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The idea for this worship service was brought to me at my last congregation by a retired pastor.  As the days are often extremely gloomy and cold in January and February, this is a time to remind ourselves that God’s steadfast presence is near.  For many of our siblings in faith, seasonal affective disorder is a struggle because of the dreary, chilly winter days.  This worship service is to recognize that there are things that obstruct us from seeing God’s brilliance, and we are called to carry light even on gloomy winter days.

This is also an opportunity to look at darkness as something beautiful.  While we are recognizing gloomy, cloudy, cold days as difficult, we recognize the night sky and darkness as glorious and a gift from God.

Ideas for Scripture texts:

Isaiah 60:1-5, Matthew 5:14-16, John 1:1-9

 

Call to Worship
One: In this space, God’s glow surrounds us.
Many: In this place, God’s glimmer brightens the surrounding gloom.
One: We yearn to see the radiance from the sun’s company.
Many: We hope to see the moon’s glow accompanying us until the morn.
One: Winter’s malaise will not last long.
Many: Arise, friends.  For God’s warmth endures forever.

Invocation
Holy Radiance, Holy Spirit, in our seasons when gloom invades our skies, may your mirthful glow shine brightly.  As brisk winds monopolize our air, may your welcoming breezes nudge us to comfort and serve our world.  Help us to seek you beyond thick layers of clouds.  Encourage us to steer our neighbors to see you in the short days of winter and the long nights of summer.  Amen.

Prayer of Reconciliation
One: God of breezy nights and dreary days, we hoard Divine Brilliance for ourselves – even when we have been reminded that to love our neighbors means to spread light into the world.

All: Without thinking, we cast shadows across the earth.  Shift our perspectives so that we avoid becoming obstacles to God’s gleam.  May we become carriers of light instead of  barriers to God’s glow.  Amen.

Assurance of Grace
One: God will always share Divine Beauty with us.  God will call us to find splendor in darkness and magnificence in daylight as both are where God abides.  God will continue to ask us to share radiance and joy with our neighbors.  God gives us second chances, calling us again and again to be channels of love and warmth.

All:  Amen!  Thanks be to God!

Call to Offering
Holy Radiance, you fill our hearts with levity and our souls with joy.  Even in the seasons that appear gloomy, your steadfast presence kindles our spirits, sustaining us until the new season approaches.  In our gratitude for love and light, we share our gifts and our luminosity with our world.  Loving God, let us take these moments to share our treasures and reflect on how we share your Divine Glow with our world.

Prayer of Dedication
We look to you for what we need, God of Love.  We ask that you continue to fill our hearts with your Divine Glow.  Ignite our spirits so that we can pass along your radiance with our world.  We pray all of this with hearts of hope.  Amen.

Benediction
One: In seasons of despair, God’s Glow will warm our hearts.
In seasons of hopelessness, Christ’s Light will spark our minds.
In seasons of gloom, Holy Radiance will sustain our souls.

As clouds droop low and shadows stretch, let us carry Divine Illumination into our world!  Amen!

All: Amen!

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