Opening Responses
(use all or a selection of the following; alternatively, split the responses between the Opening and Closing Responses of your liturgy)

Reader 1

 

Is it true, Lord, is it true:
that You, Creator of the Heavens,
condemn Your people to stumble though life
their paths shrouded in darkness?
Is it true, Lord....is it true?

Reader 2 Beloved of My heart,  you know that it is not true:
ALL

THIS IS TRUE:
THE PEOPLE WHO WALKED IN DARKNESS
HAVE SEEN A GREAT LIGHT;
THOSE WHO LOVED IN A LAND OF GREAT DARKNESS
ON THEM LIGHT HAS SHINED.

   
Reader 1

Is it true, Lord, is it true:
that You condemn Your people,
so that our sins and our failings keep us far from You?
Is it true, Lord, is it true?

Reader 2 Beloved of My heart, you know that it is not true:
ALL

THIS IS TRUE:
COMFORT, O COMFORT MY PEOPLE.
SPEAK TENDERLY TO MY CHILDREN
TELL THEM THAT THEY HAVE RECEIVED FROM THE LORD'S HAND
DOUBLE FOR ALL THEIR SINS.

   
Reader 1

Is it true, Lord, is it true:
that sickness and suffering are Your will for the world
that pain and weakness are the lot of Your people?

Reader 2 Beloved of My heart,  you know that it is not true:
ALL

THIS IS TRUE:
TO THOSE WHO ARE OF A FEARFUL HEART, WE SAY:
BE STRONG, DO NOT FEAR! HERE IS OUR GOD.
THE EYES OF THE BLIND SHALL BE OPENED  
AND THE EARS OF THE DEAF UNSTOPPED;
THE LAME SHALL LEAP LIKE A DEER
AND THE TONGUE OF THE SPEECHLESS SHALL SING FOR  JOY.

   
Reader 1

Is it true, Lord, is it true
that You have forgotten and forsaken Your people;
people laugh at our belief in You -
and we are not sure that You know our names.

Reader 2 Beloved of My heart,  you know that it is not true:
ALL

THIS IS TRUE:
CAN A WOMAN FORGET HER BABY
OR NOT LOVE THE CHILD SHE BORE?
YET EVEN IF THEY FORGET
GOD WILL NOT FORGET US.
GOD HAS WRITTEN OUR NAMES
ON THE PALMS OF HIS HANDS.

   
Reader 1

Is it true, Lord, is it true
that the strong shall inherit the earth,
that the poor shall always perish,
that those with power shall, in the end, gain everything
Is it true, Lord, is it true?

Reader 2 Beloved of My heart,  you know that it is not true:
ALL

THIS IS TRUE:
GOD IS A REFUGE TO THE POOR,
A REFUGE TO THE NEEDY ON THEIR DISTRESS.
WHEN THE BLAST OF THE RUTHLESS
IS LIKE A WINTER RAINSTORM
GOD SUBDUES THE WINDS AND SOFTENS THE RAIN
AND THE SONG OF THE RUTHLESS IS STILLED.

   
Reader 1

Is it true, Lord, is it true,
that Your Son will bring fearsome judgement and retribution on Your people.
Must we live in fear and trembling of  the Coming of Jesus?

Reader 2      

Beloved of My heart, you know that it is not true:
ALL

THIS IS TRUE:
GOD HAS PUT HIS SPIRIT UPON HIS SERVANT
HE WILL BRING FORTH JUSTICE TO THE NATIONS.
BUT HE WILL NOT BREAK THE CRUSHED REED
NOR WILL HE QUENCH THE WAVERING FLAME

   
Reader 1

So in a world that distorts Your message,
where hearts are confused and afraid,
what is Your Truth for the world?

Reader 2 Beloved of My heart,  you know that it is not true:
ALL

THIS IS TRUE:
WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO WALK IN DARKNESS
AND WE HAVE SEEN A GREAT LIGHT;
WE WHO LIVE IN A LAND OF GREAT DARKNESS -
UPON US A GREAT LIGHT HAS SHONE.
GOD HAS INCREASED OUR JOY,
GOD HAS LIFTED THE BURDEN THAT WAS LAID UPON US.
FOR A CHILD WAS BORN FOR US, A SON WAS GIVEN TO US.
AUTHORITY RESTS UPON HIS SHOULDERS
AND HE IS NAMED
WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR, MIGHTY GOD
EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE.
HE WILL ESTABLISH AND UPHOLD HIS KINGDOM
WITH JUSTICE AND WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS
FROM THIS TIME ONWARD AND FOREVERMORE.
AMEN. AMEN. AMEN.

.
Scripture Reading(s)
There is a considerable amount of Scripture in the Responses - but readings from the Prophets would be appropriate for something more sustained: Is 7: 10-14; Is 11: 1-10; Is 29: 17-24; 35: 1, 6-10; Is 40: 1-5, 9-11; Jer 53: 14-16; Zeph 3: 14-18; Mic 5: 1-4
Alternatively, use a "mosaic" of short phrases from the Scriptures interspersed with pauses for the words to fill the silence.
.
Closing Responses
Reader    

So who will speak Godís Truth;
who will proclaim Godís Promise of justice and peace for the world
who will, in our day, prepare the Way for the Lord?

ALL

HERE I AM, LORD, SEND ME
HERE WE ARE, LORD, SEND US

   
Reader And as we wait in joyful hope, we ask God to bless and keep us:
ALL THE FATHER Ė THE SON Ė AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
Reader And until we meet again
ALL

MAY GOD HOLD US IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND.
AMEN

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