Reading and Prayer – November 29

Reading: 

Mark 1:2-8; 14-15

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” – “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: 

“After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

…After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Prayer: 

God, our Father, the One who comes in your name comes again with grace and power, with forgiveness and strength, with truth and imagination, with gentleness and love.

May the coming One enter the hearts of those who wait with quiet expectation for all that is good and holy and just.

In anticipation we gather.  With expectation we wait.

We gather to watch for the coming of the good news into our world and into our lives. We wait to see the fullness of God’s vision.

O God, open the doors to our hearts, that this year we may have room for the birth of Jesus.

O God, as we marvel over all that you are doing, overwhelm us with so much wonder that words of praise will flow from us!

In this time of waiting, let true worship begin in our hearts. Let our praises rise up to the heavens! Let our celebrations spread new hope over a tired world!

Let us gather together all our dreams and lives to worship our God!