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Invitation

One: May you know that the God of comfort is with you.
Many: And may you see the God of hope with you.
One: Open wide our anxious hearts!
Many: We open them to God’s peace.
One: Let us give thanks and share our joy.
Many: In this space and time, we offer God our love and praise.

Prayer

One: The dawn of hope rests on the horizon
And beams of love reach our doubting hearts.
We celebrate the newness of this season-
Waiting to see how the Christ will appear in our world.
Even in our despair, a glimmer of hope reaches into our twilight
Beckoning us to breathe and wait…

Our story tells us that the Christ child whose birth we anticipate
Will one day sit at tables with strangers and friends,
Building relationships filled with love and grace.

We see this as he fed the multitude,
Turned water into wine,
And ate with dear ones the night before his death.

He took the bread, blessed it, and broke it.
Eat in remembrance of me, he said.

He took the cup, and in his blessing
Reminded them that when they sipped from the fruit of the vine
To drink in remembrance of him.

Jesus.  The Christ.  Emmanuel – God with us.
Light of the World.  The Word of Life.
No matter how we know him
Or what name we call him,
He is our hope, our peace, our joy, and our love.
May the Spirit bless us and these elements as we commune to remember him.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

For the nourishment of spirit, mind, and body,
For hope that we begin to see,
And for comfort from the Prince of Peace,
We share our gratitude, Gracious God.
Encourage us in these shortened days.
Through the long nights of this season,
May your hope carry us until dawn arrives again.

Amen.

*****

(c) Michelle L. Torigian, 2019. Permission to use with attribution.