For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
Prayer of the Bible
O God, you are the One who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”; and you made your light shine into our hearts to give us light of the knowledge of your glory in the face of Christ. We have this treasure in an earthen vessel to show that this all-surpassing power is from you and not from us.
-2 Corinthians 4:6-7
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.
-Book of Common Worship
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
-John 12: 34-36
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and helplessness, Give us the sense of Your presence, your love and your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for living close to you, we shall see your hand, your purpose, your will through all things.
-Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)