December 13 Worship

3rd Sunday of Advent

 

Download the Worship Bulletin Here

 

We Gather      

 

CENTERING WORDS

What if we live in a constant state of preparation 

for something great to happen?  What if we truly believe God’s reign of justice will come?

 

PRELUDE  

 

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH

We light this candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ, who is called the Son of the Most High,

and of whose kingdom there will be no end.

About the hour of Christ’s coming no one knows; therefore keep awake, for you do not know when the time will come. Hear the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:  Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

 

[the third candle is lit]

 

With John the Baptist we testify to Christ the light, so that all might believe through him. 

Heaven and earth will pass away, but the Word of God endures forever.

 

ADVENT HYMN  No. 88

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel  

 

(Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to meditate on verses 1, 2 & 7 below.)

 

O come, O come, Emmanuel,

and ransom captive Israel,

that mourns in lonely exile here

until the Son of God appear.

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.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

O come, Desire of nations, bind

all peoples in one heart and mind;

bid envy, strife, and discord cease;

fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

CALL TO PRAYERS

God's promise to us is eternal. God wishes to bless us with hope, with joy, with life. But our desires lead us to reject God and these blessings. Let us confess how, too often, we choose the path of tears, rather than the joy which can lead us to God's heart.

 

PRAYERS OF CONFESSION & INTERCESSION

Spirit of God, we give you thanks for drawing near, for touching the world in the savior’s birth. 

Help us draw near to you, as we prepare our hearts and our world for the justice and peace you bring. 

Guide our preparations for Christmas, as we share the good news with those who suffer, and as we offer our friendship to those who are alone. 

Move within our hearts, as we make a way for your coming, by forgiving others as we have been forgiven. Come, Spirit of God; be born in us anew, that we may live in your mercy and your grace.

 

Silence

 

God of the prophets, we give thanks for the voices that cry out and demand our attention. They call us to put our trust and hope in you. 

Forgive us when we close our eyes to your vision, 

and when we stop our ears to your promise. 

Heal our weakness when we give up on ourselves, 

on one another, and on you. 

Free us from hopeless living, that we may joyfully love and serve others in your holy name.

 

Silence

 

ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US

Know that we are forgiven in Christ’s name. May Love live in us and through us, that all may know God’s peace.

 

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. It is to this peace that we are called as members of a single body. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

And also with you.

 

We Reflect

 

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE

 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Speak to us, Lord. Speak to us in the waiting, the watching, the hoping, the longing, the sorrow, the sighing, the rejoicing. Speak to us by your Word in these Advent days, and walk with us until the day of your coming. Amen.

 

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

 

SCRIPTURE LESSON

John 1:6-8, 19-28

 

SERMON  The Light of the World

Rev. Kathryn R. Mustaro

We Respond

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Lord in your mercy/in thanksgiving,

Hear our prayer.

 

LORD’S PRAYER

 

OUR GIFTS OF SACRIFICE and THANKSGIVING  

Invitation

We would not steal for ourselves what God has entrusted to us for the benefit of our neighbor. We would not claim as our own what God has loaned to us for our stewardship in this lifetime. Therefore, we bring our offerings to God in joyful trust and service.

 

Thank you for sending your offerings. They make a great difference to our church’s work in the world.

  

Musical Meditation 

 

Prayer of Dedication 

Generous God, your love renews us and restores our strength. 

With gratitude, we offer you a portion of what you have given to us. 

Receive our gifts, our prayers, and our service, that your church may become a source of hope for the world. Amen.

 

We Are Sent 

 

ADVENT HYMN No. 163

Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice  

 

(Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to meditate on verses 1 & 3 below.)

 

Wild and lone the prophet's voice

echoes through the desert still,

calling us to make a choice,

bidding us to do God's will:

"Turn from sin and be baptized;

cleanse your heart and mind and soul.

Quitting all the sins you prized,

yield your life to God's control.

 

With such preaching, stark and bold,

John proclaimed salvation near,

and his timeless warnings hold

words of hope to all who hear.

So we dare to journey on,

led by faith through ways untrod,

till we come at last like John

to behold the Lamb of God.

 

BENEDICTION

 

POSTLUDE        


All songs not in the public domain are used by permission of CCLI #1124594.

ABOUT US

We believe all persons are MINISTERS: EACH AND EVERY ONE. With God's grace, we seek to be an open and affirming congregation - one that includes all persons.

ADDRESS

57 Sand Hills Road

Kendall Park, NJ 08824

732-297-9182

office@gracepcsb.org