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Order of Worship: December 6

Lighting of the Advent Candle: sing verse 2 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: 254 Come, thou Long-expected Jesus

Prayer of the Day

Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming strengthen us to serve you with purified lives; 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 40:1-11


1Comfort, O comfort my people,   says your God. 2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,   and cry to her  that she has served her term,   that her penalty is paid,  that she has received from the Lord’s hand   double for all her sins. 3A voice cries out:  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,   make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be lifted up,   and every mountain and hill be made low;  the uneven ground shall become level,   and the rough places a plain. 5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,   and all people shall see it together,   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 6A voice says, “Cry out!”   And I said, “What shall I cry?”  All people are grass,   their constancy is like the flower of the field. 7The grass withers, the flower fades,   when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;   surely the people are grass. 8The grass withers, the flower fades;   but the word of our God will stand forever. 9Get you up to a high mountain,   O Zion, herald of good tidings;  lift up your voice with strength,   O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,   lift it up, do not fear;  say to the cities of Judah,   “Here is your God!” 10See, the Lord God comes with might,   and his arm rules for him;  his reward is with him,   and his recompense before him. 11He will feed his flock like a shepherd;   he will gather the lambs in his arms,  and carry them in his bosom,   and gently lead the mother sheep.


2 Peter 3:8-15a

8Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. 11Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. 14Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15aand regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.


Mark 1:1-8

1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,  “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,   who will prepare your way; 3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:   ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,   make his paths straight,’ 4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Children’s Message

Sermon

Hymn of the Day: 256 Comfort, Comfort Now My People

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, comfort your people and come quickly to this weary world. Hear our prayers for everyone in need.

A brief silence.

Faithful God, you teach us to wait for you with faithfulness and patience. Sustain and support us in our doubts and questions. Nurture our faith as we discern and enact your mission. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Loving God, you set the stars in the sky and breathe life into the earth. Renew the face of creation where it is in need of your healing touch. Mend the wounds of environmental damage and restore balance to ecosystems so that all creation can declare your praise. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Steadfast God, you never tire of seeking justice. Where people suffer from discrimination, judgment, and injustice, speak words of truth and comfort. We pray especially for . . . (current local, national, or international issues of peace or justice may be named). Lead us toward a world where faithfulness will sprout underfoot and righteousness rain down from above. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Leading God, you ask us to make uneven ground smooth. Make even the disparities between your people. Sustain and support people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Accompany disability advocates who work for a world accessible to all. Teach us to celebrate the great diversity in our midst. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Tender God, you know sorrow and joy alike. We pray for those in our families and congregation who are not joyful in this holiday season. Comfort those who grieve, be a companion to all who are lonely, tend those who are sick or struggling with depression, and gather all people in your healing embrace. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

Eternal God, we give thanks for the saints who have prepared your way in the wilderness and taught us to continue their faithful work (especially Nicholas of Myra). Make their generous lives an example for all. 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.

Amen.

Offering & Special Music & Announcements

Today is Lorna Martin’s 90th birthday. She is a member at Grace. Let’s sing “Happy Birthday” to her.

Blessing

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: 253 He Came Down

Benediction

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


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