God who approaches: you gather all of us together so you can accomplish the unexpected for a world which no longer cares or expects your presence. We search the world for your presence, and you surprise us and reveal yourself in new and unexpected ways. Prepare our hearts and our minds to wait for you and look for you in the moments in this service, but also in the world around us. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
This season is supposed to be so holy, God of Christmas, yet the din of sales pitches turns us into cynical grumps. As we drive down the streets, the decorations on all the houses keep us from seeing the loneliness of the widower, the strained faces of those who fear the future. We are so determined to find just the right gift or card which speaks of joy, we forget that you came so long ago to offer justice to those who have none.
O God, be patient with us, as we struggle to speak for the voiceless, to walk with those who have lost their way, to let go of our certainty of what really happened so long ago, and listen to the songs of children which speak of that peace which really can bring reconciliation, of that grace which really can offer hope, of that love which really came to us that night in Bethlehem, in the birth of Jesus, our Savior. Hear us as we silently confess our shortcomings. Amen.
- Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 35: 1-10
- Gospel Lesson: Luke 1: 46b—55
- No. 13 – Prepare the Way
- No. 38 – It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
- No. 20 – Watchman, Tell Us of the Night
Solo performed by Kathy Fisk, soprano
“Time to Prepare for Chrstmas: All those Last Minute Things” – Rev. Dr. Martha Jordan