Note: COCU relates to a way of coding for the lectionary year.
See general Advent resources here.
A prayer for God to come and display God’s might as in the past. Also, a confession that, while God welcomes those who do good, God’s people have not done good, and have failed to confess. Finally a plea for God’s forgiveness.
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
A plea for God to reveal God’s glory and come to God’s people to turn them back to God, to make God’s face smile on God’s people, and to save them.
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
God has given us every spiritual gift, and will sustain us and strengthen us, as we await the return of Christ.
Jesus speaks about the signs of his coming – darkened sun and moon and fallen stars – and encourages his followers to watch the signs and be alert. Then he tells a story about a man who goes on a long trip, leaving his servants with work to do, and telling the gatekeeper to keep watch for his return. In the same way we are to keep watch for we don’t know when the Master will return.
(RCL readings summary by John van de Laar, Sacredise)
Lighting of the Advent candle: The Candle of Hope
Emmanuel, God with us, we pray that you send your light into our hearts at this time. Live in us and help us live in you so that our work and worship may be filled with your transforming hope. We remember the work of the Christmas Bowl in helping people in the poverty, homelessness, and terror of their lives. May our words and actions today rebuild lives and offer hope; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Source: Christmas Bowl)
Prayer of Invocation
We call out to you, “Be the God we dream!”
You respond by being the God you are.
We discuss you and define you and expect of you.
But you unravel our expectations and definitions.
We seek to limit and control putting you in a box of our making.
You turn our boxes upside down.
We seek now.
You bid us wait.
We seek obvious salvation.
You send a child.
We seek clear-cut and easy answers.
You give us hope.
Upside down divinity,
give us the strength to resist a culture
of greed, of haves, and have-nots.
Turn our eyes away from the gold statues,
our idols of selfishness and fear.
Help us to let go of our expectations of you
so that we might be ready to welcome
the child who is on the way. Amen.
(Source: Tim Graves, Liturgy Bits)
The sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken —Mark 13.24-25
It sounds terrible and threatening,
but it’s nothing new, is it,
this ancient vision of climate change
and power struggles.
Jesus says look at the tree:
you can see summer is coming—
but in this case you don’t know when,
like someone coming home
at an odd hour unannounced.
We’ve painted this picture
with a touch of dread and panic, haven’t we?
The end is coming and heads are going to roll.
But it’s spring, not winter.
It’s the homeowner, not a thief.
The end is already upon us, always has been:
our own self-destructiveness.
The interruption is not the calamity:
that’s already in place.
The interruption is the Beloved,
who comes into our dissolution,
intervenes in our collective suicide,
re-directs our plunge toward oblivion,
and most shocking of all,
tenderly accompanies us
even through the worst of our withdrawal.
It’s not the end; it’s the clay being reshaped
by hands with a vision
for who we can be
before we are fired in the kiln
into durable vessels.
Give up your misgiving.
You’ve been given every gift to await the coming.
Welcome the it.
Watch for every moment
the unseen hands
lay themselves upon you.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)
Advent 1: Waiting
to be vulnerable
to be of good courage
to go on
day after day after day;
to be heavy with hope
to carry the weight of the future
to anticipate with joy
to withdraw with fear
until the pain overcomes,
the waters break
and the light of the world
Then the travail is over,
joy has overcome.
Lord of heaven and earth,
crowned with blood at your birth,
delivered with pain,
bring new hope to birth
in your waiting world,
bring fresh joy
to those who weep.
in all our dyings and birthings.
God of steadfast love,
never leave us hopeless.
(Source: Kate McIlhagga, The Green Heart of the Snowdrop, Iona Community)
David MacGregor, Together to Celebrate, Advent 1B