Prayers for the 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas (December 20-26, 2020)

(Portions of this prayer contain excerpts from the
Moravian Book of Worship Liturgy for Christmas, pages 59-63.
Used by permission of the Interprovincial Board of Communication.)

The Watchword for the Week:

The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name. Luke 1:49

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world,
but so that the world might be saved through him.

Luke 1:46-55
46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Invitation to Confession

God has done marvelous things for us, but often the conduct of our lives does not reflect the acceptance of those gifts. Let us acknowledge our sin and our need for a Savior.

Confession of Sin:
Saving God, we confess to you our sinfulness. Greed and selfishness often influence our decisions instead of loving you as we ought. Too often, we are indifferent to those for whom this season is not a time of joy. You call us to a simple life, but we engage in extravagance, which directs our hearts away from you and those in need. Forgive us and renew us, gracious Savior. 

God has reached into the darkness of our lives to give us hope for living a new life. Accept the gift of God’s grace today and be transformed.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, AMEN. 

Take time to read today’s Daily Texts.  Remember that God speaks to us through the inspiration of scripture, so approach the opportunity to read the texts as a privilege, eagerly anticipating what might be spoken to you today. How might today’s Word make a part of your life new again? If you do not have a copy of the Daily Texts, you will find today’s texts posted in the margin on your page’s right side (at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile phone). When you have finished praying, continue as follows.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, hear us.
Holy Child of Mary, Savior of the World,
reveal yourself to us.
Help us and save us through the totality of your life:

By your holy incarnation,
By your human birth,
By your pure and blameless childhood,
By your obedience and diligence,
By your humility, meekness, and patience,
By your extreme poverty,
By your grief and sorrows,
By your prayers and tears,
By your having been despised and rejected,
By your cross and suffering,
By your death and burial,
By your triumphant resurrection and ascension.

We marvel, Gracious God, at the mystery of your incarnation.
Why would you choose to be born into poverty, with a family far from home, and seemingly ill-prepared for your arrival?
Why would you choose a forgotten village in a forgotten corner of the world?
Why would you choose to be born in a cave full of cattle and take a manger for your crib?
Could it be that you would reach out through this unlikely birth and choose us to be your children?
Could it be that you would reach out and choose even me?
God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly.
The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name. Thanks be to God! Amen.