December 8, 2019 – 11 am
Second Sunday of Advent
INTROIT “Come, come Emmanuel. Come, Emmanuel”
(Congregation to join in second time)
May the joy of Christmas and the promise of God Be with You
And Also With You
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE … Amity and Satiety Mazhara
Peace shall reign—old enmities shall cease! For on that day we will celebrate God’s love with one another.
Today we light two candles. The first is the candle of Patience, reminding us to watch and wait for what God is about to do. [Light the first candle]
The second candle is the candle of Readiness, enabling us to look at our lives, to get rid of all those things that keep us from God, to change our ways and live as God would have us live. [The second candle is lit]
Come, see the lights. Let their brightness fill you.
Come, feel the warmth of the lights. Let them give you comfort.
Advent Lighting Hymn: vs 1 & 2
WELCOMING AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
If you are a visitor, we are pleased to have you with us today. May our worship together be meaningful to us all!(Life and Work of the Church) (Birthdays and Anniversaries)
CALL TO WORSHIP:
L: Get ready, people of God! The time of hope and peace is at hand.
P: We are called to action rather than reaction.
L: Open your hearts to God’s word and God’s will.
P: Help us to be workers for God rather than observers.
L: Come, draw near to God in faith.
P: Let us prepare our hearts to receive the wondrous gifts of God. AMEN.
HYMN: VU #409 Morning Has Broken
OPENING PRAYER (Unison)
Patient and loving God, we so easily launch ourselves in preparation for the secular festival of giving and parties and the swirl of social events; but we forget that the true preparation is the readiness of our hearts to receive you. Help us look again at our lives and turn them around so that they may be in tune with your will. We ask this in Jesus’ Name, AMEN.
WE LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD
Hebrew Scripture: Isaiah 11: 1-10
Epistle Reading: Romans 15: 4-13
Responsive Reading: Psalm 72: 1-7 (Page 790)
Please stand for the Gospel reading
Gospel Reading: Matthew 3:1-12 Minister
Response: Praise be to Christ. The living Word.
MEDITATION: “Preparing for the Lord.” … Rev Simba
Pastoral Prayer (Unison)
God of Advent waiting and watching, we have come to you this day with different emotions. We come with the joy of Christmas promise, love and fellowship. We also come with concerns for family and friends; for world situations; for struggles in home, community, state, and nation. We feel powerless to affect any changes; we withdraw into ourselves, quick to criticize and slow to change our own behavior. Today you have called us to prepare ourselves to receive your gift in Jesus, the Prince of Peace. He will help us to become faithful disciples and servants. Our preparation needs to focus on our own attitudes and actions. We need to rid ourselves of hate, greed, apathy, anger, suspicion and all things that
weigh us down. We surrender our sin to you and open our hearts toyour absolute love and forgiveness. As we turn our lives to you, offering names and situations in prayers for your healing mercies, help us to remember that our own healing is vital. AMEN.
ANTHEM … Choir
OFFERING HYMN: VU# 221 Sing Praise to God Who Has Shaped
OFFERTORY PRAYER (Unison)
God of many names; we thank you for many blessings that we receive from your provisions. We offer part of the proceeds that you gave us. Accept what we offer and bless the giver. May these gifts be a witness to the world as they are used. In the name of the soon coming Jesus; Amen.
COMMUNION HYMN: VU# 477 “I Come With Joy”
CELEBRATING THE ADVENT COMMUNION
May God be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.
In the rich dark of winter, God makes an astounding promise:
“I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up.”
In the wilderness, a voice cries out, longing for the Refiner’s fire, repair, and renewal, the promised birth and rebirth of hope. Called to bear the weight and fruit of promise, Mary sings ancient trust—the song of generations— that God comes to fill the hungry and lift the humble.
She sings that love and truth will meet, that justice and peace will kiss. In the midst of uncertainty, Jesus assures his disciples: Just as the tree blooms, so the signs are clear that the kingdom of God is near. In the deep of our own winter, we look for them: bud of hope, branch of peace, sprig of joy, blossom of love.
While around us the snares of fear and conflict lie in wait of infant hope, you, O Wisdom, O Endless Love, O Radiant Dawn, are there, keeping vigil with us, in this season of expectation.
We gather at this table, praying that crooked ways be made straight, that valley’s peace be lifted up and mountain’s might brought low so that all God’s people might rejoice together, saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the one that comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!
We give thanks for the mystery and wonder revealed that first night, as humble people led by hope gathered in a quiet stable and were witness to your promise reborn. We give thanks for the blessing and love Jesus shared with all whom he met, in food and story. We remember that, on the night before he was handed over to die, Jesus broke bread with his friends, blessed it, gave thanks, and said, “Take, eat. This is my body, which I give for you. When you share it, remember me.”
We remember that he took the cup and, giving thanks, said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. When you drink it, remember me.”
Revealed in stable, cross, and empty tomb, we give thanks, O God, for your limitless love for all. With your people of all times and places, we await with hope the fulfillment of your vision for all creation.
Bless us, O God, and these your gifts. Encourage us to share your life and love, which make us, and the gifts we share, truly holy.
Transform us God, and your world, and bless your children: those who feel alone or afraid… those who whose souls and homes are broken by violence… those who will go hungry, thirsty, and cold tonight… those who long only to hear that they are loved… God made known in Jesus Christ, God Immanuel.
Hear our prayer, O God.
We pray these things, trusting in God’s faithfulness revealed: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
NEW CREED (The congregation stands)
We are not alone, we live in God’s world. We believe in God:
who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God. We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.
We are not alone. Thanks be to God.
BREAKING OF BREAD
Invitation to the Table
Sharing the Bread & Cup
Prayer after Communion
At this table, Christ is the host, welcoming all who hunger. At our tables, may Christ be our guest this day and always, that we might welcome hope, peace, joy, and love into our lives, and become hosts to God’s presence and people. God of Love, guide us to the stables of our world, where the lonely and longing gather. Lead us to the mangers of our time, where hope and renewal are born again. Make us heralds of your love and joy. Amen.
CLOSING HYMN: VU #7 Hope is A Star
We are immersed in preparations for our holiday celebrations. We are getting our homes ready, our gift-giving ready, meals and parties planned. In your mercy and grace, we go out with courage to prepare our hearts by changing the ways in which we have blocked God’s love and peace in us and in our actions and attitudes. Amen.
BENEDICTION … Minister
Prepare for the coming of the Lord! Make way in your hearts for love! Get rid of all anger and fear, for God is about to bring incredible light to the world! Give Him your Sin and you will get righteousness, joy, and peace. Go out as witnesses to God’s love.