy sacrifice in union with Christ and as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
People: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
Pour out your love on this bread and fruit of the vine that we will know them as the body and blood of Christ. Make us one with Christ and one with the world for the transformation of your kingdom on earth until the day it is one with the kingdom of heaven and we are united with you for eternity.
Dec. 3rd by Rev. Johanna Rehbaum
Dec. 10th by Rev. Mike Williams
Dec. 17th by Rev. Dr. Marilyn Pagán-Banks
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