Week of December 4, 2022

Romans 15:4-13

Matthew 3:1-12

Spend some time this week reflecting on these readings and prayers from yesterday’s worship:

The shiny additions to our Advent and Christmas remind us that we are called to reflect the sacred each and every day. “Incarnation” is a word that means that God’s presence came to dwell among all people, and we believe this happened in a special way in the birth of Jesus. All of creation has always been imbued with the Creator’s brilliance. This season, we will remember the call to shine with this holy light.

Living God, Christ Mystery, Spirit of Love, we give you thanks for this holy gathering of Beloveds. As we take in the love you offer, may we be a reflection of your light, expanding the sacred presence you have promised into the sacred presence we can offer. Amen.

God of Advent waiting and watching, we have come to you this day with hearts heavy, with concerns for family and friends; for world situations; for struggles in home, community, state, and nation. We feel powerless to affect any changes. So we withdraw into ourselves, quick to criticize and slow to change our own behavior. Today you have called us to prepare ourselves to receive this “shoot” which shall arise from the stump of Jesse. You remind us that this is the one who will bring messages of peace. He will help us to become faithful disciples and servants. But we have much work to do. Our preparation needs to focus on our own attitudes and actions. We need to clean our spiritual houses of the cobwebs of hate, greed, apathy, suspicion. We need to focus more on your absolute love and forgiveness. As we turn our lives to you, offering names and situations in prayers for your healing mercies, help us to remember that our own healing is vital. Enable us to be strong and confident workers for you in this world.

Forgive us when we are too preoccupied, self-involved, or worried to notice your presence in our lives…when we are too rushed to allow moments of wonder and awe that lead to hope, when we are too frightened to imagine those not like us loved equally by you, when we gloss over the most ordinary details as a revelation of your joy, when we fail to stop and reside in peace with you in our depths. Open us, O God, free us to reflect the sacred. Touch us with your presence, we pray in your Holy Name: Christ, Anointed One. Amen.

Hear this good news:  God is with us in our distress and in our faltering. God is always and already closing the gaps we create. Jesus calls us to himself with unfailing and gracious hospitality.

You are forgiven and freed. You are not alone.  Amen? AMEN!

Have a blessed week.

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