I hope you already found the beautiful prayers gathered by RevGalBlogPals in their weekly Worship Words. I am honored to contribute to this collection of wonderful prayers and appreciate the nudge that to remember that those in the Southern Hemisphere welcome this celebrations with an entirely different set of metaphors.
I wanted to use the words of familiar carols to fill our prayers in full awareness that one of the things many of us will be missing this year is singing together these favorite tunes. These carols, especially the one featured over on Worship Words, have a bias toward the cold and frost that is familiar to me at Christmas. I know there is a collection of songs that sing a whole different experience of this birth but they are unfamiliar to me. It’s a complicated place to be in right now. I both want the familiar but know that it won’t be what it was. Those familiar things will not be the same, not this year.
Here are a few prayers for worship on Advent 3B peppered with the words of familiar carols before I go back to working on Epiphany and Christmas worship for next year. Can you imagine writing prayers for next year? What will the world look like? How will we welcome that birth then? Yikes. Don’t worry too much about it, dear pastor. There are people faithfully writing those prayers for you. You don’t need to think about it now. That’s my job.
Call to Worship Inspired by What Child is This? Shepherds and prophets keep watch and wait wondering what child is this? They were like those who dream of a world turned upside down where joy erupts like laughter. This, this is not how it is now. This is not how it feels in these dwindling Advent days. Haste, haste to bring such joy and love even into this pandemic year. Let us greet such wonder with anthems sweet and joy. Let there be joy in our worship today.
Prayer of Confession Inspired by John 1:6-8, 19-28 and O Little Town of Bethlehem Who are we? Who are we now? We’ve asked this question so many times over so many months of isolation. Have we changed? Does it matter? Our meek souls wait to receive the Christ Child into this world of sin. Or at least into our little pod of sin. What do we have to say about ourselves? What will we say now as we pray together for the hopes and fears of this very long year? O God, cast out our sin and enter in. Become light and joy to us today. Amen.
Words of Assurance Inspired by 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 So much has happened in just a few months. You have tested everything. Now, hold fast to what is good. Give thanks for the joy God finds in you every day. Beloved, you are made in joy. Thanks be to God.