First Sunday in Advent
December 3, 2017
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 #66 BLUE Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art: dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver, born a child, and yet a king, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all-sufficient merit raise us to thy glorious throne.
THE WORD OF GOD
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 Isaiah 64:1-9
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— 2as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 4From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. 5You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself, we transgressed.
6We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. 8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.
Reader The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
Let us say together Psalm 80
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth 2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might, and come to save us!
3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
4O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
5You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.
7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
HYMN #597 BLUE O Day of Peace
O day of peace that dimly shines through all our hopes and prayers and dreams, guide us to justice, truth, and love, delivered from our selfish schemes. May swords of hate fall from our hands, our hearts from envy find release, till by God’s grace our warring world shall see Christ’s promised reign of peace.
Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, nor shall the fierce devour the small; as beasts and cattle calmly graze, a little child shall lead them all. Then enemies shall learn to love, all creatures find their true accord; the hope of peace shall be fulfilled, for all the earth shall know the Lord.
THE GOSPEL Mark 13:24-37
Celebrant The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Jesus said: “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
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
With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, have mercy.”
For the peace from above, for the loving kindness of God, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For the peace of the world, for the unity of all peoples, and for all the leaders of the nations and all those in authority, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For Eugene and Chilton, our bishops, Neil our priest, and for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For the community of Springwell, the city of Baltimore, those who live here, and their families, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For all who endure illness, oppression, poverty, or any other suffering; for Pastor Neil’s pastoral and healthcare ministry, and for other caregivers, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For the communities of St. John’s Mt. Washington and St Mark’s on the Hill, Pikesville as we seek a special relationship with one another through the Two Saints Collaborative, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all refugees, that God might bring them to a place of peace and safety, we pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
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). Let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
Life-giving God, heal our lives, that we may acknowledge your wonderful deeds and offer you thanks from generation to generation through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 #140 RED Great is Thy Faithfulness
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; there is no shadow of turning with thee; thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou has been, thou forever wilt be.
Refrain: Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. (Refrain)
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! (Refrain)
PRESENTATION HYMN #400 RED Come Thou Fount v. 1
Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.
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: It is indeed right and salutary … (preface continues)
…we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
SANCTUS S-125 BLUE
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.
And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say:
THE LORD’S PRAYER (traditional)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
PRE-COMMUNION ANTHEM S-154 BLUE
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
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.
THE THANKSGIVING 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 #718 RED Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending v. 1, 2, 4
Lo! he comes, with clouds descending, once for favored sinners slain; thousand, thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! God appears on earth to reign.
Every eye shall now behold him, robed in dreadful majesty; those who set at naught and sold him, pierced and nailed him to the tree, deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see.
Yea, amen! let all adore thee, high on thine eternal throne; Savior, take the power and glory; claim the kingdom for thine own: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Everlasting God, come down!
Celebrant Go in peace to love and serve the Lord by loving and serving each other and the world.
People Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia!