Sunday, December 3, 2017

Morning Prayer:  So many dear people who have enriched our lives, Lord, so many tender mercies extended to us when we least deserved them, how can we keep from thanking you when we remember all those who have decorated our lives with their toil and your grace?  On this first Sunday of Advent, we cling to hope, stubbornly holding fast to apostle Paul’s promise:  “God is faithful, and you were called by God to partnership with God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,” whose light within us prompts us to pray …*(Mitchell Simpson, inspired by 1 Corinthians 1)

Prayer of Confession:  Have mercy, Lord.  We’re up to our old shenanigans again, extrapolating from morning headline’s craziness a myopic spiritual amnesia indulging the tired notion of imminent destruction.  We’ve always been more fascinated by the Bible’s dark side, with its murmurs of stars falling and planets shaking, than by its hopeful visions of your Son coming with great power.  Forgive us for fearing North Korea more than we trust you.  Amen. *(Mitchell Simpson, inspired by Mark 13)

Assurance of Pardon:  Take heart, for woe-is-me theology is nothing new, and Jesus’ wise counsel still holds:  “Nobody knows when that day will come, not the angels and not even I.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.”  So, what’s the worst that can happen?  Nothing God can’t handle.  It’s only our grim attachment to material things, our grown-up toys, that fuels our fear and stokes our hysteria.  Now is a good time to do as Jesus commanded:  Stay alert, and be about the King’s business!*(Mitchell Simpson, inspired by Mark 13)