Gathering Music: Campfire Book p. 16 “Peace Like a River” ~ Pastor Scott
Welcome and Announcements
Prelude: “Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming” 15th cent. German Carol arr. Phillip Keveren
Call to Worship
A voice cries in the wilderness, “prepare the way of the Lord;
Make God’s way clear.
Lift up every valley; lower every mountain.
For the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.”
Let us join together in this litany:
Lighting Advent Wreath Candles of Hope and Peace adapted from PCA-NZ Children’s Advent resources – used with permission.
Why do we light the Advent candles? The first candle is the candle of HOPE. Jesus is our hope. He died on the cross to save us and give us everlasting life. “The light of hope shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.”
We light this candle for hope (light the first candle).
The second candle is the candle of John the Baptist who remembered Isaiah’s prophecy of PEACE. For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given. And the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Jesus is our peace. His peace is deep within us, reaches out to friends and strangers and brings justice to our world.
We light this candle for peace (light the second candle).
The things we get for Christmas will not last as long as the things we get from Christmas. Children know we will finish Christmas treats, get bored with Christmas toys and grow out of Christmas clothes. But the things we get from Christ this Christmas and always -hope, peace, joy and love -will go with us all our life. Let us give thanks and pray together:
Dear God, thank you that even though there is no special star in the sky or angels singing, there is a real sense of your peace within us at Christmas time. Thank you that you are always with us sharing in our good and bad times and giving us your peace. Amen.
Hymn of Praise: #83 “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
Invitation to Healing
God does not want anyone to perish, but rather for all to come to repentance. Therefore, let us confess our sins, for God’s salvation is at hand.
Prayer of Wholeness
Faithful God we confess that we have not led lives of holiness. We suffer from impatience, apathy, and greed; we have not been at peace. We repent of these offenses and turn to you in love. Forgive our iniquity and pardon our sins, that we may walk in righteousness to the glory of your name.
Please continue in silent prayer, followed by prayerful song:
Advent Carol #92 “While We Are Waiting Come”
Assurance of God’s Presence and Passing of the Peace
Friends, believe this Good News: God is One and God is Three – Love constantly flowing in, out, and through; the gift of Jesus Christ for me and for you. For this we say: Thanks be to God!
Since God has loved us through Christ, let us love one another. Please share a sign of peace.
You are invited to share God’s Peace with whom you are worshiping.
Sung Response: Hymn #753 “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”
Celebrating Joys: Where we have seen God at work
Hymn #647 “Give Thanks”
Prayer of Illumination:
Holy God, our hope and strength, by the power of your Spirit prepare the way in our hearts for the coming of your Word, so that we may see the glorious signs of your promise fulfilled; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hebrew Prophet: Isaiah 40:1-11
“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”
Epistle Reading: 2 Peter 3:8-15a
“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:1-8
“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”
Reflection: “Moments Like These” ~ Pastor Scott Crane
Please spend several moments in silent reflection
RESPONSE TO THE WORD
Hymn of Response and Affirmation of Faith: #481 “I Believe in God …”
Feel free to change the text for more inclusive language, i.e.: “Maker” for “Father”
Intercessory Prayers of the People followed by the Lord’s Prayer
Call and response: “Lord in your mercy,” “Hear our prayers.”
Text for the Lord’s Prayer p. 35 (p.40, Español) “…debts…debtors…” in Hymnal
Invitation to Present Our Offerings
On this second Sunday of Advent, O God, whether we have much or only a little, we are grateful for what we have, and offer what we can give, to the glory of your name.
Members, friends, and guests: Church expenses total roughly $1900 a month. Thank you for your commitment and your generosity. Please make checks out to First Presbyterian Church of Trout Lake, PO Box 210, Trout Lake, WA 98650. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Membership inquiries.
Thanksgiving Offering with Poetry or Song: “Kneel the Wise Ones” ~ stc
CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
Invitation to the Lord’s Table
This is the joyful feast of the people of God!
People will come from north and south and from east and west to sit at table in the kingdom of God.
According to Luke, when our risen Lord was at table with his disciples, he took bread, blessed and broke, and gave it to them.
Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.
This is the Lord’s table. Our Savior invites those who trust him to share the feast that he has prepared.
The Lord be with you. And also with you. Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Your glory is a consuming fire; who can stand in your presence? Yet you have prepared the way for us, with a messenger of grace. You receive the humble offering of our lives as a precious gift.
Holy is your name.
Jesus Christ is our way in the wilderness: at his word, every valley is lifted and every mountain made low; in his body, all flesh shall see your saving power.
He calls us to share his words of love with the world.
Holy Spirit, enliven the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we share; bring to completion the good work that you began in us, and let our love for you, for one another, and for this your present world overflow in abundance. Therefore, with heavenly choirs and the faithful of every time and place, let us sing to the glory of God:
Hymn #562 “Holy, Holy, Holy”
We give you thanks, Holy God, for Jesus, who came to be your living Word, to baptize us with Spirit and fire, to feed the hungry, to humble the mighty, and to announce the good news of your coming realm. With thanksgiving, we remember the last supper when, “While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’” And so we pray with all the saints:
Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us – this bread, this cup, these people – Christ’s body and blood, given in love for the world. Make us one in the Spirit, one in the church, and one with Christ our Lord. Make us gentle, joyful, thankful people, serving our neighbors, worshiping you alone. Keep us in the peace of Christ until you gather us at your table in glory.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, now and forever.
All has been prepared and the table awaits. The gifts of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God!
Please break bread with whom you are worshiping; offer one another Christ in bread and cup.
Prayer following Communion
Let us pray together:
We give you thanks, Lord Jesus Christ, for the gifts of grace we have received from your hand. Now go with us into our homes and communities to reflect your light, lifting up those who are laid low, showing mercy to all in need of human kindness, feeding the minds, bodies, and hearts of all those who are hungry. In your name we pray, Amen.
Closing Hymn #87 “Comfort, Comfort Now My People”
Blessing and Charge
Beloved: The Day of the Lord is coming, therefore strive to live in peace, for God’s salvation is near. “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the [snow] fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may you be held in the palm of God’s hand.”
Congregational Song “Let There Be Peace on Earth”
Questions for Reflection
The prophet Isaiah announces good news: God comforts and strengthens a wearied and exiled people in preparation for their homeward journey. Mark’s Gospel announces the good news of God in Jesus Christ: God comes to turn the world right side up and baptize us with the Holy Spirit. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Messiah, what is the beginning of God’s good news in your life, and how will it change the way you approach this season of expectation and hope?
Household Prayer: Morning & Evening
Lord, how I love this season of new beginnings, the opportunity to turn toward you and start again. Empower me to be a messenger of good news, and a leveling influence along the way, as I seek to be one with you in smoothing out the rough places I encounter. Comfort me, strengthen me, and encourage me throughout this day. Where I flourish, help me give you thanks; when I err, help me admit fault and ask your forgiveness. And tonight when I lay me down to sleep, may I rest in peace. In your name I pray, Amen.