As we enter the season of Advent, let us give thanks:
that Almighty God entered our world in the person of Jesus Christ,
that Jesus came to bring hope and perfect freedom to all people,
that Christ will come again,
for opportunities to share the good news with those around us,
for the joy of preparing for Christmas.
Let us remember before God:
those who fear to speak about their faith because of persecution,
those who live in countries governed by oppressive regimes,
those whose homes have been destroyed through flood, earthquake or war,
those who are anxious about the future,
those adjusting to political upheaval and change.
Let us ask our loving God:
to forgive our selfishness and pride, our timidity and faithlessness,
to give wisdom to our leaders, political and spiritual,
to help us prepare for Christ’s coming each day,
to guide us out of darkness into his glorious light.
Lord, Jesus Christ,
may we respond to your call with the obedience of Mary,
welcome you in others with the joy shown at Mary’s visit to Elizabeth,
protect those who are vulnerable as Mary and Joseph cared for their infant child,
proclaim your coming with the courage of John the Baptist.
For we are ‘chosen people, called to proclaim’.
In the name of Christ, Amen.