Nov 28, 2014

Call to Worship: Longest Night / Blue Christmas

Here’s a call to worship for a Blue Christmas or Longest Night service.  It comes from the St. John’s Lutheran Church website.

Longest Night Call to Worship

The Christmas Spirit
is that hope
which tenaciously clings
to the hearts of the faithful
and announces
in the face
of any Herod the world can produce
and all the inn doors slammed in our faces
and all the dark nights of our souls
that with God
all things are possible,
that even now
unto us
a child is born!

~ from The Longest Night, posted on the St. John’s Lutheran Church website. http://www.stjohns-online.org/longestnight.html

Lighting the Advent Wreath: Longest Night

Here’s a candle-lighting litany for a Longest Night or Blue Christmas service.  It was written by Dan Nighswander.

Candle Litany for Longest Night

We light the candle of Hope as we await the coming of Jesus,
who is our source of hope.

(candle of hope is lit)

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of hope, in our times of emptiness.

We light the candle of Peace,
knowing that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

(candle of peace is lit)

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of peace in our times of uncertainty.

We light the candle of Joy,
knowing that our comfort and help come from God.

(candle of joy is lit)

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of joy in our times of sadness.

We light the candle of Love,
knowing that God is love revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

(candle of love is lit)

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of love in our times of loneliness.

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

The Word became flesh and lived among us,
full of grace and truth.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all.
We light the Christ Candle, knowing that Jesus is our hope,
our peace, our joy and the source of love.

(the Christ candle is lit)

~ written by Dan Nighswander, in Longest Night Service. Posted on Mennonite Church Canada Resource Centre website. http://resources.mennonitechurch.ca/FileDownload/12311/Longest_Night_-_Dan_Nighswander.pdf

Call to Worship: Longest Night

Here’s a call to worship for a Longest Night or Blue Christmas service.  It was written by Thom Shuman.

Longest Night Call to Worship

Tonight, we gather here in this place of refuge,
for we are lost,
we are lonely,
we are afraid.

Tonight, we gather daring to wonder
of God has indeed come in Jesus,
discerning the rejection we have known,
intimate with our failed relationships,
holding our heartache in hands of tenderness.

Tonight, we gather with neighbors and strangers,
a family made one by our brokenness,
coming with our hearts full of hope,
and our pockets filled with doubts.

Tonight, we gather just as we are,
for God has promised to meet us here
and to welcome us for who we are.

~ written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies. http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.ca/

Prayer of Releasing and Receiving

Here’s a thoughtful prayer from Joanna Harader.

Prayer

Gracious God,
We place ourselves in your presence.
Our minds and our spirits are cluttered.
Help us make space for you.
Help us to be fully present here, now.

We release to you all that we have done today–
whether for good or for ill.

We release all that we feel like we should have done today,
but did not do.

We release all of the people
who weigh on our hearts and minds this evening.

We release our fears.
We release our anxiety.
We release our impatience.
We release our pride.

All of the thoughts,
all of the feelings that pull us away from you, O God,
we release.

[silence]

And now with open hearts
we receive what you offer us now:

We receive the gift of this space and this time.
We receive the gift of being with each person here.
We receive the Holy Spirit’s presence within us
for guidance and healing.
We receive the sacred words that will be spoken and thought.
We receive the holy touch of hand and heart.
We receive the silence.
We receive the music.

Fill us now with the peace of your deep, abiding presence.
We offer all of ourselves to you,
our One God, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. Amen

~ written by Joanna Harader, and posted on Spacious Faith. http://spaciousfaith.com/

Advent Candle Litany

Here’s a simple Advent Candle Litany from James Hawes, Sunday Papers.

Candle Litany for Advent

God our life and our breath.
We witness your coming
In the humility of service,
The poor and marginalized,
The new born child,
In the heart of each person we meet,
And in the beauty of all creation.

We watch, wait and witness the mystery of your conception in us,

(The candle is lit)

We are waiting
We are watching
We are witnessing

~ posted by James Hawes, on Sunday Papers. http://www.sundaypapers.org.uk/