Liturgy / Dec 10, 2017
CALL TO WORSHIP
Behold, salvation is here, a babe has been born.
He shall be called Immanuel, our God is with us.
Born in a humble stable, our God enfleshed as man.
He shall be named Jesus, the Savior of the world.
This gift of love, born to die so that all may live.
He shall be confessed as Lord over all. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Father thank you that you are a God who put on flesh, in kinship with your creation. We pray for the whole people of God hidden in Jesus and for all people according to their needs.
For believers throughout the world who endure physical harm because they follow our Lord Jesus, shelter them this week; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.
For the complexities of our world; give world leaders wisdom, and remind us that in you all things hold together; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.
For the people of California who are suffering losses from continuing wildfires; grant them provision and protection; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.
For the students affected by education shortfalls and poor leadership; would your people stand in the gap; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.
For the family and friends of Eric Thomas as they mourn his killing on Wednesday, and for other lost lives this week because of gun violence; would you heal our city; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.
For the Church in Chicago; grant us kinship and compassion in our daily interactions; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.
For us in the Advent season, as we wonder at your gift called Emmanuel; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.
And for all who come to the feast of Jesus this morning, for the hearing of our ears, rejoicing of our minds, and stillness of our souls; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.
Gracious Father, these are our requests. We trust in your mercy made known through your Son, Jesus, Christ our Lord. Amen.
Life is hard. With the threat of nuclear war looming over our heads and needing to wait till next year for the new season of Game of Thrones to drop, who has time to add drama or tension into our lives? We live to relax, to take it easy, to just chill, to hang out with friends over a cold one and perhaps a cigar. We are already inundated with our social media feeds over-informing us on all the goings-on around the world and in our neighborhoods. It’s just overwhelming at times. In his prison letter to the Philippian church, the Apostle Paul paints this picture of Jesus as one who intentionally inserts himself into the tension and drama of people's lives. Paul writes of a person who pours himself out for the sake of others, and Paul encourages us to be of the same mindset. How can we do this? How can we live that way as the collective church and also as individual members of it? it won't be by winning.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God has been born to us in human flesh, entering our time.
Sweep us up once again into the mystery of this season, the impossibility of God with us.
God has lived with us in human need, entering our pain.
The Life of the world became dependent on another, coming to us as a helpless babe. Jesus, son of Mary, we wonder at your humility.
God has lived for us in human plight, entering our estrangement.
The Eternal Word emptied himself, became subject to temptation, and obedient to the cross. Jesus, son of God, we wonder at your humility.
Immanuel, we're amazed at who you are for us, and yet we still grasp after gods created in our own image.
We confess we've often preferred gods that seem more comprehensible; those whose might and strength are demonstrated in victory rather than through a trough and a cross. Let us receive and worship this humble King.