I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by the paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do and I will not forsake them.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Lord, we confess that our joy has not been in you.
We have allowed creation to take the place of Creator.
We have enjoyed the blessing, and forgotten the Blesser.
We have exalted the gift and neglected the Giver.
Forgive us for misplacing our joy,
Free us to find the desires of our heart in you.
Even so: come, Lord Jesus. Amen.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Do not be afraid. Hear the good news of great joy for all people:
a Savior has been born this night for you!
Emmanuel, God with us, offers us a life filled with joy,
regardless of what our experience has taught us,
regardless of the fears we fight,
regardless of the worries in our world,
the joy he gives remains unshaken.
Unable to be earned, or figured out,
or conjured up through our own willpower.
The joy he offers is a joy to rest in,
a joy to revel in, a joy that changes our perspective
as we live and breath and walk with him,
and as we await his final joyous return.