Prayers of Adoration & Confession

May God bless and keep you,
May God’s face shine on you:
May God be kind to you and give you peace.

God Creator Redeemer and Sustainer,

You bless and keep us all,
From the smallest ladybird with her delicate yellow spots in our garden to the pilot whale in the oceans,
From a fresh skinned newborn baby to an older person with the lines of life etched on their face.
You hold us in your presence and your love,
Assuring us that nothing can separate us from you.

Your face lights the world,
Where there is darkness,
You shine a light
so that we can see the beauty of all creation,
And know that each of us has a place.

Your kindness is limitless,
You welcome us with open arms when we have been away,
You do not count and keep record
But simply say ‘you are mine’.

Your peace is enduring.
You give us the freedom to be kind to ourselves and to others,
to grasp the hope that comes from you.
To care for the earth and all its creatures
Recognising the wonder of this planet we live on.

We confess that we do not always recognize the preciousness of other creatures like the ladybird and the whale.
We make decisions because we can, because we have power, not because we should.
We do not always keep them on our hearts, and ensure that they have a safe place to live too.

We confess that we do not welcome everyone with open arms.
We can bear set limits,
We can find it hard to forgive.

We confess that we are not always kind
To ourselves, to others, to the earth.
We do not always join in your blessing.

Forgive us.

God blesses us again and again.
And so we can say together with confidence that our sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

By Kirsty Bennett, offered for Worship 2/12, Advent 1

Prayers of the people

God of hope and justice,
we read the signs of the times like the leaves of the fig tree.
We see the effects of climate change.
We hear stories of new beginnings,
the recovery of dignity and hope.
We pray for the people of Vanuatu,
as they face the dangers of climate change,
as they struggle to assert the dignity of all their people,
especially as women seek to exercise leadership.
Strengthen them in hope by the power of your Holy Spirit.

Living God,
bring hope,
bring peace,
bring a new beginning for all creation.
And inspire and empower us
to work for hope and peace
as part of that new beginning.
In the name of Christ Sophia,
Alpha and Omega,
beginning and end.

by Kirsty Bennett and Ian Ferguson, offered for worship 2/12, Advent 1