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A Litany for Longest Night (December 21)

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her
that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.

We stand in need of deliverance from grief and troubles.
We desire a way to move beyond our shame and disgrace.

A voice cries out:
"In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

O Lord, our God, make your presence known to us.
We put our trust and faith in you, now be with us in our time of need.

A voice says, "Cry out!" And I said, "What shall I cry?"
All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand for ever.

I have shouted and cried, prayed and kept silent.
As our lives change moment by moment, God is constant in providing grace.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!"

I am searching for comfort in the darkness of the night and loneliness of the day.
May we hear the Good News, which invites us into new life.

See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

In my weakness, I look for strength of One who will hold me.
God, Almighty, protect me from the storm and hold me close in comfort.

The Rev. Jeremy Michael Moyers is pastor of Groveport United Methodist Church, Groveport, Ohio. His litany is used on the Discipleship Ministries website with his permission.

Scripture is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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