Sunday 1st January 2017 – Christmas 1/Epiphany

We’re marking Epiphany here, because it is too late by next week.   All the decorations will be down.   It also means an easy Sunday as I’ve found some meditations that will work.   This is the opening prayer.

 

Glorious Presence,

who has awakened our hearts

with the light of stars,

and dazzled our imaginations

with the possibility of heaven,

You shine into this dawning new year

and cast Your rays across the world

that new vision may settle

into life.

Bringing hope and love

You are turning over the old ways

and announcing the possibility of change

and determination

to seek after the best for all people.

With signs and wonders

You stir up

the settled view,

disrupting the convenient

for the challenge of alternative patterns.

 

Clothing ourselves in the comfort of darkness,

we hide away our bad habits

lest people see us at our worst.

We close our minds

to welcoming difference.

We linger in the familiarity of past memories,

afraid of an unknown future.

 

You make us brave with starlight and wonder,

and it is Your loving tenderness,

Lord of all nations,

that reminds us

of Your on-going work in our lives.

Incomplete and uncertain

we place our lives in Your hands.

Amen.

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Sunday 6th December 2015 – Advent 2C (4)

Prayers of the People

Holy God,

in this season of Advent

and at other times in our lives

we find ourselves longing for You,

for Your presence

to instil us with hope and comfort

and for our present existence to be transformed.

We praise You for the moments

when we have glimpsed Your glory,

and been assured of the Spirit’s lead

in daily activities.

 

In the words of others

we have glimpsed Your glory,

as they have taught us of Your love

and inspired us in all we do.

There are those who are never afraid

to speak out,

and who challenge all

with their thirst for justice

and call to live in relationship with others.

We pray for those who continue to inspire

in all they say and do,

the prophets of our time

who are found in every walk of life –

for politicians and evangelists,

for teachers and news reporters,

for young people and political activists.

 

Shine in the darkness

AND GUIDE US TO PEACE

 

As warring nations rumble with discontent,

as people travel to escape hostility, oppression and famine,

we seek glimpses of Your glory

in those who will offer a welcome and a shelter,

who will lift up the downtrodden

and give mercy that allows them to live,

and who offer relief from the burden of hunger, thirst and debt.

So we remember Aid Agency workers,

those within our armed forces,

doctors and nurses and hospital support staff

at home and overseas.

As they offer kindness and care,

may they experience strength and courage

for all they encounter.

 

Shine in the darkness

AND GUIDE US TO PEACE

 

In the decoration of our homes

we seek to reflect You glory

and the transforming light we have encountered

in knowing You.

We pray for homes,

that they be places that exhibit more than sparkle in decoration,

but instead that every home

is a place of hope and welcome.

In a season where tensions may rise

with financial and health worries,

or the sense of being trapped becomes more potent

as the weather keeps people indoors,

we remember relationships stretched and broken

and seek Your healing balm,

to bring relief or to aid the path to change.

 

Shine in the darkness

AND GUIDE US TO PEACE

 

The presence of others in our lives

as so often revealed Your presence to us,

and we pray for those saints within our own lives

who have shown us Your love

and inspired us to follow You.

 

Shine in the darkness

AND GUIDE US TO PEACE

 

Amen.

Sunday 6th December 2015 – Advent 2C (2)

Prayer of Approach

In the history of humanity,

You, Creator of heaven and earth,

place Your love.

In the midst of kings, governors, high priest and world leaders

You sit,

distilling wisdom,

offering counsel,

and challenging the present.

In the desert of warring nation,

starving children,

broken men and women,

You are the voice

that calls the world to notice

and take action,

that Your warmth and light may bring

the promise and hope

of the garden of Eden

and the time when all will again

walk in the presence and knowledge of their Creator.

 

Continues with a shared prayer of confession found in the order of service.

Sunday 6th December – Advent 2C

Call to Worship

Come and listen for the voice of the Lord

who calls out

that people may be redeemed from their past

and embrace the promise of the future

in faith.

Come and listen for the whispering and gossip

that rustles with praise and thanksgiving

for the experiences of each day.

Come settle in the silence,

where no voices are needed

and instead the sincerity

of hearts meeting

and the Spirit calling forth

lead us to new understanding.

 

Come and hear the voice of love

that stills the quaking hearts

with forgiveness and mercy,

that all may walk in peace.

Sunday 29th November 2015 – Advent 1C (4)

Prayer of Intercession

Come, Lord God,

change us

so that we may be more aware of Your presence.

Strengthen our hearts and make us holy,

as we readily await and watch

for Your light entering the darkness.

 

Holy God,

we long for You and Your love.

As a church

we hope to live in Your grace and goodness

so that we may grow in holiness and hospitality.

In the changes that You seek from us

may we hear the invitation

to serve the community in which we are placed

so that Your light

may shine into the needs that surround

 

Lord show us Your way

and teach us Your paths.

 

In the darkness and uncertainty

of our present time,

we long for You hope.

As nations speak to each other

or war against another,

may the prayers of all people be heard.

Let peace prevail,

rather than vengeful acts of justice.

May the whispering of Your Spirit

become a healing balm

that soothes the anxieties

of those who hold the power

and encourage conversation.

 

Lord show us Your ways

and teach us Your paths.

 

In these dark cold nights,

fill our homes with light and love and laughter,

When worries knock upon the door,

may we be sensitive to those who are struggling

and gentle in the way we respond.

 

Lord show us Your ways

and teach us Your paths.

 

In the darkness of sorrow, hurt and pain,

You walk as the comforter

who comes to untie the chains

that hold people back from engaging in the fullness of life.

We bring our own concerns

for those who are trapped in the past or in present situations,

and in the silence

we think of those who are ill, bereaved, distressed or overburdened.

 

Silence

 

Hear the prayers we make.

 

Lord show us Your ways,

and teach us Your paths.

 

Amen