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Some people always have the right words. Worship Words is here in case you are not one of those people. Or maybe just not one of those people this week. We have some contributions from our RGBP community to help. Feel free to use as-is, adapt, or use for inspiration. If you use them in printed materials, please note the author and If you use them in online worship and it is possible to give credit in video descriptions, that is sufficient (no need for verbal attribution). Thanks!

A Call to Worship, suitable also for Invocation or Candle-Lighting from Joanna Harader:
In the midst of cold days and long nights, 
God offers joy.
As we miss holiday traditions that are not possible this year,
God still offers joy.
Though we wonder what the future holds and how long this pandemic will last,
God continues to offer joy.
Even as we face illness and grief,
God’s joy abides.

Holy God of Joy,
Amidst the relentless cheer of this season—the trees and the twinkles and the music and the gifts—we open ourselves to receive your joy. Thank you for each smile, each laugh, each moment of warmth, each flicker of light. Amen. 

Prayer of Confession based on Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 from Kathy Swaar

Covenant-crafting God, forgive us.
We have forgotten who and Whose we are,
and what we are called to do.

We ignore the voices of your heralds,
and when we speak, 
place more emphasis on being “right” than  
seeking to understand others’ hearts and views. 

Instead of doing what we can to bind up the wounds 
of the hurting among us, we turn the other way.
“I’m just one person,” we say. 
“I can’t fix this.”

We make little effort 
to liberate those held captive,
excusing our omissions by insisting, 
“most got what they deserved.”

Tune our ears to once again hear your call, Holy One.
Bind up our hearts—bruised and broken by our sin—
and pour out your grace and mercy upon us,
that cleansed and made whole, we may joyfully offer
what help and hope is ours to give.

Silent prayers of confession may be offered here.

The mercy of God is from everlasting to everlasting.
Comfort and healing, grace and forgiveness are yours.
Believe this Good News and be at peace:
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Prayer of Invocation Inspired by Psalm 126 and Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming by Elsa Cook
O God, come for the the night is already half-gone.
We’ve been waiting for so much
for so long
so that now even when the frost has come and nothing blooms, 
we dream of tender stems birthing bright wonder.
Come, O God, to dream with us
of what is possible 
and how the world could change
if we could show love aright.
The night is already half-gone, O God.
So come. Come to make all the tears 
we have shed this year
bloom into shouts of joy.
Come, O God, 
and let your sweetness fill the air.

Blessing: Joy by Joanna Harader

This blessing may come as a song or a silence;
As hearty bread or exquisite sorbet;
As belly laughter or gentle hug, 
As enlivening idea or painstaking process.

This blessing might rest on you, gently, in the deep, star-filled night,
Or push, pull, and play among sunbeams and cold breezes.
This blessing might hide, especially when you are most desperate to see it.
And then, all of a sudden, there it is.
Or isn’t.
Or maybe, probably, it is in that other place, the place you didn’t think to look;
The place you least expected to find it.

This blessing of joy is a shape-shifter
And so we miss it sometimes.
But trust me, it is around here, somewhere, 
Always waiting on the edges
And nestled deeply in the center
Of who God created you to be.  

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com. For Worship Words, you may use or adapt what you find here, but please credit the author in printed orders of service/web publications and in public video descriptions if possible.

If you have written words for worship in this strange new world that you are willing to share, please send us an email: revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

2 thoughts on “Worship Words for Advent 3: Joy

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