Watchword for the Week
“I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the
praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the
Lord has done for us.” (Isaiah 63:7)
(Moravian Daily Texts 2013)
WELCOME and CALL to WORSHIP
(from Psalm 90)
Lord God, you have been
our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the
world, from everlasting to everlasting
you are God.
A thousand years are like one day to you.
They are like yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
Our years come to an end like a sigh.
Seventy years are all we have, or eighty years if
we are strong. Yet their span is but toil and
trouble. Life is soon over, and we are gone.
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Hymn 161 * O God, our help in ages past
People’s Choice Hymns are marked with an asterisk (*)
PRAYER of APPROACH
Almighty God, daily you bless us with the gift of
living in your universe, breathing air, and being
awake. On this first Sunday in our new
Christmas reality, we share the divine life of
Jesus the Christ who came to share our
humanity, and who now lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
Holy God, with bright wrappings strewn about
and holiday dishes stacked around us, we
confess that we fail to recognize that anything is
different or reoriented after this holiday season.
Holy God, forgive our weary dreaming that
gives up on the hope of seeing justice roll
down like waters, a peaceable kingdom, and
truth to set us free. Holy God, forgive our
tired singing that sets no rafters ringing;
help us to remember with hearts that dare to
believe, that your Spirit reigns within us,
around us, and between us.
Forgive us when, like Herod, selfish ambition
makes us willing to hurt and destroy others.
Forgive us when, unlike Joseph, we refuse to
follow the direction you give us.
Give us grace, O God, that these days of our
lives be filled with vision of your new
orientation, through Jesus the Christ. Amen.
ASSURANCE of FORGIVENESS
In light, truth, and grace, God surrounds us with a
love that will not let us go. Today God calls every
star, every planet, every tree and every animal,
and every one of us by name; welcomes us into
the family of faith and grants us peace that the
world cannot give. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Hymn 291 When out of poverty is born
(Hymn of the Month, December 2013)