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Liturgy based on quotations from “Unrelenting Grace” by Bishop Ken Carter Jr. The candles could be lit during or after the reading of the scripture or while a chorus or verse is sung. Suggested responses could include: Advent Candle Song (Book of Worship 209); Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (UMH 196); O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (UMH 211); Here For You - Matt Redman (chorus), Advent Song (TFWS 2090 - chorus). The text could be led by one voice, split between multiple voices, or shared responsively by the congregation.
Creating, Redeeming, Sustaining God,
You have given us the gift of unrelenting grace. It is a gift that saves, a connection that sustains, and a holiness that is found in complete love of God, neighbor, and self. In this season of expectation, help us to remember and trust in your promises.
(week 1) Read Isaiah 64:8
As we light this Advent candle, may we remember that our hope is that we might claim a United Methodist way of life where we can see all persons as worthy of the life that our Creator desires for us.
(week 2) Read Isaiah 40:1-2
As we light this Advent candle, may we remember that peace is found in a right relationship with God, which always places us into a right relationship with one another.
(week 3) Read Isaiah 61:1-3
As we light this Advent candle, may we remember that joy is found when we give thanks for the astonishingly different gifts and stories we find in our churches, our families, and our communities.
(week 4) Read Luke 1:46-49
As we light this Advent candle, may we remember that our love for God is a response to God’s love for us which provokes us to claim our call and share that love with others.
(Christmas Eve) Read Isaiah 9:6
As we light the Christ candle, may we remember and celebrate that God’s dwelling place is with us, wherever we are. Let us open our hearts to receive the gift of God’s grace which will transform our lives and our churches.