Liturgy: Advent 2018, Week 3

ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING:

Reader One: The prophet Isaiah spoke these words of wisdom and hope to us:
God is indeed my salvation;
    I will trust and won’t be afraid.
Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my shield;
    he has become my salvation.”
You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation.
And you will say on that day:
“Thank the Lord; call on God’s name;
    proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples;
    declare that God’s name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things;
    proclaim this throughout all the earth.”
Shout and sing for joy, city of Zion,
    because the holy one of Israel is great among you.                                                                   (~Isaiah 12:2-6)

Reader Two: As the days grow shorter and nights grow longer one can’t help but notice how bright the star shines in the distant sky.  Look how it calls to us! Look how it signals to us that something amazing is about to happen!

Reader One: It is in the darkest hour of the night that the star shines the brightest. How long had the far-distant sages studied the night sky? But it was only on the darkest of nights that they saw the twinkling on the horizon and knew that the world was about to change.

Reader Two: What joy must have flooded their hearts when they realized that they would see this miracle with their own eyes! What joy must have flooded Mary’s trembling heart when she heard the frightening, but wonderful news that she would be the mother to the coming Messiah! What joy should flood our hearts as we ponder the promise of a Savior fulfilled and his promised return.

(Light TWO PURPLE and ONE PINK candles)

Reader One: Let us pray: Almighty God, creator of the brightest day and the darkest night, our hearts are leaping with joy today as we remember the love You have shown your children, a love that took on flesh and came down to dwell with us. We wait with joyful hearts for our Savior’s return and the start of a new age. Amen.

CALL TO WORSHIP:

Rejoice, people of God! Wherever you may be, rejoice!
Our hearts burst with joy! The Lord has removed our judgments.

Don’t fear, people of God. Look! The Lord is in your midst.
Our hearts burst with joy! We will fear no evil.

The time has come, people of God, to rejoice!
Our hearts burst with joy! God will hear the pleas of the weak. God will gather the outcast. God will change our shame into celebration.

Rejoice, people of God. Rejoice!
Our hearts burst with joy! We will praise our God forever and ever. 

LITANY OF REPENTANCE:

Are you only here out of fear of the judgment that is about to come?
Please, tell us what we should do!

Let your lives bear the fruit of changed hearts. Don’t rely on titles, or church rosters, or family names to save you.
Please, tell us what we should do!

Be generous with what you have. Love your neighbors. Be fair and just. Do not be cruel or allow your life to crush another.
We cry out for salvation. May our lives be changed. May we be a people who live according to God’s will and justice. Amen.

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING: The Magnificat

DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING: Philippians 4:4-7

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