Bulletin 12/16: Third Sunday of Advent – Gaudete Sunday
PRELUDE MUSIC (a time for silent reflection)
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT WREATH
Leader Light and peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
Today is the Third Sunday of Advent and we will light the Candle of Joy. Last Sunday we lit the Candle of Peace. We have lighted it and the Candle of Hope again as we remember Jesus, born in Bethlehem, our hope and our peace.
Today we light the Third Candle of Advent, the Candle of Joy. In their old age God gave to Zechariah and Elizabeth, to their joy, a son called John. John is known as the patron saint of spiritual joy because he prepared the way for Jesus and the true joy of repentance. Speaking to the people bravely in the desert, John taught that we should share what we have with others, treat each other kindly and show God’s love. He did this because he cared for people and wanted them to repent and find God’s forgiveness.
(the third candle is lighted)
Joy is like a candle shining in a dark place. As we look at the light of this candle we celebrate the joy we have in Christ’s guarantee of salvation.
Let us pray:
Lord God, Your witness John the Baptist grew up strong in spirit and prepared people for the coming of the Lord. He proclaimed the true joy of repentance and laying down the burden of sin. May we, too, experience the joy of turning toward Jesus, and spread the good news to the world. As Christmas draws closer day by day, help us to be ready to welcome him. Amen.
HYMN #616 BLUE Hail, to the Lord’s Anointed
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, great David’s greater Son! Hail, in the time appointed, his reign on earth begun! He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free; to take away transgression, and rule in equity.
He comes with succor speedy to those who suffer wrong, to help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong; to give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light, whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in his sight.
He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth, and love, joy, hope, like flowers, spring in his path to birth: before him on the mountains shall peace, the herald, go; and righteousness in fountains from hill to valley flow.
Kings shall bow down before him, and gold and incense bring; all nations shall adore him, his praise all people sing; to him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend; his kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end.
O’er every foe victorious, he on his throne shall rest; from age to age more glorious, all blessing and all blest: the tide of time shall never his covenant remove; his Name shall stand forever, his changeless name of Love.
OPENING SENTENCES AND COLLECT OF THE DAY
In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Let us pray.
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
A Reading from Zephaniah 3:14-20
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord.
Reader The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
Let us say together Canticle 9
Surely, it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
HYMN #8 BLUE Morning Has Broken
Morning has broken like the first morning; blackbird has spoken like the first bird. Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning! Praise for them, springing fresh from the Word!
Sweet the rain’s new fall sunlit from heaven, like the first dewfall on the first grass. Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden, sprung in completeness where his feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning born of the one light Eden saw play! Praise with elation, praise every morning, God’s re-creation of the new day!
A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 3:7-18
John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.
Reader The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
SERMON Pastor Neil
THE NICENE CREED (please stand)
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
In readiness and joyful expectation of Christ’s reign of peace, let us pray for our needs and the needs of others.
For the peace of the world, our unity in Christ, and peace among the peoples of the earth. For the leaders of the nations and all in authority. Come, O Lord, and save us.
For the church throughout the world and the faithful in every place. For Eugene and Chilton our bishops, for Neil our pastor, for deacons and all who minister in Christ. Come, O Lord, and save us.
For all who endure illness, oppression, poverty, or any other suffering; for the dead and the dying; for Pastor Neil’s pastoral and healthcare ministry, and for other caregivers.
Come, O Lord, and save us.
We especially pray for those suffering from human rights abuses; because of natural and humanity’s disasters, and for those we name now… (please add your petitions). Come, O Lord, and save us.
Bring together those who have been divided by misunderstanding, hatred, and mistrust. Heal the divisions in our nation. Give wisdom and good courage to our leaders.
Come, O Lord, and save us.
For all our blessings which we name now…(the people may add their thanksgivings). For ourselves, our families and companions, and those we love. Come, O Lord, and save us.
Give us ears to hear, O God, and eyes to watch, that we may know your presence in our midst during this holy season of joy as we anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us confess our sins to God (Silence may be kept).
Officiant and People
God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ. Strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
Officiant The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you.
[Please greet one another in the name of the Lord.]
Let us with gladness present the offerings and gifts of our life and labor to the Lord. [Please be seated]
HYMN #529 BLUE In Christ There is No East or West
In Christ there is no East or West, in him no South or North, but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.
Join hands, disciples of the faith, whate’er your race may be! Who serves my Father as his child is surely kin to me.
In Christ now meet both East and West, in him meet South and North, all Christly souls are one in him, throughout the whole wide earth.
Please stand as you are able.
PRESENTATION HYMN #63 BLUE O Heavenly Word, v. 1-2
(Sung to tune of “Old 100th”)
O heavenly Word, eternal Light, begotten of the Father’s might, who in these later days wast born for blessing to a world forlorn;
pour light upon us from above, and fire our hearts with ardent love, that, as we hear thy truth today, all wrong desires may burn away.
THE HOLY COMMUNION
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Lift up your hearts.
People We lift them to the Lord.
Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Celebrant will chant:
It is indeed right and salutary … (preface continues)
…we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of the universe and giver of life. You formed us in your own image and called us to dwell in your infinite love. You gave the world into our care that we might be your faithful stewards and show forth your bountiful grace.
But we failed to honor your image in one another and in ourselves; we would not see your goodness in the world around us; and so we violated your creation, abused one another, and rejected your love. Yet you never ceased to care for us, and prepared the way of salvation for all people.
Through Abraham and Sarah and Hagar, you called us into covenant with you. You delivered us from slavery, sustained us in the wilderness, and raised up prophets to renew your promise of salvation. Then, in the fullness of time, you sent your eternal Word, made mortal flesh in Jesus. Born into the human family, and dwelling among us, he revealed your glory.
Giving himself freely to death on the cross, he triumphed over evil, opening the way of freedom and life.
On the night before he died for us, our Savior Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his friends, and said: “Take, eat: This is my Body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said: “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Remembering his death and resurrection, we now present to you from your creation this bread and this wine. By your Holy Spirit may they be for us the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Grant that we who share these gifts may be filled with the Holy Spirit and live as Christ’s Body in the world. Bring us into the everlasting heritage of your daughters and sons, that with blessed John and all your saints, past, present, and yet to come, we may praise your Name for ever.
Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
PRE-COMMUNION ANTHEM S-164
Jesus, Lamb of God: have mercy on us. Jesus, bearer of our sins: have mercy on us. Jesus, redeemer, redeemer of the world: give us your peace, give us your peace.
The gifts of God for the people of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.
WELCOME TO THE TABLE
All are welcome to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, without exception. The usher will direct you when to come forward (those in the back of the room come first). Cup your hands together to receive the bread and when the wine is offered, either dip your wafer in the wine or assist the chalice bearer to guide the cup to your lips. Alternately, you may cross your hands over your chest to indicate you wish a blessing from the priest. The elements will be brought to those who are unable to come forward.
Loving God, we give you thanks for restoring us in your image and nourishing us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Now send us forth a people forgiven, healed, renewed; that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen.
Sisters and brothers, we go out into the world in peace, as part of God’s beloved community. May God help us all to be of good courage, hold on to what is good, return to no one an evil for an evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, aid the suffering, honor all people, and let our gentleness be known by everyone. May God, who raised our Lord Jesus from death, lift us up and restore us to wholeness. And may God bless us all, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Amen.
HYMN #521 RED I Want Jesus to Walk with Me
I want Jesus to walk with me; I want Jesus to walk with me. All along my pilgrim journey, Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.
In my trials, Lord, walk with me; in my trials, Lord, walk with me. When my heart is almost breaking, Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.
When I’m troubled, Lord, walk with me; when I’m troubled, Lord, walk with me. When my head is bowed in sorrow, Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.
Celebrant Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia, Alleluia!
People Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia!