Based on Luke 3:7-14
As we come to you in prayer, O God, we find the gifts of welcome you offer us, time and time again, are gifts more significant, more restorative, more nourishing and wholesome than any other gifts we receive. We are deeply grateful for the reach of your love that extends across time and space to find us here today. So help us to live with your open-heartedness and open-handedness, Eternal God, as we wait for the fulfillment in this Advent season’s great hope of your Son’s coming. Show us how to prepare a fitting place for Him.
First, let us offer you, God, a thorough-going, heartfelt repentance, setting aside any arrogance or pride that weakens our resolve to see ourselves as we really are. Help us to look the past in the eye, confess it for what it is, and start afresh. Let us consider what you may wish to make of us now – and what we may yet make of ourselves. Prophets of old reminded us that those who turn to you, earnestly asking, “What should we do?” will receive your blessing; and they will be those who, in turn, will give of themselves gladly and willingly, in many places and among the many people you call your own.
So bless us now and shape us anew, God. And let our growth be patterned on the faithfulness we witnessed through your Son. Help us aspire to live lives worthy of his people, following the model he gave to us. Let our lives bear the fruits that mark us as Christ’s people. Show us how to live with integrity, generosity, compassion, hopefulness, confidence, and the peace of Christ.
We look with wonder toward the day of Christ’s birth, for we know his presence then will be as real to us as a newborn’s cry, and as tender as a new mother’s tears of joy, as tangible as the crust of bread and sip of wine through which he continues to make himself known to us. We pray as those who wait for him and trust in him with sure and certain faithfulness. And we use now his own words of prayer as we say together: The Lord’s Prayer.