The fourth week of Advent is long this year which gives us a wonderful opportunity to contemplate the coming of Christ before Christmas arrives. Enjoy:
God we gather in this Advent season,
To hear the prayers you have placed in our hearts,
Filled with the ache of hurting people and a broken world,
We come willing to listen to the silence,
Longing to see and to become all you intend us to be.
Let the busyness of our bodies rest,
Let the worries of our minds rest,
Let the doubts of our hearts rest,
Letting go of self may we all hold onto God,
Opening ourselves to become a part of your new world that is emerging.
Pause for the lighting of the Advent candles
God we release to you the rush and noise of life,
We breathe out all that hinders our becoming who you intend us to be,
Fear, anxiety, busyness, confusion, guilt and tiredness,
We throw off our busy distractedness and breathe in all that is of you,
Love, joy, peace, compassion, justice, grace and mercy.
God may we be mindful of you today,
Knowing that each moment of time is sanctified by your spirit.
May your words echo deep within us,
So that we can hear your call to holiness, justice and compassion.
Becoming people of hope to a troubled world.
God may your silence penetrate deep inside,
Releasing for us the hope of this Advent season,
May it bring us to the place where love and justice meet,
Enabling us to surrender all that holds us captive,
Encouraging us to release all that has enslaved us.
O God as we wait to become your transformed people,
May we embrace your love and enter the place of deep communion with you,
Where time is stilled and place is fertile ground for seeds to sprout,
May we willingly walk into the unknown mystery of faith,
Seeking to become a part of your new world of justice and peace.
Read scriptures for the day from daily lectionary
God may we wait in patience and hope for what is emerging,
In our lives, in our world and through our faith,
May we be willing to walk on paths unknown,
That you have marked out with loving care.
May we wait in trust and not fear for your new world,
For the justice and peace and freedom you have promised,
For those things hoped for and not yet seen.
Knowing that the future is in God’s hands,
May we wait for the release and rest of your new world.
Eternal Spirit, Earth-Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all. Loving God, in whom is heaven. The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the earth! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth. With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and test, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen. (From NZ Prayer Book)
Pause to offer specific prayers and thanksgivings
God as we wait for your coming and meditate on your promises,
Grant that we may hear afresh the hope of your salvation,
And respond to the wonder of your forgiving love,
May we be filled with hope not just for ourselves,
But for a world in which all is made new.
May we walk forward without fear into the ways
of the One who walked without fear into our world.
May we enter with assurance and trust into the love of the Christ,
Who came in the fragility and vulnerability of a human child.
May we be filled with the hope and promise of the Spirit,
And greet with joy all the unexpected and unanticipated happenings,
That give us glimpses of what God’s new world is becoming.
God grant that we may walk with humility into your grace and peace,
Our hearts filled with your love,
Our minds inspired by your truth,
Our wills strengthened by your hope.
Until at the end of our journey
We know the joy of our homecoming and the welcome of your embrace.
This litany is adapted from the Advent devotional Waiting for the Light, a compilation of Advent readings from Godspace writers published in 2011.
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