(adapted from The World News this Week in Prayer)
God who has come to be with God’s people!
We pause in this holy time…
time between Christmas and New Year’s,
between gift unwrapping and cleaning up,
between longing and rejoicing,
between endings and beginnings,
between dismay and joy,
Between hope and realization,
between Sacred and ordinary…
We pause to remember
the birth of our savior, the hope of the world, the light of the nations.
We pause to rejoice
That our Messiah has come with righteousness and peace.
We pause in awe and wonder
That we, who were walking in darkness, have seen a great light:
On your people, O God, a light has dawned.
We pause to remember
the Christ-child in whom we place our hope,
The Father in whom we place our lives, and
The Spirit who guides us in paths of peace.
Together we pray: Our Father…
Word become flesh and dwelling among us,
Son of glory, full of grace and truth,
We have been waiting for you for oh, so long.
Waiting for the signs of your advent.
Waiting to be witnesses to your coming.
Waiting to rejoice at your arrival.
But today, the day of rejoicing has come!
This is the morning when rocks, hills, floods and plains repeat the sounding joy;
the morning when the whole world rejoices to know its Savior;
the morning when our hearts leap up within us at the presence of the one.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come!
We praise the one who whose presence dwells among his people.
We praise the one who was, and is, and is to come.
We praise the one who has loved us from the beginning of time,
And whose love has neither beginning, nor middle, nor end.
Come, Holy and living God:
Come and make your presence known among us this morning.
Come and teach us how to live our lives like a love story:
With compassion and gentleness,
With righteousness and peace,
With courage and great hope.
Come and show us how to be the church that loves and is loved beyond measure:
A church that throws opens its doors,
Stretches out its hands,
And shares with its very being
the good news of great joy that is for everyone.
Come, incarnate God, in the places where darkness still rages:
In places of war and violence,
In gang-rape in India,
In gun violence in America,
In hatred in the Middle East,
In refugee camps in Syria and Afghanistan,
Holy God, where there is war and terror, bring your light.
(prayers of the people)
We praise the One who has come,
The One whose has loved us since the beginning of time,
the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.