What must believe in order to live the Christian life?
Here's a prayer, in case you need one:
Gracious God, win this, the first evening of the year’s lengthening days, we gather having made it through darkness, together continued in our witness as a congregation of your people though amidst so much change. As with the baby Jesus, who even now grows in the darkness of Mary’s womb, we pray that we too might be preparing for new birth. Bless us to be as faithful as Mary and Joseph were, faced with an unknowable future though imbued with hope.
We pray this for the sake of this congregation and for ourselves, that each of us might risk new life and take a chance on new birth. We pray this that with such birth will come renewed hope for the future and renewed conviction to labor that the future might be good, might approach your aim of peace on earth and good will toward all people.
We confess now all the obstacles on the way to this aim. They are many--deep in our hearts and splayed across the world. Forgive us, gracious God, for all we name now in silence.
Incarnate God, we thank you that, as a sign of your forgiveness, you have joined us in the world, to live in the flesh, to suffer injustice, to depend upon love, and to walk with us in truth. Bless then our rite of waiting, that it might remind us of your worthiness as that for which we wait. Time is short; your fulfillment is nigh. Amen and amen.