What Are We Waiting For?
A Christian Community
In the Tradition of the Church of the Saviour
What Are We Waiting For?
“The Word that took root in the darkness of Mary’s womb, that took flesh and walked around in this world, that emerged not only in the laboring of a woman but also in the laboring of generations to follow, the ancient Word that springs forth anew—this Word seeks to dwell deeply in us, to be born into the world through us in this and every season.”
Jan Richardson, “The Luminous Word: Living the Advent Hours,”
in The Other Side, November/December 2003
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Come, O Feast-lovers, let us sing a hymn of praise!
Let us praise the Holy Name
with all the assembly of the ancestors,
the holy ones who waited for God.
People: With Adam and Noah, with Isaiah and Jeremiah,
with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob,
and all the other fathers, we wait for God.
Leader: With the holy women,
made strong by the strength of the One who calls us,
we wait for God.
People: With Hannah and Judith, with Esther and Miriam,
with Rachel and Rebecca and Ruth,
and all the other mothers, we wait for God.
All: Let us sing a hymn of praise to the Holy One,
the One who calls forth the choir of all creation,
the One who waits for us.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
All: (Two verses of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”)
Leader: Jesus told us to look and see.
People: We have seen the trees sprouting,
but have not seen that the kingdom of God is near.
Leader: Jesus told us to be on guard.
People: Yet we have fainted from fear
of what is happening in our world.
Leader: Jesus told us to be alert.
People: But we have let our hearts be weighed down, and
the worries of this world have caught us unexpectedly.
All: Forgive us, Holy One,
when we do not remember what you have said.
Leader: Truly, I tell you this:
Our Redemption is near, and the word of God
will not pass away.
PRAYERS OF THE COMMUNITY
All: Eternal Spirit: Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and all that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, creation resonates
with celebration of your nameless name.
Let justice and mercy flood the earth;
let all creation harmonize in your imagination;
and let us recognize
that every thought and thing belongs to you.
With the bread we need for today, feed us;
in the hurts we absorb from each other
and those we inflict on others, forgive us;
in times of test and temptation, stand with us;
from the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you alone are creating our universe,
now and forever.
Leader: Trust and be not afraid.
The God of hope
has spoken through the prophets and it is written:
The renewal of creation is at hand, and justice and mercy shall reign.
May the One who calls us
keep us sound in body, soul and spirit,
and guide our feet into the paths of peace.
Call to Worship based on traditional Orthodox liturgy
Confession and assurance based on Luke 21: 25-36
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
1. O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Child of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
2. O come, O Wisdom from on high,
and order all things far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
and help us in that way to go.
3. O come, O come, O Adonai,
who came to all on Sinai high,
and from its peak a single law
proclaimed in majesty and awe.
4. O come, Thou shoot of Jesse, free
your own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
5. O come, O Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the path to endless day,
to hell’s destruction close the way.
6. O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by your advent here;
Love stir within the womb of night,
and death’s own shadows put to flight.
7. O come, Desire of Nations, bind
all peoples in one heart and mind;
Make envy, strife and quarrels cease;
fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.