Candle Lighting including Prayers of Adoration & Confession

We pray in the New Year, lighting these candles
as signs of who the newborn child Jesus is for us

We lit the first candle for his humanity
Child we praise and worship you,
for in the vulnerability, the simplicity,
and the wonder of your birth
comes the life of God –
divine life revealed
in human life’s most vulnerable moment.
Receive our praise.

We lit the second candle for his divinity
Child, we praise and worship you,
for in you God engages with our lives
at the most intimate level.
Your hunger is God’s hunger
for the divine communion of all creation.
Receive our praise.

We lit the third candle for his suffering.
Child, we praise and worship you,
for you will embrace more than we could bear.
In your embrace the finality of death
will be transformed into newness of life.
Receive our praise.

We lit the fourth candle for his forgiving love.
Child, in your arms is
the loving embrace of God.
But life sweeps us up in its intensity
and pulls us away from you.
Forgive us when we live and act
apart from the love extended to us in your life,
precious Child.

We lit the Christ Candle in hope for this new year.
And now the child yawns, he stretches, he is sleepy.
Life is exhausting – even the life of God.

In the silence of his sleep,
let us lay the fullness of our treasures
and our burdens before him:
all our joys, our trials and our failures.
We adore you Jesus Christ,
receive the gifts of our hearts, Amen.

A newborn baby can’t speak,
but this baby is in himself
the very word of God
spoken with gracious, loving mercy.
Hear that word,
Your sin is forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

Ian Ferguson, offered for worship 7/1/18

Prayers of the People

God, whose constellations guided the paths run by our ancestors,
Whose oceans and tides rock and steer the boats
of those in search of safe passage today,
Whose energy will fuel the flights of our descendants,
God of all journeys taken to find new life promised in hope,
We pray to you, we who search.

Nurturing God who knows wisdom and knows us,
Teach us to be wise
Bring into our vision signs of hope already existing in the world.
Help us to retain the delicate balance of an Earth that does not destroy,
but is in a state of permanent transient creation

While we walk as custodians of our Earth,
teach us to listen to your callings again and again.
Guide our gaze towards flaws in our arguments,
Teach us to know the importance of admitting fault,
Help us to grow, and create in us room to be wrong.
Help us to know that we, like our Earth,
are in a state of permanent transient creation.

We pray for outsiders, those with no platform to speak from,
who continually must validate their own identity.
Pull from our eyes any veil that hides our own privilege,
Work to instil in our community, the belief that all people are equal.
We pray particularly for the LGBTQI+ communities
around the world in all their resplendent beauty.

God of comfort and grace,
who gives direction to those travelling by light they cannot see,
who turns not away from the ugliness we bring to your perfect creation,
be by the sides of those in the Middle East, South and North Korea,
the Philippines and in North East Africa.
Be a sign of hope that will not leave.

In all our searching, may we know ourselves
already found by a God who is always there. Amen

Olivia Potter, offered for worship 7/1/18