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Intercession for 4th Sunday of Advent Year B – 21 December 2014


The Collect

God our redeemer, who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of your Son: grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour, so we may be ready to greet him when he comes again as our judge; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of  the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading : 2 Samuel 7.1-11,16

Now when David, the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.’ But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord : Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’ Now therefore you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you, David, that the Lord will make you a house. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.

Psalm: The Magnificat – Luke 1.46

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; * he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed; *the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him, *from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm *and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones *and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things *and sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, *to remember his promise of mercy,
The promise made to our ancestors, *to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Second Reading:  Romans 16.25-27

To God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith – to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever! Amen.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1.26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Prayers of Intercession

Visual Liturgy suggests:

In joyful expectation of his coming to our aid we pray to Jesus.

Come to your Church as Lord and judge. We pray for …
Help us to live in the light of your coming
and give us a longing for your kingdom.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to your world as King of the nations. We pray for …
Before you rulers will stand in silence.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to the suffering as Saviour and comforter. We pray for …
Break into our lives, where we struggle with sickness and distress,
and set us free to serve you for ever.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to us as shepherd and guardian of our souls. We remember …
Give us with all the faithful departed
a share in your victory over evil and death.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come from heaven, Lord Jesus, with power and great glory. Lift us up to meet you,
that with all your saints & angels we may live & reign with you in your new creation.
Maranatha: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Silence is kept.

Come, Lord Jesus, do not delay; give new courage to your people,  who trust in your love. By your coming, raise us to share in the joy of your kingdom on earth as in heaven, where you live and reign with the Father and the Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Our Lord says, ‘I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting.


Jane Williams says:

When David offers to make God a home, God explains that his home has always been with his people. He has gone with them, preparing things for them, making provisions for them in ways that they never even noticed. He knows that they long for a home, but perhaps they do not realise that they can have no home without him. All the things that we long for, that we search for throughout the world, throughout our lives  – love, security, peace, fulfilment, joy – all of these things are to be found in God, our only real home. So now, God is preparing, as Advent moves towards Christmas, to come to us, in our own place, in what we call ‘home’ and yet are never quite content with. He will make it, and us, his home, so that we can come to our true home, at last.

Eternal Spirit of the living God, be for us a flame of warmth and light, steadying and transforming our desires so that, lovingly and truthfully, we may pray and we may live.

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, as we reach the shortest days of the year, we ask you for night vision that we may see you in the dark. May we find in the shadows, the contours of your presence. If all our hopes for the Church have not yet been realised, then our fears may yet be misplaced. Oh, let it be so! As we look forward to celebrating the birth of your Son, let us search once more the corners of your Church where your people, united in your purpose, may yet be able to shine your light and offer the water and the nourishment needed for new life.

Lord, turn our faces gently to the sun: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, it matters what we pray, but so does what we eat. It matters what we believe, but so does what we buy. It matters what we love, but so does our stewardship of all the bounty of this planet. It matters how we worship, but also where we work. It matters that we sing hymns of praise to you, but so does the care we take of this world that we call home.

Lord, turn our faces gently to the sun: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶The local community

Lord, you take the earth and all its inhabitants, and orchestrate the Babel of competing voices into a world of  beauty. However discordant the different strands may be, if we allow ourselves to receive your grace, you are always creating new harmonies. Let there be peace on earth this Christmastide. Let there be peace among nations and peace within nations. Let there be peace in our community and peace in our homes. And let it begin with me.

Lord, turn our faces gently to the sun: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶Those who suffer

Lord, we are hard-pressed by anxiety and discord while you shower blessings on the just and unjust. You endure with us the showers of black rain,  and the pain and evil that we face is but a drop in the vast ocean of your love. Lord, we are cold, empty, hungry, thirsty and broken . Come fire, come food, come glue, come glory; Comforter come to us.

Lord, turn our faces gently to the sun: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶The communion of saints

Creator of mankind, we are mortal, formed of the earth and to earth we return. Only you are immortal. Give rest to your servants with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, but give way to life everlasting.

Lord, turn our faces gently to the sun: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


The prayers today are drawn from a variety of sources, including Jim Cotter’s ‘Out of Silence’, and Gerald Kelly’s ‘Twitturgies‘, which offers new insights every time I open its pages.

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Invitation to Confession (1st Sun. of Advent to Christmas Eve) © 1988 Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted) Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2002 Blessing (1st Sun. of Advent until Christmas Eve) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

1 comment on this post:

UKViewer said...

Thanks Laura

16 December 2014 20:25

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