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Order of Worship: December 13

Order of Worship for Sundays of Advent: Dec. 13

Lighting of the Advent Candle: sing verse 3 of 240 Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, whose forgiveness is sure and whose steadfast love endures forever. Amen.

Together let us honestly and humbly confess that we have not lived as God desires.

Loving and forgiving God,

we confess that we are held captive by sin. In spite of our best efforts, we have gone astray. We have not welcomed the stranger; we have not loved our neighbor;

we have not been Christ to one another. Restore us, O God. Wake us up and turn us from our sin. Renew us each day in the light of Christ. Amen.

People of God, hear this glad news: by God’s endless grace your sins are forgiven, and you are free—free from all that holds you back and free to live in the peaceable realm of God.

May you be strengthened in God’s love, comforted by Christ’s peace, and accompanied with the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Gathering Hymn: 264 Prepare the Royal Highway

Prayer of the Day

Dec. 13: Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the words of your prophets, that, anointed by your Spirit, we may testify to your light; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

We Hear From God’s Word

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

1The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,   because the Lord has anointed me;  he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,   to bind up the brokenhearted,  to proclaim liberty to the captives,   and release to the prisoners; 2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,   and the day of vengeance of our God;   to comfort all who mourn; 3to provide for those who mourn in Zion—   to give them a garland instead of ashes,  the oil of gladness instead of mourning,   the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.  They will be called oaks of righteousness,   the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. 4They shall build up the ancient ruins,   they shall raise up the former devastations;  they shall repair the ruined cities,   the devastations of many generations. 8For I the Lord love justice,   I hate robbery and wrongdoing;  I will faithfully give them their recompense,   and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 9Their descendants shall be known among the nations,   and their offspring among the peoples;  all who see them shall acknowledge   that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. 10I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,   my whole being shall exult in my God;  for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,   he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,  as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,   and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11For as the earth brings forth its shoots,   and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,  so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise   to spring up before all the nations.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil. 23May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

John 1:6-8, 19-28

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 19This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23He said,  “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,  ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said. 24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

Children’s Message


Hymn of the Day: 249 On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry

Statement of Faith Apostle’s Creed

Prayers of the People L: Hear us, O God. ALL: Your mercy is great.

God of power and might, shine your radiance and come quickly to this weary world. Hear our prayers for everyone in need.

A brief silence.

God of preachers and messengers, you have entrusted your church with the work of proclaiming good news. Strengthen the witness of bishops, pastors, deacons, church musicians, lay leaders, and all people who contribute their prayers and talents to public worship (the congregation’s worship leaders may be named). Embed your word in their hearts. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of every living creature, you announce the year of your favor for all of creation. Extend your kindness and relief to endangered animals and plants. Strengthen the human beings who rely on the rhythms of nature to make their living. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of all peoples and nations, you plant us as your oaks of righteousness and ask us to care for one another. Be present with the leaders of every nation as they govern. Give them a spirit of righteousness, that your goodness and mercy is revealed through their actions. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of exiles and wanderers, you repair what was once destroyed. We pray for people who have been displaced from their homes by fire, flood, earthquake, or storm (survivors of recent natural disasters may be named). Support the work of Lutheran World Relief, Lutheran Disaster Response, and all disaster relief organizations in their recovery efforts. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of the powerful and helpless, you clothe us with strength when our spirits are weak and weary. Bestow your spirit upon this congregation and empower us to comfort the people who turn to us in times of need. Make your church a place of refuge and healing. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

God of sinners and saints, you offer joy even in the midst of our grief. We are grateful for the beloved, imperfect people whose lives testified to your radiant love (especially Lucy, martyr of the church). Anoint all who mourn with the oil of gladness. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Draw near to us, O God, and receive our prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


Offering & Special Music & Announcements


The Creator of the stars bless your Advent waiting, the long-expected Savior fill you with love, the unexpected Spirit guide your journey, now and forever. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Sending Hymn: 239 Hark, the Glad Sound!


L: Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord. ALL: Thanks be to God.

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