Bulletin 12/2: First Sunday in Advent
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 First Sunday of Advent, in which we recall the hope we have in Christ. God told Abraham that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed, because he trusted and put his hope in God. The Old Testament spoke of the coming of Christ, of how a Savior would be born, a king in the line of King David. He would rule the world wisely and bless all the nations. We too believe in God’s promise to send Jesus again to this world to establish his kingdom upon the earth.
(The first candle is lit.)
Hope is like a light shining in a dark place. As we look at the light of this candle we celebrate the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
Let us pray:
God of Abraham and Sarah and all the Patriarchs of old, you are our Father too. Your love is revealed to us in Jesus Christ, Son of God, and Son of David. Help us in preparing to celebrate his birth, to make our hearts ready and to place our hope in you. Help us today and every day to worship you, to hear your word, and to do your will by sharing your hope with others. We ask it in the name of the one who was born in Bethlehem. Amen.
HYMN #644 RED Jesus, Joy of Our Desiring
Jesus, joy of our desiring, holy wisdom, love most bright; drawn by thee, our souls aspiring soar to uncreated light. Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, with the fire of life’s impassioned, striving still to truth unknown, soaring, dying round thy throne.
Through the way where hope is guiding, hark, what peaceful music rings; where the flock, in thee confiding, drink of joy from deathless springs. Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure; theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure. Thou dost ever lead thine own in the love of joys unknown.
Celebrant Blessed be the one, holy, and living God.
People Glory to God for ever and ever.
Beloved God, as we approach your Presence, guide and stir us with your Holy Spirit, that we may become one body, one spirit in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
SONG OF PRAISE #72 BLUE Hark the Glad Sound v. 1
Hark! The glad sound! The Savior comes, the Savior promised long; let every heart prepare a throne, and every voice a song.
THE COLLECT OF THE DAY
Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Let us pray.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
A Reading from Jeremiah 33:14-16
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”
Reader The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
Let us say together Psalm 25:1-10
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
HYMN #427 BLUE When Morning Gilds the Skies, v. 1-3
When morning gilds the skies, my heart, awaking, cries, may Jesus Christ be praised! When evening shadows fall, this rings my curfew call, may Jesus Christ be praised!
When mirth for music longs, this is my song of songs: may Jesus Christ be praised! God’s holy house of prayer hath none that can compare with: Jesus Christ be praised!
No lovelier antiphon in all high heaven is known than, Jesus Christ be praised! There to th’eternal Word th’eternal psalm is heard: may Jesus Christ be praised!
THE GOSPEL Luke 21:25-36
Celebrant The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Jesus said, “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Celebrant The Gospel of the Lord.
People Praise to you, Lord Christ.
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).
Celebrant 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 you, forgive you all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ. Strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.
Celebrant 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 #206 RED I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus. God set the stars to give light to the world. The star of my life is Jesus.
Refrain: In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.
I want to see the brightness of God. I want to look at Jesus. Clear sun of righteousness, shine on my path, and show me the way to the Father. (Refrain)
I’m looking for the coming of Christ. I want to be with Jesus. When we have run with patience the race, we shall know the joy of Jesus. (Refrain)
Celebrant 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 #56 BLUE O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, v. 1-4
O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.
Refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily; to us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go. (Refrain)
O come, O come, thou Lord of might, who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height in ancient times didst give the law, in cloud, and majesty, and awe. (Refrain)
O come, thou Branch of Jesse’s tree, free them from Satan’s tyranny that trust thy mighty power to save, and give them victory o’er the grave. (Refrain)
Celebrant Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia, Alleluia!
People Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia!