First Sunday of Advent
Morning Worship at 11 o’Clock
Advent is a season of four weeks including four Sundays. Advent derives from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.” The season proclaims the comings of the Christ– whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, who comes continually in Word and Spirit, and whose return in final victory we anticipate. Each year Advent calls the community of faith to prepare for these comings; historically, the seasons was marked by fasts for preparation.
-The United Methodist Book of Worship
The Church Gathers
Organ Prelude “Veni Emmanuel” Sequence
Words of Welcome and Announcements (by the minister)
† Choral Introit “O Come, O Long-Expected Jesus” Christian Gregor
Come, O long-expected Jesus, Born to see Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the Earth Thou art,
Long-desired of every nation, Joy of every waiting heart.
† Call to Worship (trad. monastic)
We wait for the word of the Lord as we wait for the rains
and our God shall come down upon us like gentle dew.
† Advent Candle Lighting
We light this candle as a symbol of Christ our Hope. May the light sent from God shine in the darkness to show us the way of salvation. O come, O come, Emmanuel.
† Hymn “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” No. 196
Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.
Morning Prayer (unison) (Ruth Duck, 20th cent.)
In the advent seasons, when the past has fled, unasked, away and there is nothing left to do but wait, God, shelter us. Be our surrounding darkness; be the fertile soil out of which hope springs in due time. In uncertain times , help us to greet the dawn and labor on, love on, in faith awaiting your purpose hid in you waiting to be born in due time. Amen.
To Hear the Word
Hebrew Scripture Isaiah 2:1-5 Dean Knoll is the Liturgist.
The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
Anthem “Above the Hills the Advent Light” Wihla Hutson
Above the hills the Advent Light Awakes the midnight sky;
Great God our Judge, enthroned in might, Descends from heaven on high.
Rejoice, rejoice, the Lord is nigh! In God’s own time shall evil cease,
When His day shall appear. Repentant souls shall know his peace,
Meek hearts His Gospel hear.
Rejoice, rejoice, the King draws near. Let men prepare Him place
Within their hearts to dwell, Receive His heavenly grace,
Set free from sin and hell. Rejoice, rejoice, O free from sin and hell.
Rejoice, Rejoice, O come, Emmanuel!
Above the hills the sun’s first rays Their golden splendor fling;
O God, send in the glorious days Where of the prophets sing.
Rejoice, we greet our King!
From the Epistles Romans 13:11-14
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Sermon “Rapture” Rev. Travis Knoll
Matthew 24:36-44: “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
To Respond in Faith
† Hymn “People, Look East” No. 202
People, look east. The time is near Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able, Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today: Love, the guest, is on the way.
Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare, One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish, That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today: Love, the rose, is on the way.
Birds, though you long have ceased to build, Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today: Love, the bird, is on the way.
Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather, Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today: Love, the star, is on the way.
Angels, announce with shouts of mirth Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today: Love, the Lord, is on the way.
† A Statement of Faith of the United Church of Canada (unison) No. 883
We are not alone, we live in God’s world. We believe in God: who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit. We trust in God. We are called to be the church: to celebrate God’s presence, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God. Amen.
The Collection of Tithes and Offerings
Offertory “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” Paul Manz
Peace be to you and grace from Him
Who freed us from our sins,
Who loved us all and shed His blood
That we might saved me.
Sing holy, holy to our Lord,
The Lord Almighty God,
Who was and is and is to come.
Sing holy, holy Lord!
Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell within,
Rejoice on earth, ye saints below,
For Christ is coming soon!
E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come
And night shall be no more;
They need no light, nor lamp, nor sun,
For Christ will be their All!
† Presentation of Tithes and Offerings (unison) No. 99
To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory for the things he hath done.
With his blood he has saved me; with his power he has raised me; to God be the glory for the things he hath done.
The Lord’s Prayer (unison)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
And Scatters to Be the Church in the World
† Hymn “Lift Up Your Head, Ye Mighty Gates” No. 213
Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates; behold, the King of glory waits;
the King of kings is drawing near; the Savior of the world is here!
Fling wide the portals of your heart; make it a temple, set apart
from earthly use for heaven’s employ, adorned with prayer and love and joy.
Redeemer, come, with us abide; our hearts to thee we open wide;
let us thy inner presence feel; thy grace and love in us reveal.
Thy Holy Spirit lead us on until our glorious goal is won;
eternal praise, eternal fame be offered, Savior, to thy name!
† Dismissal with Blessing
Go, to serve God as long as you have breath
We go now, to be God’s people.
† Choral Response “Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall Come” arr. Thomas Helmore
Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel!
† Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell
† Organ Postlude “Once He Came In Blessing” J.F. Wolle