His sermon title is excellent: Keeping the Christ after Christmas.
Despite my week away from the pulpit I will be in the worship service (Lord willing) and leading the prayers of the church. So, here it is:
Prayers of the Church for
December 30, 2007
God of power and might, when you unveiled your face we were surprised to be looking into the eyes of a baby boy, nestled to the heart of a young woman, surrounded by the protection provided by her faithful husband, armed only with messengers from your throne. We were surprised that you would provide that family with gold, frankincense and myrrh instead of guns, firepower, and munitions.
God of persistence and grace, we were surprised when your son left the land of his birth, under cover of darkness. We were surprised Mary and Joseph nurtured royalty in an unfamiliar land, surrounded by a cacophony of foreign words and foreign songs.
God of creation and joy, we were surprised when, at last, you pealed away the sacramental veils and we were staring into the patient and pained eyes of a man on a cross. Could this really be the exact representation of your character and core?
God of life and more life, you surprised us even more when the grave proved too feeble a foe and your Son’s human feet stood again on clod and clay.
Moved by the life of your Son, sanctioned and entitled by your Spirit, blessed by the Father, may we become ambassadors worthy of our commission.
In the silence, Lord, we confess our disobedience to you; we confess our attempts to advance our own stories without concern for the one great story that defines and saves us:
Lord, please continue to bless the organizations that further the work of your gospel here and to the corners of the earth. Bless Agape Women’s Services, Appalachian Christian Camp, Appalachian Christian Village, the Christian Student Fellowship at ETSU, Emmanuel School of Religion, the European Evangelistic Society, Interfaith Hospitality Network,
We pray together according to the example of your Son: