Prayer of Confession (inspired by Isaiah 9:2-7)
Mighty God, we confess that we have walked in darkness for too long. We carry the yoke of guilt and we have felt the sting of the rod of sin and oppression. Wonderful Counselor, guide us to walk in your light. Free us from our burdens, and establish your peace in our world.
Prayer for Illumination (inspired by Isaiah 52:7-10)
O Lord, as we celebrate the arrival of your messenger of peace – the One who not only brings the good news but is the good news – open our hearts and minds, eyes and ears, to hear your announcement of salvation.
** For those who are celebrating The Lord’s Supper on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, my friend and colleague has written a lovely invitation to the Table. She (like me) is a minister in a Presbyterian congregation; but, you can substitute “Presbyterian” with the name of your denomination… **
Invitation to the Table (Written by Rev. Sarah E. Ross, First Presbyterian Church of Pleasant Hill, MO)
Friends, tonight we remember and celebrate the birth of Christ, God who came to us in human flesh, as a helpless baby. Those first invited to witness this event were a group of poor shepherds. They were not highly educated. They had no gifts to bring. They did not have fancy clothes. But an angel proclaimed to them, “A Savior has been born to YOU.” Tonight we come, as unworthy as those shepherds, to witness and receive God’s amazing grace and love.
This table is Christ’s table. It is not my table, or the Presbyterian table, or the table of this congregation. It is the table of Jesus. And all who wish to know and love him are welcome here. Whether your faith is strong or wavering, whether you come to church often or have never been before, you are welcome here. Tonight, a Savior is born for YOU, and that same Savior welcomes you to this sacred meal.