Eternal God, we gather today satisfied by the meals and company of the past few days. Let gratitude and praise continue to flow from our lips as we enter this new season known in candlelight and giving, sparkling snowflakes and twinkling lights, joy and anticipation mirroring the hope we have for your coming. Yet we live in a weary, suffering world and often fail to recognize you in our midst. You are our true hope, our path in the wilderness, our light, and our salvation. We keep watch with anticipation for your presence and the arrival of your reign.
In this meantime we wait, we prepare, and we put our hope in your steadfast love. Holy God ground of our being, you dwell with and among us:
In every corner of the earth,
Gracing our tables with food and laughter.
Weeping with all who know war and hunger,
Grieving with all who long for their beloved,
Keeping watch over the bedsides of the sick,
especially as flu and RSV take hold this season,
And many we know suffer from long term illnesses
You dwell with and among us, holding the hand of those who walk in darkness, searching for the light.
You are the morning dawn breaking forth over every day of our lives, from the first newborn breath to those last tender days, comforting every heartache and rejoicing in every joy.
You are as close as our breath and at the same time you are there, in the farthest reaches of the world, in lands whose names we find difficult to pronounce, with people in search of safe haven, food, and shelter; and in places where the customs are foreign to us. Your presence transcends every boundary and border.
In the meantime, when we watch and we wait for that unknown hour, be our true hope. Prepare us to live in your holy presence now and forever. Make us ready for the fullness of your reign, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us to pray…Our Father…. Amen.
Draw near to our hearts and homes O God, where we remember those facing surgery and illness this week, those who walk the winding path of grief and loss, and those who struggle to find true friends. Let your healing and grace move between and among us, a murmuration, a soothing balm for every ache.
On beaches, in backyards and by beautiful and broken places you assure us of your love, O God. And so we seek to walk in the steps of Christ, who says “follow me,” Jesus the one who teaches us to pray: Our Father…Amen.