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Preparing the Way: Worship at Five in Advent

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This Sunday evening at Worship at Five, we invited all to “prepare the way of the Lord.” A team of creative folks from the Worship at Five community spent several weeks dreaming this service into being by reflecting on the assigned scriptural texts for Sunday, Dec. 9 (Luke 1: 48-79, Luke 3:1-6, and Malachi 3:1-4), all of which repeat the phrase, “prepare the way.” 

Dreaming led to the creation of eight unique and engaging prayer stations that invited worshipers to prepare the way for Christ’s coming by:

  • Letting go of baggage and regret from the year in anticipation of Christ’s refining fire
  • Testifying to glimpses of hope, peace, love and joy in our lives and the world
  • Spending time in silence
  • Recognizing God’s acceptance and love for all people
  • Praying for those on a journey, especially the lonely, the oppressed, and refugees

Founders Hall was rearranged so that the communion table sat in the center of the space, with all the worshippers and musicians “in the round” circling the table. As we lifted our voices to sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” I saw people smiling at one another across the circle, and eyes filling with tears at the joy of singing together. After a beautiful evening of worship, we all gathered around a campfire and roasted marshmallows for s’mores, and the spirit of expectation and wonder followed us into the world.

What a gift it is to be able to worship together in this holy season of expectation. I give thanks for the creativity and the vision of our community, and the ways in which these experiences allow all of us to prepare for the in breaking of God in the world. If you haven’t had the chance to experience the wonder and joy of Worship at Five, please know that you are always welcome- we would love to see you!

 See photos below!

Worship @5- Advent Lay Led Service

in Advent

Advent Devotional - December 6

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1 Corinthians 4-5

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.

Reflection

Recently I’ve been given the opportunity to observe others growing in their love of neighbor. They are truly making way for the Kingdom here on earth. One thing can certainly be said about this. It is so darn slow to develop. Our culture does not seem to reward slow growth. We are results oriented. We are a people of  “I want it and I want it now.” If I don’t have it, then let’s go get someone who has it who will share it, trade it, sell it or use it for my ends.
 
We also don’t seem to acknowledge the value of slow growth. Why are we in such a rush for things to change and so quick to stop looking for it when we don’t see it? Is it because I can point to others who are holding up the desired outcomes instead of focusing on my own contributions? Maybe its because I know I can keep moving towards what I want by looking in other places for folks who already think like I do?
 
Encouragingly, God in Jesus, makes our way clearer. He simply says, “Come, Follow Me”. I find I can be more patient with myself and others if I remove my focus from a desired goal and look for the small changes that God will combine with others to create His story among us.   

PRayer

Loving Lord, lead us to your manger where we will find what we seek. Calm our anxiousness with your assurances of love. Guide our hearts and minds to follow your son, Jesus, the Light of the World. Amen.

About the author

Karen McCracken is a Foundation Trustee, member of the Prayer Cordon, Table Group facilitator, memorial usher and Elder. She has been a member since 1990.

 

act of kindness

Subtract one thing from your day today- and use the extra quiet time to pray for better relationships between races in our country, our city, and our neighborhoods.

Posted by Karen McCracken with