You who have always been, and will always be.
You who make from chaos, beauty;
And from death, life.
May we know your presence now.
There is much that we do not know.
But we know some.
We know that we are grateful.
Some of us come even now from days
that have called us to remember and rejoice –
We have been with people that have made us who we are,
We have heard again stories that have shaped us,
and we are grateful for that grounding,
grateful that there are those who root us and send us out, too.
We say prayers of thanks and
we ask In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer.
Even as we pray, we confess
there is much that we do not know.
But we know pain. We know our own,
and we guess at the pain of our neighbors.
We imagine, at times,
it is more than we can imagine.
We know also our fear,
and we guess at the fear of our neighbors.
We know you have not given us
a spirit of fear, but a promise - a future, and a hope.
For us and for all the world - a future, and a hope.
We ask that all in pain, all in fear,
might know your presence.
We ask that it might bring comfort
and courage to them. To us.
We ask In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer.
Hope is a beginning, we know.
Advent is a beginning.
This waiting we are in now calls us
to be still but to prepare.
To be aware and awake. To pay attention.
We know that a new way is about to be born.
We know that we need it,
that all the earth groans in anticipation of it.
Teach us to midwife this change.
Continue to shape us
into the people we you have called us to be
For ourselves, for our neighbors, for the world.
Take all that we offer, we pray, and bless it.
We ask In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.