Prayers of Adoration & Confession

We come to you creator God.
You created the heavens and stretched them out.
You spread out the earth and all within her.
You gave breath and spirit to all people.
You call your people to be a light to the nations.
You open our eyes to your vision for a new creation.

We come to you Jesus of Nazareth
You are the beloved Son of God
Baptized in the Jordan river by John
You rose up then to be God’s faithful servant
Spirit filled, You worked to bring forth justice.
You call us to also work to establish peace and justice.

We come to you Holy Spirit, breath of God
From the heart of God you sang the world into being
You take our dreams and shape them into reality
You speak God’s words into our hearts
turning the world upside down, making things new.
You bring life in wind and fire, light and laughter.  Amen

Light of the nations, sight of the blinded,
you are our freedom from every dark prison.
Shine your light on the world,
shine your light on the world.

We confess that our nation, our world is burning
and still humanity fails to work together to bring about change
Come heal our despair and give us hope.
Light of the nations …

We confess that too many people are suffering
and that darkness threatens to overwhelm all that is good.
Come heal our despair and give us hope.
Light of the nations …

We confess that too often the voices of the powerful
speak in ignorance of your message of love, peace and justice.
Come heal our despair and give us hope.
Light of the nations …

When Jesus had been baptized ‘a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with whom I am well pleased.”’  Matthew 3:17
All our hope is in Jesus, the Beloved
Baptized into his death and resurrection
We rise with him to bring peace and justice to the nations.

In the name of this man, baptized so long ago
we can be confident that in God’s grace and mercy
our sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.  Amen

Saide Cameron, offered for worship 12/1/2020, Baptism of Jesus A

SONG:  Light of the nations, from All together okay, Openbook Publishers,
Reproduced with permission under ONE LICENCE # 604502

Prayers of the people

Let us start with silence and allow ourselves to deepen our sense of the presence of God.

Loving God, we come to you today, just as the crowds came out to the Jordan River for baptism. We come as a people, a group, a community with an awareness of common issues and needs, but also as individuals, seeking to meet you in this time.

We come seeking repentance, for a turning around, not just for ourselves but for our leaders and our country. We have lost our way, we have let ourselves be fooled by false idols, by the love of money, material possessions and power. We have vainly trusted in man-made weapons and notions of national arrogance, and pride and we have refused to listen to the voices of prophets and those who urge real change, because they are too young, or female or just because what they say makes us uncomfortable.

Help us, help our nation, help our leaders to repent. Give us all courage to acknowledge that we are on the wrong path, that we need to find a better way to live, one that embraces creation, that embraces strangers, that embraces difference. May we, your people in this church, live our lives as a light on the hill, living with joy, humility and passion.

We pray for the people, creatures, and ecosystems ravaged by fire. May they know your presence, may they know our solidarity and compassion. May they be able to take heart by seeing a changing mood in the wider community and by recognising that finally, we are waking up to how we need to live in this land and in this time. We pray that out of this tragedy, out of suffering, there might emerge hope and real difference. We pray that even in the aftermath of the bushfires, your kingdom may come.

We come, as people to the River Jordan, seeking to be with you. We stand with you and with all who suffer. We seek to learn your way of peace, to bask in and to share your love and compassion for all creation. In the silence now, we think of people and situations we know that require your peace and compassion and we bring them to you…

Dear God, be with them.

As in the ritual of baptism, lead us on, we pray. Change our lives. May we be renewed, caught up, embraced, and challenged by our experience of your grace. As we think about the week ahead, the year in front of us, this new decade, how would you have us live out your freedom? Where are you calling us to commit, to give, to let go, to forgive and to be forgiven, to be open, to let love change us and those around us? We pray for each of us in this vocation, but also for this congregation, the wider church and for all people open to your spirit of grace and forgiveness. We continue to pray for your presence and guidance in our lives and in our world, for we ask in Jesus name. `Amen.

Tim Hoffmann, offered for worship 12/1/2020, Baptism of Jesus A