Nov 26, 2015

Advent Reflection: Look for the Light

Here’s an Advent (or Christmas or Epiphany) reflection I read on RevGalBlogPals.  It didn’t give an author’s name.  If you know who wrote it, let me know so that I can credit him/her properly.

Advent Reflection

The deeper the darkness
the brighter the light shines.
For love refuses
to be extinguished by despair.
Resilience and hope cannot be quenched
while the light of love burns steadily,
fueled by courage and by compassion.
Look for the light
and there you will find love.

Advent Prayer: God's Timing

Here’s a prayer for the season of Advent (or a Longest Night/Blue Christmas service) from Ted Loder.  (See link below.)

Prayer: God’s Timing

O God of all seasons and senses,
grant us the sense of your timing
to submit gracefully and rejoice quietly in the turn of the seasons.

In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold,
teach us the lessons of endings;
children growing, friends leaving, loved ones dying,
grieving over,
grudges over,
blaming over,
excuses over.

O God, grant us a sense of your timing.
In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold,
teach us the lessons of beginnings;
that such waitings and endings may be the starting place,
a planting of seeds which bring to birth what is ready to be born—
something right and just and different,
a new song, a deeper relationship, a fuller love—
in the fullness of your time.
O God, grant us the sense of your timing.

Opening Prayer for Blue Christmas worship

Here’s an opening prayer for a Blue Christmas/Longest Night worship service.  It was posted on the Telling Secrets blog.

Opening Prayer for Blue Christmas

God of abundant mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
even though our hearts are broken
and our voices tremble with grief and sorrow.
Comfort, comfort, Lord, your Holy people.
Comfort those of us who sit in darkness,
mourning 'neath our sorrow's load.
Speak to us of the peace that awaits us,
of the balm of healing for our weary and wounded souls.
We ask all this, trusting in the promise you have made
to hear the prayers of two or three
who have gathered in the Name of your Holy Child, Jesus. Amen. 

~ from a longer Blue Christmas liturgy, posted on Telling Secrets.

Nov 24, 2015

Awaiting the Coming of Christ

Here’s a reflection/poem which might serve as a call to worship for an Advent or Blue Christmas worship service.  It was written by Christine Sine after the death of her mother.  It was posted on Godspace.

Advent Reflection

On this long dark night we await the coming of Christ.
We long for the light of his presence,
With us and in us.

When our souls are deeply troubled,
and our hearts break with the weight of sorrow,
may our grief be seasoned with love,
and our sorrow be buoyed by hope.

In our times of God-forsakenness and estrangement,
May we gaze on the innocent One,
made perfect through suffering.
and see in him our vulnerable God,
who saves in weakness and pain.

May our suffering empty us of pride,
and lead us to true joy 
our only security,
in Christ the infinite depths of God’s grace.

Opening Responses: Blue Christmas Worship

Here is an opening litany and prayer for a Blue Christmas or Longest Night service during Advent.  It comes from a longer Blue Christmas liturgy (When Christmas Hurts).  See below for link.

Opening Responses for a Blue Christmas service

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.
And also with you.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
on those who live in a land of deep shadow, a light has shone.
For the yoke that was weighing upon them,
and the burden upon their shoulders,
you have broken in pieces,
0 God, our Redeemer. (Isaiah 9:1-4)

Let us pray:
God of mercy,
hear our prayer in this Advent season
for ourselves and for our families
who live with painful thoughts and memories.
We ask for strength for today,
courage for tomorrow
and peace for the past.
We ask these things in the name of your Christ,
who shares our life in joy and sorrow,
death and new birth,
despair and promise. Amen.

~ from a complete Blue Christmas liturgy (“When Christmas Hurts”) posted on The Young Clergywoman Project blog.