This prayer might be used on the 4th Sunday of Advent, Christmas Day or for a Lessons and Carols service.
When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem
They found there was no room.
We confess that in the midst of all our anxieties
We have not made room in our hearts for others.
We confess that, paralysed by fear, prejudice or apathy
We have not made room in our homes for the stranger.
We confess that, forgetting the welcome we have been shown,
We have not made room in your church for those who are different from us.
We confess that in the busyness of Christmas time
We have not made room in our lives for you.
Gracious God, forgive us and renew us.
Use this advent time to break open our hearts,
throw open the doors, open our eyes to your presence
and open our arms wide to welcome you.
God is good! God is faithful! God is merciful!
And God comes to us, in vulnerability, again and again,
to show us how much we are loved.
We are forgiven; we are freed,
We are beloved; we are blessed,
Thanks be to God!