Dec 15, 2014

Christmas Prayer: Bethlehem, House of Bread

Here’s is a prayer of Thanksgiving for the Christmas season, from Kate Compston and the Bread for the World website.

Christmas Prayer

Thank you,
Scandalous God,
For giving yourself to the world,
Not in the powerful and extraordinary,
But in weakness and the familiar:
In a baby; in bread and wine.

Thank you
For offering, at journey’s end, a new beginning;
For setting, in the poverty of a stable,
The richest jewel of your love;
For revealing, in a particular place,
Your light for all nations.

Thank you
For bringing us to Bethlehem, House of Bread,
Where the empty are filled,
And the filled are emptied;
Where the poor find riches,
And the rich recognize their poverty;
Where all who kneel and hold out their hands
Are unstintingly fed.

~ written by Kate Compston, from Bread of Tomorrow.  Posted on Bread for the World. http://www.bread.org/help/church/worship/prayers/christmas-prayers-about-hunger/kate-compston.pdf

Prayer for Christmas

Loving God,
help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. 

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

~ attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson

Dec 14, 2014

Call to Worship, Opening Prayer: Christmas Eve

Here’s a responsive call to worship for late Advent.  It was written by Rev. Gord, and posted on his blog, Worship Offerings.

Call to Worship, Opening Prayer

We count it in mere hours now.
Soon the first pains of labour will be felt.
Soon the Light will shine in the darkness,
soon the baby will be born. 
Soon God will once again break into our lives,
coming in a way that is expected yet unusual,
challenging our expectations
and calling us to see life differently. 

God of birth, God of light,
in this time of song and prayer and silence,
reawaken in us the awe of Christmas.
As we hear again the story of a young woman and a surprising visitor,
remind us that we are called to respond to you in unexpected ways. 
And when we leave this place,
may we be willing to sing praises
for a young woman who said YES
and the birth that we prepare to celebrate. 
We pray in the name of the child
who even now is starting to push from the womb,
who would later teach his friends to pray saying
Our Father….

~ posted by Rev Gord on his blog, Worship Offerings. http://worshipofferings.blogspot.ca/

Christmas Benediction: I Wish for You

Here’s a Christmas blessing from Roddy Hamilton.

Christmas Benediction

 

This Christmas
I wish for you
light
to crumple up the darkness

This Christmas
I wish for you
love
to pull us closer to one another 

This Christmas
I wish for you
peace
the same the angels sang

This Christmas
I wish for you
starlight
to follow on your way home

This Christmas
I wish for you
promise
to keep hope alive for you

This Christmas
I wish for you
God
newly born and in the flesh

This Christmas
I wish for you
Jesus Christ
born this night
light of the world

~ written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Listening to the Stones. http://newkilpatrickblog.typepad.com/nk-blogging/mucky-paws/

Dec 10, 2014

Advent Dreams: A Garland Instead of Ashes

Here’s an advent reflection from Rachel Hackenburg

A Garland Instead of Ashes
(inspired by Isaiah 61:3, Psalm 126:2, Luke 1:46b-48)

When can we dream,
if not in this season of Advent?

When can we make room
in our hearts, in our worship, in our preaching,
for the possibility of something wildly and divinely new,
if not in Advent?

The LORD has sent you to dream
of protesters draped in garlands not ashes,
of the poor and mourning marked by oil rather than sackcloth,
of churches resounding with praise not silence, so that
all the world sees this planting of the LORD,
this seed of a hope of God's glory. (Isaiah 61:3)

The LORD has called us to dream
of restoration for all people, of justice and relationship
raining down in abundance so much
that we laugh and sing together
and no one says,
"See how they fight and rage; see how they crush
their own brothers & sisters under the weight of inequity,"
but rather
"See how the LORD lives through them." (Psalm 126:2)

God has given the world a song
that imagines a so-called welfare mother
bearing God into the world,
a boy of color meant to save the world;
a song that recasts the mother as blessed
and praises the boy as Lord. (Luke 1:46b-48)

Rejoice always.

Testify to the light.

Preach God's imagination.

~ written by Rachel Hackenberg, and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.org/author/rachelhackenberg/