living water

photo by Nicolas Ruiz on Unsplash
You invite us to ask for living water,
water that satisfies our thirst.  You are
that living water poured out for us.
We confess that we seek to quench our
thirst in other ways.
We drink deeply, choosing these sweet waters
that turn to fear in our bellies.
We confess that rather than turning to you,
we set out to be brave.
Seeing the fear outside ourselves, we try
to force out fear by casting out others.
Lord help us to drink deeply of your love
remembering it is perfect love that casts
out fear.
Strengthen us to practice love to ourselves,
those close to us, and those we overlook.
Fill us with living water until it
overflows.
 
complied by Claudio Carvalhaes, professor of worship in New York City
 
_____________________________
 
 
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 
But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again.
It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

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Shine brightly, star of God

image / Stern von Betlehem / wikimedia commons
 
Shine brightly,
star of God,
and guide our wandering world
to where a prince of Peace is born.
 
Where children wish upon a star
or wise men scan the universe in hope
let your bright beams
surround their dreams
and guide their hesitating feet
to where a miracle is born.
 
Enable each of us
to make a New Year’s journey
leaving behind the prejudices and fears
of yester-year,
embracing a fresh openness
by which we welcome all world pilgrims
whose journeys end in worship and humility.
 
Be a sign today
of mercy and of love
like a rainbow in spring
or the bright summer sun,
and show us how our lives
can include the forgotten and forlorn,
    the grieving and the hurt.
 
And we will offer
to our God
now seen and touched in straw-filled bad 
the best gifts in the world:
our joy, our grief, our life.
 
David Jenkins, minister in the United Reformed Church UK
 
____________________________
 
 
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

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waiting for us

Photo by Jack Bassingthwaighte on Unsplash
 
Silent Word, Creative Act, Hidden Truth, Revealed Love:
We wait for you.
To be precise, we are impatient for you to come and set things right.
We are insecure with our world,
    fearful of crime and disease in the streets,
    and anxious about ourselves.
We refuse your guidance, but we often wish you would act
    according to our plans.
We seldom pause to consider that you are waiting for us;
    for some genuine act of contrition;
    waiting for us to repent and change;
    waiting for us to listen and respond 
         with a burning passion to your truth, your justice, and your mercy.
Furnish us with humble hearts and willing spirits to receive you
    as you come to us through all the experiences of our lives.
Amen.
 
Allen P. Happe, 1938-1998, American Congregational Minister
 
___________________________
 
 
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  
It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, 
    and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 
while we wait for the blessed hope—
the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ
 

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