December 2022 - From The Pastor's Desk:
Advent marks the new year on the Christian calendar. As we begin this new season and new year, I offer this prayer with all of you in my heart:
God, as the days grow colder and shorter, we light our first candle of hope. We pray that this hope might shine within us, and kindle hope in others. We trust that you guide us through long nights ahead, and so embrace the light that the darkness will not overtake us.
As we light the candle of love, God, we pray your love will burn within us and warm everyone we meet and everyone we know. We remember Christ commanded us to love one another as he has loved us.
God, in a world torn by violence and war, as sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends serve in harm’s way, we pray for their safety. We light a candle for peace, yearning for the Prince of Peace to rule our hearts so that we might be instruments of your peace in a troubled and torn world.
O God, we light a fourth candle, thankful for the gift of joy that enriches our lives. We are grateful for blessings of fellowship, freedom, simple pleasures, and the presence of your Spirit. We savor the festivities of the season and renewed relationships and ask that you would grant us a spirit of hospitality, generosity, and sensitivity, so our joy might be fulfilled by sharing it.
All this we pray in the name of the one we await, the child who will lead us, in a world without end. Amen.
May the waiting of this Advent Season be a time of fruitful contemplation, and prayerful reflection to guide us past materialistic distractions, and consumer frenzy. May we each have deeper truths and profound blessings of the season.
- Yours In Christ, Richard Malmberg