Responsive Reading for Advent 2

Loosely based off of Scripture texts from:Isaiah 40:1-5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2040:1-5&version=ESVUK); Isaiah 41:17-20 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2040:17-20&version=ESVUK)

ONE: Father, we recognize the many times that we have parched your land.

ALL: The times that we have parched the resources you have gifted us with

The times that our world has been ravaged and ransacked because of war, violence, and oppression

The times when we stood by watching without making an attempt to water this earth

ONE: Through peace, caring, a smile, a gentle word

ALL: We are truly sorry.  We ask you to forgive us.

ONE: Mother, we recognize the many times that we have seen those who are needy

ALL: The pregnant teenager, the troubled young adult, the confused widow

ONE: And have walked across to the other side for fear of not knowing what to say

When all they really needed was a gentle whisper or the sound of sheer silence

ALL: We ask you to forgive us for the times when we chose not to get involved for fear of what others would think

Instead of caring about what you would think

We ask you to forgive us, and we pledge anew to recommit ourselves to things that will make for peace and the building up of one another.

ONE: Spirit, we thank you that you are a free wanderer.  We thank you that you make yourself clear to us in new, unexpected, and invigorating ways.

We thank you that you revive us through the beautiful sunset, the glorious sunrise, the long awaited afternoon nap, the joyful afternoon spent with a close friend, the touch of a baby’s fingers across our face

ALL: We thank you that even in the confusion, you allow us to hold on to hope through new and creative approaches

ONE: The young couple who falls in love for the first time and gets married, the young teenager who chooses to make the right choices despite peer pressure, the elderly couple who have stayed together for fifty years despite the fact that it has not always been easy

ALL: We are reminded that even in these parched times, your word beacons to us, reminding us to be thankful and reviving us in new ways.

We await the coming of your son who will bring water to a dry and parched Palestine

And we long for the creation of the New Jerusalem when his story will be enacted in our midst once again.

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Looking for some great Advent reading materials for your own personal devotions?  Check out: http://www.biblegateway.com/holiday-devotions

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