Thanksgiving 2001: Keeping the Vigil
A Christian Community
In the Tradition of the Church of the Saviour
Keeping the Vigil
Neither virgin nor wise
I fill foolishly
my lamp, lest surprise
take me unprepared. Mulishly
at mid-morning sun-time
I pour the oil.
(I’m anticipating as usual.)
Toil is my lot,
my daily drink and meat.
The bridegroom will find me workworn and rough.
But my lamp is ready, and even as I am,
I’ll gladly greet Him who comes.
And that is joy enough.
“The Preparation of Mary, mother of Jesus.”
Madeline L’Engle, A Cry Like a Bell, pg. 7
CALL TO WORSHIP (Unison)
One: We come here looking,
all of us carrying
our small lamps of hope.
Many: We come here calling out,
hearing each other,
retelling the story of promise.
All: Here, we reach out to God,
and become the one Body of Christ,
breathing together with the Holy Spirit.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
One: Leaves turn yellow and crimson
and drop from the trees.
Voice 1: We pull on boots and sweaters
As cold, wet wind
Steals summer from our memory.
Voice 2: It feels like time to close the windows,
build a fire and hibernate,
comforting ourselves with dreams of spring,
One: But sometimes we are called outside into the cold
to hunt for what we have not clearly seen,
and then we feel alive.
All: We live in the tension
of this waiting, searching time.
One: Giver of New Life,
although you call us from our comfort into newness,
too often we want to stay within our habits,
and we refuse the adventure that you offer.
All: Forgive us, Holy Source of Hope,
for our unwillingness to watch and wait;
for our reluctance to look for you.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
One: The Good News of salvation in Christ is this:
Our human failings are forgiven
so that we might truly be
the eyes and ears and hands and feet of God.
PRAYERS OF THE COMMUNITY
One: Whichever gift each of you has received,
Use your gift in service
to one another and the wider world,
like good stewards
dispensing the grace of God in all its various forms.
Go forth to love and serve God
where you live and work.