Merciful God, Just God, Faithful God, God of blessing and God of our most difficult times, we come to you for a moment of quiet in our self-made busyness. We come to you for energy in our weariness. Enter, Spirit of God, into each of our lives and enliven us; enter, Spirit of God, into our community and enable us to love and serve you and all your children. Amen.
Prayer of Confession:
Mighty and merciful God, we come to you as your people who fall short. We fall short of your desires for our lives, and for the life of this world you have created and redeemed. Have mercy on us and lift our gaze to the skies. Help us to discover the light of your love and mercy. Guide and redirect our steps in your way. Help us understand your truth. Lead us to live the best life you have prepared for us.
Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 60: 1 -3 NRSV (source)
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Gospel Lesson: John 8: 12-16 NRSV (source)
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.”
- No. 470 – O Day of Radiant Gladness
- No. 366 – Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me
- No. 474 – O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright
Solos performed by Simone Santarsiero, soprano
“Finding Our Way in Darkness” – Rev. Scott G. Loomer
Affirmation of Faith
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.