Worship Leader: Barb DeJeet, LLWL Music Director: Tim Hallman
Father Mike Read
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, DECEMBER 3, 2023
Psalm 104: 19 “You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows it’s time for setting.”
Welcome / Announcements
Lighting Of Christ Candle
Advent 1 Reading:
Advent has arrived.
We enter into the dance of dark and light.
Imagine a lantern, black and bold metal, carrying a candle.
The light dances with the dark.
Darkness shelters the light.
Light bends and bows to the darkness.
And the beauty of the dance astounds us.
Light and dark, friends and companions.
One cannot exist without the other.
And out of the dance of dark and light bursts forth hope: the hope of God revealed.
May hope dance among us, the hope we know through Jesus.
light one blue candle)
Give me oil in my lamp, let the dark and light dance.
Give me oil in my lamp I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp, let the dark and light dance.
Let the dark and light dance today.
Hope is coming. Hope is coming.
Hope is coming on Christmas Day.
Christ is coming. Christ is coming.
Christ is coming, shout “Hooray!”
We gather this morning, God, waiting, anticipating. But we’re not even sure what we are waiting for anymore. Yet we are here, ready to receive, to search, to ponder, and simply to be still in anticipation of something that will happen, that is happening among us now. Make us aware of the holy mystery that surrounds us always and keep us moving toward a deeper relationship with you. AMEN.
As we come to this table, we are reminded that this is the table of Jesus Christ, a banquet prepared for everyone.
All who seek to be nourished and sustained in the journey of faith, all who seek wholeness and compassionate paths to peace and justice.
God be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift our hearts in prayer.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is good to give God thanks and praise.
We praise you that you everlasting light is shown to us in the womb and tomb, in cradle and cross, in tenderness and compassion.
We join in the Advent prayer of all your people,
“O come, Emmanuel.”
And as we wait and watch for your coming among us, we proclaim your goodness.
Hymn: VU 1 “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
Gracious God, Breath of peace, Source of love, we pray for your Spirit.
Make us, while many, one
Make us, though broken, whole.
Make us, despite death, alive.
And so, we pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, come.
And so, we join with our siblings around the world in the prayer of Jesus:
Sharing Of The Bread And Cup
The body of Christ,
The bread of life.
The lifeblood of Christ,
The cup of blessings.
Let us eat and drink together for our strengthening in the faith, and for the sake of the world.
(Communion is served)
Prayer After Communion:
We thank you, God, for breaking into our world and pouring into our lives and our experiences.
We thank you, God, for this meal of thanksgiving and the stories of love, grace and hope that it tells. AMEN
Anthem: “Only a Baby Came”
Isaiah 64: 1-9, Psalm 80: 1-7, 17-19, Mark 13: 3-9
A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah - Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly. We are constant sinners; how can people like us be saved? We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us awy like the wind. Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins. And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. Don’t be so angry with us, Lord. Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people. Isaiah 64:1-9
Psalm - Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; *shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
2 In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, * stir up your strength and come to help us.
3 Restore us, O God of hosts; *show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
4 O Lord God of hosts, *how long will you be angered despite the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears; * you have given them bowls of tears to drink.
6 You have made us the derision of our neighbours, *and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
7 Restore us, O God of hosts; * show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
16 Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, *the son of man you have made so strong for yourself.
17 And so will we never turn away from you; * give us life, that we may call upon your name.
18 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; * show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. Psalm 80:1-7,24-37
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ, our good shepherd; you have led us to the kingdom of your Father’s love. Forgive our careless indifference to your loving care for all your creatures and remake us in the likeness of your new and risen life. We ask this in your name.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Mark
“At that time, after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory. And he will send out his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will but my words will never disappear, “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert[f]! “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!” Mark 13:24-37
Reflection: Father Mike - Question for Reflection
The weeks leading to Christmas are often filled with much activity. Along with work, school, and church responsibilities, there are special holiday festivities to which we will attend. Staying “awake,” as Mark 13:24–37 stresses, may not be the problem—in fact, we may feel there are not enough hours in the day! Yet, this reading from Mark counsels us to be awake to, to pay attention to, what is most needful for our well-being and the well-being of the world: God’s presence, God’s appearing among us. Here at the beginning of Advent, how will you “keep alert” for God in the midst of so many responsibilities and distractions?
Household Prayer: Morning
Thank you, God, for the gift of life today.
I give thanks that your face shines upon me— Ps. 80:3
for you are my salvation.
Lead me like a shepherd through this day. Ps. 80:1
Strengthen me for whatever lies ahead.
Grant me the spiritual gifts
of peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness, Gal. 5:22–23
for I want to show your love,
in word and deed, to others.
In Christ’s name. Amen.
Household Prayer: Evening
Though you have told us to keep awake, O God, Mark 13:37
you have also blessed us with rest and sleep.
Grant me such rest in the hours ahead
that I awaken with eager longing for a new day,
ready for you to be revealed
in mundane moments and ordinary encounters.
By your grace prepare me,
Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Liturgies for Year B, Volume 1 © 2014 Westminster John Knox Press
Hymn: “Awake, Awake, Fling off the Night!” (tune VU 330 Jesus Shall Reign)
Invitation For Offering:
God has enriched us in every way – in speech, knowledge, and spiritual gifts.
From the fellowship of Jesus Christ, we are sent out to share with thanksgiving what we have received.
Offering Hymn: VU 542 “We Give You But Your Own”
Faithful God, we thank you that Christ is being revealed in every time and place until he comes again in the fullness of glory. Strengthen our testimony and spiritual gifts; increase generosity in us, we pray, as we wait for the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN
Closing Hymn: VU 2 “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
Beware. Keep alert. Keep awake. God is doing awesome things we do not expect. And Christ is coming near with great power and glory and with tenderness.
Benediction: Father Mike
Choral Response: “Go Now in Peace”
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