* Those willing and able please stand
Gathering Music: Hymn #82 “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
Welcome and Announcements
Prelude: “There Is a Longing” by Anne Quigley
* Call to Worship & Lighting of the Second Advent Candle of Peace
A voice cries, “Prepare the way of the Lord”
Lift every valley; lift every voice.
A choir sings in the silence,
“Come, O Prince of Peace.”
Every valley shall be filled, every heart shall be made whole,
For Peace is stronger than turmoil, and love is louder than hate.
As we light our second candle, we pray for the holy peace of God.
Come now, O Child of Mary. Come, O Prince of Peace.
Let us pray together:
* Prayer of the Day
Covenant God, you send us messengers to cleanse and refine us for your coming. Help us endure the mirror of the prophets’ message, that we may see you when you suddenly appear among us; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
* Hymn of Praise: #106 “Prepare the Way, O Zion”
* Invitation to Healing
In God, we find light for our darkness, and through that light we discover the things that separate us from God and one another. In this discovery we are invited to offer ourselves to God, that we might receive healing wholeness. Let us pray together, saying:
* Prayer of Wholeness
Refining God, you have sent us prophets and we have not listened. We have not always determined what is best or made way for your reign in our lives, our church, and our society. Forgive us, we pray, and renew your covenant within us, for the sake of Christ our Lord, Amen.
* Advent Response #103: “Come Now, O Prince of Peace”
* 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; the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
And also with you!
Please share a sign of peace with those worshiping with you.
* Sung Response Hymn #658: “God is So Good”
Celebrating Our Joys & Where We Have Seen God at Work
Sung Response Hymn #654 “In the Lord I’ll Be Ever Thankful”
Prayer of Illumination:
O God, wash and anoint us with your word of truth. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Hebrew Scripture Reading: Malachi 3:1-4 p. 1178 OT
“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”
Epistle Reading: Philippians 1:3-11 p. 264 NT
“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”
Gospel Reading: Luke 3:1-6 p. 82 NT
“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”
Meditation: “TL 12-05-2021 A Binding for Peace“ ~ Pastor Scott
RESPONSE TO THE WORD
* Hymn of Response: Hymn #373 “O Day of Peace”
* Affirmation of Faith: ~ Adapted from section 4, A Brief Statement of Faith, PC(USA)
“We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture, engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism, feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church.”
Intercessory Prayers of the People
Call and response: “Lord in your mercy,” “Hear our prayers.”
Celebrating the Lord’s Supper
Invitation to Present Our Offerings
We are called by God to present a harvest of righteousness – not by virtue of our own works, but by the grace of the One who began a good work in us. Let us bring our tithes and offerings to the Lord.
Offertory: “Christmas Pastorale” by Francis Williams
* Doxology Hymn #608
* Prayer of Dedication
God of all righteousness, receive these gifts of gratitude, the offerings of our lives. Purify them with your refining fire so that they may serve your purposes and shine with your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught his disciples to pray, saying:
* The Lord’s Prayer (…debts…debtors…)
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.
How can we thank you, O God? For sun and moon and stars, for breath and life and all things good, for your steadfast promise and your faithful love, for the day that is surely coming when all things will be made new. With saints, with angels, and with the whole creation, we join the ancient and eternal hymn:
Hymn #552 “Holy, Holy, Holy”
Together, we continue:
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. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Come to me and never be hungry.”
We remember how, when the hour had come, Jesus took his place at the table with the apostles and spoke these words: “Take, eat. This is my body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Jesus also said: “I am the vine, you are the branches.” “Believe in me and never thirst.”
After supper he poured a cup and spoke these words: “This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.”
With thanks and praise we offer ourselves to you, sharing this holy meal, remembering Christ’s dying and rising, and praying: Come Lord Jesus!
Hymn #553: “Christ Has Died; Christ Is Risen”
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.
Even now, a voice is crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, now and forever; and all God’s people said: Amen!
All has been prepared and the table awaits. These are the gifts of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God!
Communion of the People
Zoom participants are invited to share your own bread and cup together at home. When all have finished partaking of the sacraments, all may join:
Hymn of Reflection: #507 “Come to the Table of Grace”
Prayer following Communion
Let us pray together:
God of Hope and Peace, we give you thanks that you have given us this foretaste of the justice, righteousness, and peace of your promised new creation. Strengthen us with this heavenly food as we seek to serve your holy realm. Lead us to live in joyful expectation of the coming again in the glory of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Closing Hymn: #366 “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”
Trust in the Lord and know that God is at work within you.
“Deep peace be with you…” Friends, this worship has ended, let our service begin!
Congregational Song: “Let There Be Peace on Earth”
Lyrics found on the inside front cover of the hymnal.
Bathrooms and a diaper changing station are located in the Fellowship Hall. Please join us in the Fellowship Hall for refreshments following worship.
Questions for Reflection:
The prophet Malachi says that God is “like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap” (Mal. 3:2) Reflect on events of the past year. How has God been working to refine and purify your life or your community of faith?
Household Prayer: Morning & Evening
Blessed are you, Lord God: by your tender mercy the dawn breaks upon us this morning, and evening’s twilight stills our daily flurry. Guide our feet in paths of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.