Each Sunday at The American Church in Paris, part of our Call to Worship is a Unison Prayer of Confession (always followed by Words of Assurance)
I have had the privilege most Sundays of leading the church in these prayers, and often the Prayers of the People and something we do called “Lighting the Candle for God’s Global Vision of Compassion, Justice, and Peace”, followed by a Prayer for Illumination (which precedes the reading of The Fist Lesson)
I wanted to share this past Sunday’s prayer that I lead our congregation in. Although another member of our pastor team wrote the prayer, it personally moved me and I found it most appropriate and beneficial as we approach the narratives surround the nativity.
“Gracious God, thank you that you have come and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. Thank you that you are an astonishing God of mystery and miracles; that the messages you send us often come in surprisingly simple and subtle forms.
Forgive us for our cynicism and reductionism, for our managing and minimizing of reality.
Forgive us for shrinking what is truth into what our imaginations can grasp.
On this Sunday before Christmas, help us wonder again at the good news of the incarnation. By your Spirit, help us to expand our minds and spirits so that you might take us more fully into the goodness and beauty of your love.
(Silent prayers of confession)
In the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
I offer a thought for reflection in light of this prayer and the stories we shall read and hear this week leading up to Christmas:
The more true something is, the less literal language can accurately describe it.
– C.S. Lewis
1703, Paris. d. 1770, Paris