Litany for Opening Up to God

This prayer is taken from this week's Lectionary selections (Proper 24, Year A): Exodus 33, Isaiah 45 and Matthew 22.


God, your goodness is always parading past us.
We have only to look out for it. (1)
You are always being gracious to us.
We have only to realize it.
You are always being merciful to us.
We have only to internalize it.

You cover us with your hands and show us your glory - as much as we can handle,
If we only attune ourselves to you.

We don’t direct the flow of your grace and mercy.
You do.
We don’t decide who gets what.
You do.
You show no deference to anyone
You do not regard people with partiality.  (2)

Though we don’t know you,
You call us by name. (3)
Though we don’t know you,
There’s no one else but you. (4)

We set our minds toward knowing you.
We open the spaces of our hearts to you.
We set our bodies in stillness, that we might hear from you.
We open our spirits to meeting with you.

You are always gracious to appear,
Surprising us with your beauty.

Amen

1) Exodus 33:19
2) Matthew 22:16
3) Isaiah 45:4
4) Isaiah 45:5

 

Pentecost 3 (Year A): Litany for Wonders

The Old Testament text for this third week of Pentecost is Genesis 18, the account of messengers coming to Abraham and Sarah and informing them that Sarah will give birth to a child in her old age. When Sarah hears this, she sees the irony and humor of it - Now? After I’m old and gray and spent my youth hoping and praying for a child? Now? I imagine she laughed for joy and irony and disbelief and the ignorance of men. I imagine if she’d been texting her sister in that moment she’d be like IDK IF THESE OLD DUDES KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WOMEN. WE ARE NOT ETERNALLY FERTILE. LOL!

But the Lord responds: Is anything too wonderful for me?

And so, old Sarah gets knocked up, gives birth, and names her kid “Laughter.” Wonders never cease.


 

Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? (1)
Nothing is too wonderful for you.
You make wonders bloom from your hands,
And from your imagination spring amazing things.

Your wonders will never cease.
Your wonders will never cease.

Old women bear children. (2)
Trees bear fruit out of season.
Rocks give forth springs of water. (3)
Seas part. (4)
Storms are stilled. (5)
Sickness and disease are cured. (6)
Whole nations are brought out of bondage. (7)
Crowds are fed from your hand. (8)
Dry bones are enlivened. (9)
The dead are raised to life. (10)

Your wonders will never cease.
Your wonders will never cease.

We enter your presence with thanksgiving,
And your courts with praise.
We give thanks to you,
We bless your name.
For you are good; your steadfast love endures forever,
and your faithfulness to all generations. (11)

Amen

(1) Genesis 18:14
(2) Genesis 21:2
(3) Numbers 20:11
(4) Exodus 14:21
(5) Matthew 8, Mark 4
(6) Matthew 10:8
(7) Exodus 20
(8) Matthew 14, 15, John 6, Mark 8
(9) Ezekiel 37
(10) John 11, Mark 5, Luke 8, 1 Kings 17, 2 Kings 4, and many more
(11) Psalm 100:4,5

Trinity Sunday (Year A): Litany for Holy Trinities

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
The love of Yahweh,
And the communion of the Holy Spirit
Surround us. (1)

On all sides we are surrounded
By a trinity of grace, mercy and love.
Just as Creator, Son, and Spirit
Live in harmony together.
So do Truth, Beauty, and Righteousness
Live in harmony together.

Things we never thought could come together
Have joined in communion.
    Body and Blood have allied with Healing.
    Pain and Brokenness have become Teachers.
    Love and Mercy have fulfilled Justice.
    Servanthood and Kindness have completed Authority.
    Last and First have re-imagined Heirarchy.
    Questions and Freedom have informed Certainty.
    Dirt and Spit have alchemized Life.
    Body and Mind have been enlivened by Spirit.
    Light and Darkness have given shape to Vision.
    Resurrection and Ascension have made way for Presence.
   
Seemingly unrelated, incomplete ideas have been made whole
Holy Trinities abound on this earth, doing good work:
    Bad made good
    Last made first,
    Servant made ruler
    Poor made rich.
    Ordinary made sacred;
In the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks be to God
For the Gift of the Spirit
Which completes and gives life to all things:
Thanks be to God.

Amen

 

(1) 2 Corinthians 13:!3

 

Ascension Day: Litany for Spiritual Power

This Sunday is Ascension Day, in which we remember the ascension of Christ into heaven. The week's Lectionary reading contained the word "power" 6 times. The word stuck out to me, and I was thinking about how the church calendar and Lectionary selections are leading up to the next BIG DAY, which is Pentecost. And about how mostly we go around completely forgetful that we have any access to spiritual power at all, that we have been shared power to change things, move mountains, bring healing and peace, offer forgiveness. Seems like a first step to tapping into that might be simply acknowledging it. Just speaking the word aloud seems to bring with it a new energy. So I invite you to pray this prayer with me, as we raise your awareness of our inheritance.

Sing praises, all the earth, sing praises!
Clap your hands, dance for joy, all you people! (1)
For the Holy One is ruler over all,
Overseeing with majesty, wisdom and love. (2)

The Christ has risen from the dead.
He has scoured hell and overcome it.
The Christ has appeared in life,
Proving himself and his word
The Resurrection and the Life, the Christ,
Has ascended into heaven and is seated at Yahweh’s right hand.
We, who look to Christ as our example and our teacher,
Wait upon his promise of power.

And indeed it has been given to us:
A spirit of wisdom and revelation as we come to know Christ (3)
That the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened
That we may know the hope to which we are called
And the riches of our glorious inheritance,
The immeasurable greatness of his power. (4)

Christ, Help us to know
Help us to listen and understand;
Give us courage to walk in the fullness
Of the power of Christ in us.

Amen

 

  1. Psalm 47:1

  2. Psalm 93:1

  3. Eph 1:17

  4. Eph 1:18-19




     

Easter 6 (Year A): Litany for Abiding Love

The Lectionary passages for the sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A) include Acts 17, John 14, and Psalm 66. I've been contemplating what it might mean to be powered by love, as if divine love were a battery that fuels us. Or as if, when we take the bread and the cup of Eucharist, we ingest love, it becomes part of us, and fuels our activity in the world. How might we train ourselves to run on love rather than on ego? How can we learn to operate on a new system? What spiritual practices might form that pathway in us?


Eternal Divine Love,
Creator and Parent of all,
Ruler of Heaven and Earth
We are your children, your offspring. (1)

You give to all mortals life and breath
And all things.
You allot the times of our existence
And the boundaries of our places. (2)

We confess our blindness to your presence.
Make us aware of you.
We confess the smallness of our concept of you.
Enlarge our knowing.
We confess our ego-driven tendencies.
Power us instead with Love.

We have searched and groped for you
Though you are not far from each one of us. (3)
We cried aloud to you
And you have heard our prayer. (4)
We bless you,
For you have not rejected us nor removed your steadfast Love from us. (5)

Help us to keep your commandments (6)
And to abide in your Love .(7)

Amen

 

(1) Acts 17:28
(2) Acts 17:25,26
(3) Acts 17:27
(4) Psalm 66:17,19
(5) Psalm 66:20
(6) John 14:15
(7) John 14:21

Easter 5 (Year A): Litany for Looking at Christ

Here are the Lectionary passages for this Sunday, May 14, Year A. I have utilized the 1 Peter 2 and John 14 passages.
 

Eternal Christ, Out-poured Heart of God,
Merciful One,
Originator of Forgiveness,
Author of Peace:

It is to you that we can look
When we want to see God.
It is to you that we can draw near
When we want to be close to God.
It is you that we can imagine
When we want to understand God.
It is to you that we can turn
When we need to take refuge in God.
It is through you we can go;
You’re a direct route to God. (1)

You were with us all along,
But we kept on rejecting you. (2)
Now, just in the nick of time,
We are wrapping our arms around you. (3)

We rely upon your gracious promise:
That if we ask for anything in your name, you’ll do it. (4)
We ask to join you,
To be part of that divine communion --
You in God, God in you, (5)
Us, dancing and working along with you.
Where you are,
There may we be also (6)

Amen

 

(1) John 14:6
(2) 1 Pet 2:7
(3) 1 Pet 2:10
(4) John 14:13
(5) John 14:10
(6) John 14:3

 

Easter 3 (Year A): Litany for the Road to Emmaus

The Lectionary texts for the third week of Easter (Year A) include the account in Luke of Jesus walking with some disciples on the road to Emmaus. Shortly after Jesus' resurrection, they were walking along discussing all the things that had happened. Jesus joins them, but they don't recognize them, even though the "disappearance" of his body is what they're discussing. With a great deal of patience, Jesus walks along with them and expounds the whole story of how he got to be there, starting with Moses. But the disciples don't realize its him until dinnertime, after they've invited him in to eat, when he takes bread and breaks it and serves it to them - only then do they understand that it was him all along, explaining everything.

God, you are always being kind to us,
Always loving us toward yourself;
Just as Christ showed his wounds to doubting Thomas
With grace and kindness;
Just as Christ shared his story to the men walking the road to Emmaus
With patience and generosity.

It is this deep grace,
     This boundless giving,
     This patient character,
     This kind regard for all;
That inspires our hearts,
And by which we recognize you.

Relentlessly, you give of yourself
So that we might know and understand you.
Over and over again, you kindly explain the story
In words we can take in.
We know you instantly, the moment you break bread with us --
We can see you in your glorious reality.

Make our hearts ready for more:
     More understanding
     More responsibility
     More of your kingdom;
And graciously work with us where we are confused
So that we may see you in your full beauty.

Amen


 

Maundy Thursday (Year A): Litany for Dinner and Foot-washing

The Lectionary texts for Maundy Thursday include the account of the commands concerning Passover remembrance in Exodus, of Christ's celebration of Passover in 1 Corinthians, and the story of Jesus washing feet after dinner from John 13. Jesus brings the Passover story right back to himself, and then ties it up with a bow of down-and-dirty servanthood.


God, we receive the love of Christ.
We receive his great example,
We receive the power and work he demonstrated by your spirit;
And we receive the commands he has given.

This is Christ’s command:
That we love one another (John 13:34)
Just as Christ loved his disciples and others he met.
As Christ has done so must we do.

This is Christ’s example:
Washing the feet of his friends; (John 13:14-15)
Humbly doing the work of a servant
Becoming vulnerable, laying down his life.

This is Christ’s legacy
Which we receive as the gift of heaven:
Where once there was sacrifice,
Now there is mercy.  (Hosea 6:6)
Where once there was flesh and blood,
Now there are bread and wine. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

The mercy of God has been made known in the body of Christ.
The character of God has been made known in the work of Christ.
He has shown us a way forward,
And we will follow the path of peace.

Amen

Lent 5 (Year A): Litany for Dry Bones

This week's Lectionary readings contain the accounts of Ezekiel's vision of a valley of dry bones, and of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. I've also included elements from Romans 8 and Psalm 130.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in his word I hope;
My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning,
More than those who watch for the morning. (1)

You free us from our graves (2)
And the traps our minds set for us. (3)
You free us from the constant hell of our own egos and deceptions,
And show us the path of peace.

You breath the breath of life into us (4)
And give life to our bodies through your Spirit. (5)
Come from the four winds, O breath,
And breathe upon us, that we may live. (4)

Where there was once a tame breeze
There is a wind.
Where there was once a valley of dry bones
There is a multitude of life.

Our bones were dried up;
Our hope was lost. (6)
But we hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
And great power to redeem. (7)

1) Psalm 130:5,6
2) Ezekiel 37:12
3) Romans 8:6,7
4) Ezekiel 37:9
5) Romans 8:11
6) Ezekiel 37:11
7) Psalm 130:7

Lent 4 (Year A): Litany for Blindness

This litany incorporates the New Testament readings from this week's Lectionary passages: when Jesus heals a man born blind in John 9, and a section of Ephesians 5. I am particularly captivated by the image of Jesus smearing mud on the man's face as part of the healing. I think there's all kinds of goodness in that image if we look for it.
 

God, we understand that sometimes, before our eyes can see, they must get muddy.
The mud is a crucial step: Jesus working on us.
We can’t know sight until we’ve tried to see through mud. (1)
We must realize our blindness, and admit it.

The blindness itself isn’t our sin.
It’s pretending we can see when we can’t that is harmful.
It’s judging the mud of others to be worse than our own that sets us back.
It’s being dishonest about our blindness that displeases You. (2)

To all the ways we’ve been blind to our own true selves,
Open our eyes, Oh God.
To all the ways we’ve been blind to the suffering of others,
Open our eyes, Oh God.
To all the ways we’ve been blind to and complicit in our society’s brokenness,
Open our eyes, Oh God.
To all the ways we’ve been blind to the sacredness of human beings,
Open our eyes, Oh God.
To all the ways we’ve been blind to your invitation and calling in our lives,
Open our eyes, Oh God.
To all the ways we’ve been blind to the way of your kingdom coming, now and not-yet,
Open our eyes, Oh God.

We want to live as children of light. (3)
We want to learn what pleases You.  (4)
We want light shined on the deepest recesses of our beings,
So that all that is hidden may become visible. (5)

Amen

 

  1. John 9:11

  2. John 9:41

  3. Eph 5:8

  4. Eph 5:10

  5. Eph 5:13

Litany for Ash Wednesday (Year A)

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, in which people of faith set aside time to fast and reflect upon the state of ourselves. It's a time of humility, and of facing the truth that we are imperfect and fall short and need the grace of God to meet us, not shying away from what we must deal with before we can grow. Many of us smear ashes on our heads on this day, as a symbol of our humility and contrition. This litany references several of the day's Lectionary passages.

Oh God, our wrongdoing is ever before us
Our complicity in systems of injustice
Our tendency to validate falsehoods
Our sloth about love
Our willingness to be constantly entertained and never quiet
Our egos, violence, and idolatry.
   
These things only begin to describe our transgressions.
We are none of us immune to them. (1)
We have done harm
And left good undone.

We devote ourselves in this season
To cleaning up our messes;(2)
Both inward, of our deepest hearts;
And outward, of our societies and relationships.
Show us our own selves,
That we may become transformed
And by repentance and contrition
Re-make the world with you. (3)

We are deep in need of grace.
Have mercy on us, oh God. (4)

Amen

(1)
Joel 2:12,13
(2) Psalm 51:10
(3) Isaiah 58:6-8
(4) Psalm 51:1


 

Epiphany Fifth Sunday: Litany for What To Do

This litany is taken directly from Isaiah 58, Psalm 112, and from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount iMatthew 5. Each of those is part of the Lectionary selection for the Fifth Sunday of Epiphany.

Merciful God,
We receive your instructions about what pleases you:
To loose the bonds of injustice,
To free the oppressed,
To share bread with the hungry,
To provide shelter for the homeless poor,
To cover the naked,
To be present to our kin. (1)

You have said: “If you offer your food to the hungry
And satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
Then your light shall rise in the darkness
And your gloom be like the noonday.” (2)

You have said: “It is well with those who deal generously,
Who conduct their affairs with justice.
They are not afraid of evil tidings;
Their hearts are steady;
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
In the end they will look in triumph on their foes.” (3)

We acknowledge that what is wisdom to you seems like foolishness to the world;
    That the commands and example of Jesus seem ridiculous, and risky;
    That if our goal is to save our own lives, we will lose them;
    That, in your kingdom, giving is better than getting. (4)

Lord, give us strength.
We are the salt of the earth.
Lord, give us wisdom.
We are the light of the world.
Let our light shine brightly,
So all may see the goodness of God. (5)

Amen

1) Isaiah 58:6,7
2) Isaiah 58:10
3) Psalm 112:5-9
4) This theme appears multiple times in the New Testament. My favorite is Luke 6:38. Also, Acts 20:35
5) Matt 5:13-16

Litany for Simeons & Annas

The gospel lectionary passage for the day commemorating the Presentation of the Lord on Feb 2 is about Simeon and Anna the Prophet, From Luke 2. Jesus' parents presented him at the temple in Jerusalem, and Simeon and Anna, who had waited their whole lives to see the Messiah. This one may be more slam poem than litany, or equally. You can tell me.

God, in this time we are watching and waiting,
Fasting and praying,
Planning and scheming,
Hoping and dreaming,

For a new thing, a new day,
A breakthrough:
    Kingdom coming,
    Heaven opening,
    Son of God descending,
    The world awakening.

Looking around we see war and destruction
Strife and obstruction
Poverty and reduction
Tyranny and corruption.

And it’s taking all our strength and all our courage
To see beyond the present
To see past our sorrow
To see a future and a hope for tomorrow.

But we want to be
Faithful like Simeon
Devout and righteous;
And steadfast like Anna,
Staying engaged,
Prayerful and joyous.

Because we have a promise.
We have a vision.
Our eyes will see the glory,
Consolation and redemption.
And even if it takes
A lifetime or a day
In hopeful expectation
We work and we wait.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Come, Lord Jesus.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. (1)

Amen
 

  1. I lifted this line from a liturgy from the Church of England
     


 

Epiphany, Fourth Sunday: Litany for How to Live

This week’s Lectionary passages are heavy hitters. Micah 6 and The Beatitudes in particular.

 

Jesus, we hear your voice and receive the intention of your heart when you said
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you
For great is your reward in heaven. (1)
 
(pause)

When you uttered those words, you upended the paradigm of the world.
Help us to understand what it all means:
What once looked like power to us
Now appears weak.
What once looked like wisdom
Now appears foolish. (2)
What once took last place in our priorities,
Now appears first.

What does the Lord require of us?
     To do justice,
     To love mercy,
     To walk humbly with God. (3)
Who may dwell with God?
     Those who walk blamelessly.
     Those who do what is right,
     Those who speak truth. (4)

We want our eyes opened, our spirits awakened
To the beauty of the Kingdom of God here now.
Teach us how to live well upon the earth;
Humble, gentle, and pure of heart.

Amen

(1) Matthew 5
(2) 1 Cor 1:27
(3) Micah 6:8
(4) Psalm 15:1,2

Epiphany, Third Sunday: Litany for Following


This week’s litany follows along with the Gospel Lectionary reading Mark 4:12-23, in which Jesus speaks the iconic words, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
 

Jesus, you have called us.
“Follow me,” you said…
“Repent, for heaven is near.”
We want to follow you.

Culture is also calling us.
The world wants it way with us,
Offering us success, power, revenge, comfort, prestige,
Usually at someone else’s expense.
We’ll leave it all behind
And fish for people instead.

For all the ways we are complicit in the world’s schemes,
Forgive us, Lord.
For all the ways we choose false peace,
Forgive us, Lord.
For all the ways we make ourselves blind,
Forgive us, Lord.

We want to follow you with everything we are
With everything we have:
Every footstep,
Every quiet breath,
Every act of peaceful resistance,
Every careful word,
Every healing touch,
Every helpful offering.
.
Strengthen us now, Lord Jesus, to do as you do:
To proclaim good news to the poor,
To heal every sickness and cure every disease, (Matt 4:23)
To set captives free (Isaiah 61:1).

Amen
 

Epiphany, First Sunday: Litany for Life-Light

The first Sunday of Epiphany is traditionally designated as a celebration of the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist. John plays a supporting role in the narrative of the Gospel Lectionary texts for the next few Sundays, of which Matthew 3:13-17 is the first for Year A. John 1:1-14 was touched upon in one of the Christmas Day readings, and I have included elements from it also. In Eugene Peterson’s translation of John 1, he refers to Christ as “the Life-Light," which I like and have included as well.

God, you have sent your Son
Immanuel, God-With-Us,
Word Made Flesh,
Life-Light.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
The darkness couldn’t put it out (1).

Your servants go before him
Preparing the way for the Lord.
As Christ was baptized,
Raised up from the water,
The heavens opened;
The spirit descended like a dove.
A voice spoke from heaven:
This is God’s Son, the Beloved. (2)

We follow him in baptism
Of water and of spirit:
Dead, buried,
And raised to new life.

Christ, the Life-Light
Has made us alive.

Amen

 

  1. A direct quote from John 1, MSG

  2. Matthew 3:16

Advent Week 4: Litany for Expectation

This week's Advent litany for December 18, 2016 is brought to you via the Lectionary texts for Advent Week 4, Year A. Plus a splash of Luke 1 and second Corinthians 4 for lagniappe.

God, we see the signs of your coming:
Signs of the goodness to come,
Signs that disturb, surprise, and awaken us:
    An angel’s voice
    A prophet in the wilderness
    A virgin with child
Signs we might otherwise quietly dismiss as ridiculous (1);
Signs of Immanuel, God-with-us (2)

Restore us, O God; let your face shine,
That we may be saved. (3)

Help us to see the signs that point us to You (4).
Restore us, O God.
That we may clearly hear your voice;
Restore us, O God.
That we may clearly perceive your intention;
Restore us, O God.
That we may live in expectation of your coming;
Restore us, O God.
That we may put away any fear of an uncertain future;
Restore us, O God.
That we may walk the path of peace in the light of love (5);
Restore us, O God.

Restore us, O God; let your face shine,
That we may be saved.
We expect a bounty of unpredictable grace,
A full weight of glory (6).

Amen

 

  1. Matt 1:19

  2. Isaiah 7:14

  3. Psalm 80:3

  4. Isaiah 7:11

  5. Luke 1:79

  6. 2 Corinthians 4:17


 

Advent Week 3: Litany for Annunciation

Annunciation is an old Christian-y word. It basically just means “announcement” but refers specifically to a particular divine announcement as recounted in Luke 1, when the angel Gabriel announces to the virgin Mary that she would bear the Christ child. After hearing this news Mary gives her beautiful Magnificat, which is one of our Lectionary texts for this Sunday and begins with the line,“My soul magnifies the Lord.”

This week’s Advent litany contains pieces and ideas from several of the Lectionary passages for week 3 (year A) of Advent, hence all the notations. Not included in this week's texts is the angel's strong admonition to Mary: "Do not be afraid!" Yet it echoes in this week's themes. Feel free to omit the notations when projecting or printing this litany. The texts can be found here.

If you or your church are using this Advent series this year, please drop me a line to let me know how its going.


My soul magnifies the Lord.
My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For God has looked with favor on the lowly,
The Mighty One has done great things for me. (1)

Until the coming of the Lord,
Be patient, beloved.(2)
His coming has been announced to us.
Be patient, beloved.
He brings justice for the oppressed; (3)
Be patient, beloved.
And gives food to the hungry.
Be patient, beloved.
Blind eyes will be opened, and deaf ears unstopped (4,5).
Be patient, beloved.
He gives good news to the poor (5)
Be patient, beloved.
He scatters the proud and powerful (6)
Be patient, beloved.

To those who are fearful:
Be strong; do not fear! (7)
Strengthen your hearts (8)
Be strong; do not fear!
Strengthen weak hands and feeble knees (9)
Be strong; do not fear!

The Lord will reign forever.
Praise the Lord! (10)

Amen
 


(1) From Luke 1: 46-49
(2) James 5:7
(3) Psalm 146:7
(4) Isaiah 35:5,
(5) Matthew 11:5
(6) Luke 1:51,52
(7) Isaiah 35:4
(8) James 5:8
(9) Isaiah 35:3
(10) Psalm 146:10

 

Advent Week 2: Litany for Anticipation

With Advent comes a new church year, the beginning of the church calendar.The Lectionary passages for week 2 of Advent, Year A are here. I have used ideas from several of the passages for this Advent litany.

In the season of Advent we remember that waiting is not always comfortable, that anticipation requires us to sit on the edge of our seats, vigilant and ready. Advent is an opportunity to enter into the not-yet, to feel the feelings of longing, waiting for God to act. And we begin to see that waiting quietly has value if we are to hear the “voice calling in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord!”

 

God of steadfastness and encouragement: grant that we may live in harmony with one another,
In accordance with Christ Jesus.
Grant that we may be filled with all joy and peace in believing,
So that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (1)

To the voice crying out in the wilderness (2)
Give us ears to hear.
To the prophets telling of your coming

Give us ears to hear.
To the whisper of our Loving Creator
Give us ears to hear.
To the silence of anticipation
Give us ears to hear.

May you find in our hearts
Straight paths.
May you find in our minds
A prepared way.
May you find in our spirits and our communities
Fruit worthy of repentance. (3)

May we live in the spirit of Christ:
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and might,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord; (4)
Whose presence is near to us,
And whose kingdom is Peace. (5)
 

 

  1. Romans 15

  2. Matthew 3:3

  3. Matthew 3:8

  4. Isaiah 11:2

  5. Isaiah 11;6-9

 

 

Advent Week 1: Litany for Preparation

The Lectionary text from the Gospels for the first week of Advent, Year A, is Matthew 24:36-44.
Traditionally, the candle of Hope is lit on week 1 of Advent. I wrote another advent series year before last; week 1 of that series can be found here. This year I will continue following along with the Lectionary texts for Year A. I've concentrated on the Matthew passage here, but woven in threads from the other Lectionary readings from Sunday.

God, we are a people in darkness.
We prepare our hearts.
For the coming of Messiah,
We prepare our hearts.
For the coming of light,
We prepare our hearts.
For the peaceful kingdom,
We prepare our hearts.

We exchange our weapons for gardening tools (1).
We look to your coming.
We exchange stone hearts for those of flesh (2).
We look to your coming.
We exchange fear for love.
We look to your coming.
We exchange guilt for forgiveness.
We look to your coming.

Let us go down now, to where the living water flows
And cleanse ourselves.
Let us set aside distractions and idols
For salvation is near (3).
Let us be alert and ready,
For the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour (4).

The King is coming.
We prepare our hearts.

Amen
 

 

(1)”...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isaiah 2:4

(2) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

(3) “...it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers.” Romans 13:11

(4) “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Matthew 24:44