Second Sunday in Advent

Every week I craft a prayer for our church services. Instead of just keeping them quiet, I thought I'd share them. So here is this past weekend's prayer:

Have you ever been to someone’s house leading up to Christmas and noticed the gifts that extend beyond the wide branches of the Christmas tree?
Do you ever think to yourself, and Santa hasn’t been here yet either???
I don’t have a children… yet, but I do understand already wanting to give my future daughter everything she could want or need. I’ve already found myself wanting to buy her Christmas presents and she’s not even here yet.
I’ve had to stop myself and say, really Angie? Does she need that? Or is it me that WANTS that because it’s so cute??? 
I have to stop and think that the first thing she is going to need is her parent’s love and comfort.
One of the things that I have actually begun is reading one of those rhythmic Baby Bibles to her and saying nightly prayers because I want her to know how much God already loves her.
I want her to know that the ultimate present she could ever have is the love of God and the gift that has been given through the incarnation, life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During this busy holiday season, I hope that we all take time to remember that gift: The greatest present of all that God has given us.
Will you pray with me?

Pastoral Prayer
God of abundant life, you have blessed us with so many gifts and we give you thanks. We give you thanks for the gift of life that you have given to us through your Son Jesus Christ. You are the ultimate provider and you fulfill our lives. But during this Season as we await with anticipation the celebration of your gift to us, we find ourselves too busy with preparations. We find ourselves overspending of presents so that we can provide our children and loved one with material things that we think will make them happy, when really it is you that is often needed most. God, we ask for your forgiveness when we pull away from you and forget that you are the focus of this season, you are the one that truly loves us.
God, we know that your Spirit is upon us, you have called us to work alongside you to bring good news to the poor, to liberate those captive to darkness. You love is our strength. Through you we can do all things, you surround us with constant forgiveness and love.
And we offer to you now our prayers for healing for those in our lives who need you most.

God, we lift up those on our hearts. Help them to know that you are ever present with them. Help us be faithful witnesses to your law of love and unity.
We ask these things in your son’s Holy name, Amen. 


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