Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Advent 4 -- December 20, 2015

Advent 4   

 "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,  --Luke 1:46b (NRSV)

MEDITATIVE READING                         Odes of Solomon 40 (ANNT)
As drops of honey from the honeycomb of bees, And the flow of milk from the one who loves her children, So also is my hope upon you, my God.
As a fountain gushes forth its waters, So also my heart pours forth the praise of the splendor of the Lord, And my lips send out praise to him.
Then my tongue becomes sweet in his anthems, And my members become fat in his odes.
Also my face beams with his exultation, And my spirit rejoices in his love, And my entire self shines.
And all who are afraid can rely on him, And salvation will  be confirmed in them.
His abundance is immortal life, And the ones who receive it are without devastation.

CALL TO WORSHIP (Hebrews 10:5-7)
Leader: When Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me;
People: in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.
    Leader: See, God, we have come to do your will.
    People: Let us worship God.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION  (Hebrews 10:8-10)
ALL: Giving and forgiving God, you have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings. Set free from the law, we have often failed to do your will. in you We have everything we need . Yet we look everywhere else for contentment. Abundant life begins and ends with you. Yet we demand perfection; we are intolerant of flaws. Help us to be easier on others and find peace within. Teach us that to find contentment we must rest in you; we must accept what we cannot change and allow ourselves to be molded in positive ways by negative experiences, even the sins we confess here and now.
(silent prayer)
Leader: It is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
ALL: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!  Amen.

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