Bah! Humbug! Time for Change (Isaiah 2:2-3 and Matthew 24:36-44)

The spirit of change, like a strong wind,
is blowing around us, pushing us one way
and then another.
We feel out of control at times,
and can easily lose our balance.
Fearful that our situation could change at any moment,
we cling to our treasures tightly and stake a claim on what is ours.
As your truth rings out,
remind us that there is more than enough for all to share.

You sent us your son and
we followed him up the mountainside.
We sat at his feet listening to his teachings.
And the spirit of change blew from Jerusalem
throughout the entire world.
The people listened and were transformed.
As your truth rings out,
remind us to also walk in your path and
to follow your teachings.

The spirit of change flows through us and around us.
We touch it in the life-giving water of our baptism and
we feel it in the wind that pulls down the colorful leaves of autumn
and we taste it when we feast on the harvest grown from the earth
and we hear it in the crackle of the Yuletide fire.
We ask you to use the spirit of change to transform us
so that we can share and use your teachings to transform others.
We lift up our cares and concerns to you, and ask that you
be with those among us who need your extra strength and healing grace.
As your truth rings out,
remind us that we may never know how much of a difference we make
in someone else’s life, but help us to realize that our every action and
our every thought does have an impact on this world.

The spirit of change is all-powerful and always present,
around us and within us.
We feel that power when we gather together as your people.
We remind ourselves of that power
every time we use the words your son taught us,
“Our Father…”

We Remember Your Promise (Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4, 3:17-19)

Sometimes when we look at our world,
our eyes fill with tears.
We wonder why hate seems to thrive,
why pain is a constant presence
and why greed champions over justice.
We cry out at times that it is not fair.
We ask where you are, Lord,
and lift our fears up to you
hoping you will give us peace and power.

Our brothers and sisters march in protest,
asking if they matter, if they have any importance.
We find ourselves judged and given privilege or censure
based on our appearance, our education, and
our social class.
Our young people ask, what is important in this life?
Our middle-aged ask, why have the rules changed?
Our elderly ask, who will take care of us?

If we are honest with ourselves, Lord,
we know that our world is a reflection of our choices.
It is not you who has set up a battle between good and evil,
it is us.
When we allow ourselves to focus on money and power,
we forget to focus on what is important and on what we need,
instead we focus on what we want.
When we focus on ourselves,
we ignore those among us who need our help.

Sometimes when we look at our world,
our eyes fill with tears.
But, we remember, your promise, your strength.
You are our Savior and
we will learn to answer our questions by truly practicing your teachings.
We are the ones who can make a difference in this world.
Fill us with your strength and grace.
Be with those among us who need you the most, ___

We wait for you, and as we wait,
remind us to also act,
to make this world a more just and peaceful place.
As we wait, we use the words your son taught us,
“Our Father…”