And when we learn to read
the landscape of our fears,
and when we come to know
the terrain of every sorrow,
then will we turn
our fences into bridges
and our borders
into paths of peace.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Days pass and the years vanish
and we walk sightless among miracles.
Voice 1: In faith we ask the Holy One,
Fill our eyes with seeing
and our minds with knowing.
Voice 2: In hope we cry out to God,
let there be moments
when your presence, like lightning,
illumines the darkness in which we walk.
Leader: And we, though clay,
when touched by God,
will reach out for holiness
and exclaim in wonder,
All: How filled with awe is this place
and we did not know it!
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: God of Promise, we come before you
in fear and doubt.
People: Every day we come face to face
with our limits and our failures.
Leader: We are blinded by greed, lust and selfishness.
People: We blink before the frightful stare of our frailty.
Leader: We can not see the Good News.
All: Forgive us for our willful blindness to your grace.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Advent of Christ opens the eyes of our hearts
to God’s promise of forgiveness and compassion.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Leader: As we take our worship beyond these walls,
let the landscape of our fears
and the terrain of our sorrow
become the ground of healing for the world.
Casting your lot with Christ,
turn your fences into bridges,
and let your borders be paths of peace.
Reflection and Benediction: Jan Richardson, Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas, Pilgrim Press, page 47. Used with permission from Jan Richardson at www.janrichardson.com
Call to Worship: Adapted from Rachel Naomi Remen, Quoted in inward/outward, June 22, 2006