Jesus, the Compassion of God Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Advent December 18, 2016

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Jesus, the Compassion of God

Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 18, 2016
Seed Thought: The Importance of Compassion

Lakota Bible Translation prepared by Lakota Elders

"Our grandfathers and grandmothers were very careful that compassion should be nurtured in the young, in order that our people may live in a good way. We live in a time when humanity is very stratified according to gender, class, race, religion, and every possible human difference. The challenge to be compassionate is hard, but compassion can cross all these human boundaries."
"We are created by God's compassion. In our own leadership responsibilities, if we forget compassion, then humility and suffering are in store for us."
"The only means to access the Creator's compassion is through our own compassion for others, our relationship with the Creator is through those that are suffering. So, we must always self-check our own compassion level and make sure that our relationship with the Creator is truly honorable."

Call to Worship
Jesus, God sent you in mercy to be to be Emmanuel, God-with-us.
Teach us the compassion of God.

Jesus, your life took flesh in the mercy of Mary's womb.
We rejoice in the compassion of Mary.

Jesus, your family took shape in the mercy of Joseph's welcome.
We give thanks for the compassion of Joseph.

Jesus, your holy family knew the struggle of the poor,

when they were refused the mercy of shelter in Bethlehem.

Teach us the compassion of God;
Lead us in the ways of justice and mercy.

Opening Prayer
O Loving God,
We await the birth of your Child, Jesus,
whom you send into the world to show us
the way of compassion.
Let us follow Jesus with courage and joy
across all the boundaries of our human difference.
Open our hearts and our communities,
that they may be places where your goodness is recognized,
and your generosity is shown to all our sisters and brothers.
All this we ask in the name of Jesus, your beloved Child and our brother.

Call to Confession: Psalm- 51:1
Let us pray:
Have mercy on us, O God according to your unfailing love,

according to your great compassion blot out our transgressions.
Let us take a few moments of silence

to think about our need for God's mercy and forgiveness.

Words of Assurance: Isaiah- 49: 13
"Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song,
O mountains! For our God comforts the people

and will have compassion on the afflicted ones."

Hear the good news:

In the name of Jesus, Savior-from-our-sin,

our compassionate God forgives us,

and gives us the grace to start over.

Call to Offering
Let us give praise and thanks to God

for the miracles and blessings in our lives

by offering to God gifts of our time, talents and treasure.

Prayer of Dedication
We offer to you, O God, these gifts of our lives and service.
Keep us close Lord, to all who need your love, justice, compassion, and healing;

help us to show them that you are known in Jesus Christ,

whose compassion lives in all of us.

Let us go forth striving to be compassionate as our Creator is compassionate,

awaiting with joy the birth of Jesus,

in whose Way of love, justice and mercy

we will walk with our sisters and brothers.

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Jesus, the Compassion of God by Judith Andrews, licensed Lay Pastor of the Ponca Creek United Church of Christ in Bonesteel, South Dakota.

Copyright 2016 Local Church Ministries, Faith Formation Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.

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