God, we are your people,
made in your holy image.
We come before you this day
joined in prayer for peace.
both individual and institutional,
as well as the adept way we turn a blind eye to it,
has caught up with us.
Our world seems to be imploding,
and we are turning on each other,
destroying one other,
and riding a wave of fear
to a most tragic conclusion.
We are in need of you, O God.
We are in desperate need
of all that you are.
We ask now for your peace,
and we ask to be your peace
in a world that so urgently needs it.
In this season of Advent,
as we remember the astounding event
of your birth among us,
lead us to our own self-emptying,
that we may be filled with your Spirit
and reach out to our fellow travelers
with the gentle hands of Jesus,
bringing his loving acceptance to our every encounter.
Help us remember, God,
that no act is too small to matter.
Every smile, every prayer,
every practical offer of aid,
every major leap of faith –
all count, all are used,
all add power to the groundswell
of goodness and justice and mercy
that is your Spirit moving in the world today.
Fill us with your peace, O God.
Peace be in our hands.
Peace be in our voices.
Peace be in our action.
Peace be in our stillness.
As one flame, shared candle to candle,
can fill a sanctuary with light,
so be it with your peace,
from one heart to another,
one interaction at a time,
until no place in the world
is without your light.