Sunday, December 16, 2018

Third Sunday of Advent: JOY

Organ PreludeIn illo tempore (Gregorian proper)

Words of Welcome and Announcements John Strawbridge

* Choral IntroitCalm And Bright (McFee and Bell)

Silent night, holy night …
It was the night when Joy was born,
And, just as now, the world was torn;
But all was calm and all was bright
The star above gave out its light.

Dear people all around the world,
Let us unite and we will show
How Joy can change us,
How Joy can help us grow.

So let your Joy shine in the night
And let your life burn warm and bright.
This Joy we give the world is balm
And in this truth we find our calm.

* Call to Worship

L: Sing for joy, children of God! Shout aloud, for God is our salvation!
P: We will believe the good news that God is in our midst.
L: Sing of faith, children of God! Shout aloud, for God is our hope!
P: We will live the good news that God removes all our fears.
L: Sing of grace, children of God! Shout aloud, for God is our compassion!
P: We will share God’s love and hope with those who need good news in their lives.

* Opening HymnJoyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee UMH 89

1. Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love; hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away. Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

2. All thy works with joy surround thee, earth and heaven reflect thy rays, stars and angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea, chanting bird and flowing fountain, call us to rejoice in thee.

3. Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest, well-spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are thine; teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

4. Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began; love divine is reigning o’er us, binding all within its span. Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife; joyful music leads us sunward, in the triumph song of life.

Prayer of Invocation (All)

Lord, we have come to this place from a world of demands and schedules. We have sought hope and peace and have found them here. Now we seek the inner joy that only your presence can bring to our lives. Open our hearts and our spirits to your love. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Lighting the Advent Wreath

Choral ResponseEmmanuel, Emmanuel UMH 204
Emmanuel, Emmanuel, his name is called Emmanuel. God with us, revealed in us, his name is called Emmanuel.

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Moment

AnthemA Maiden Most Gentle (arr. Carter)
A maiden most gentle and tender we sing
Of Mary the mother of Jesus our King
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

How blest is the birth of her heavenly child
Who came to redeem us in Mary so mild
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

The archangel Gabriel foretold by his call
The Lord of creation and Saviour of all
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

Three kings came to worship with gifts rich and rare
And marveled in awe at the babe in her care
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

Rejoice and be glad at this Christmas we pray
Sing praise to the Savior sing end-lessly
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.
Ave, Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

A Reading from the Gospel – Luke 3:7-18                                                                 Carrie Harnick, Liturgist

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

Prayer of Confession Carrie Harnick, Liturgist

L: Merciful God, we hear from John the Baptist that the practical meaning of repentance is to live exercising love and justice to all. His words to us today would be no less challenging than to those that day in the region around the river Jordan. Woe betide all who try to escape living lives of true faith by paying lip service only to the gospel.
P: What then should we do?
L: We are to bear fruits consistent with living united to the vine – Jesus Christ.
P: Forgive us, O God, when we fail.
L: Woe betide all who believe that attending church for an hour each Sunday is all that is required to be considered a disciple of Jesus.
P: What then should we do?
L: We are to hear Jesus’ words addressed to us: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” (Luke 9:23-25)
P: Forgive us, O God, when we fail.
L: Woe betide all who exploit or take advantage of others out of greed or a desire to increase one’s power and prestige.
P: What then should we do?
L: We are to remember the words to Timothy about the love of money being a root of all kinds of evil, that in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith … But as for us…we are to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.
(based on 1 Timothy 6:10,11)
P: Forgive us, O God, when we fail.
L: Help us, O God, to prepare ourselves to receive Jesus by truly living out our baptism by being a loving community in Christ: through our gentle nurturing of one another in faith, our genuine upholding of one another in prayer & our enthusiastic encouragement of one another in service.

Assurance of Forgiveness Carrie Harnick, Liturgist

L: We can surely agree with the prophet Isaiah and affirm God as our salvation – for Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Is not this reason enough to shout aloud and sing with joy? Rejoice then, and hear the word of grace and the assurance of pardon that in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
P: Thanks be to God!

* Hymn of Preparation O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (vs. 1 & 5-7) UMH  211

1. O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

5. O come, thou Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home. The captives from their prison free, and conquer death’s deep misery. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

6. O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by thy justice here; disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

7. O come, Desire of nations bind all peoples in one heart and mind. From dust thou brought us forth to life; deliver us from earthly strife. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

A Reading from the Old Testament – Zephaniah 3:14-20                                            Rev. Debbie Scott
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the Lord.

Sermon – “Living With Joy”                                                                                                     Rev. Debbie Scott

The Offering of Gifts & Tithes

OffertoryO Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion Madeleine Gray, Mezzo Soprano

* Presentation of OfferingPraise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, yet heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Offering Prayer (All)

We rejoice, O God of peace, in the privilege of giving without fear. You come to us daily with blessings too numerous to count. You are the Holy One whose presence relieves our anxieties, feeds our hungers, and stirs our compassion. Through our offerings, we express our gratitude. As we give of ourselves, we respond to your call to bear fruit and to make your name known among the nations. Thanks you for accepting all we offer. Amen.

* Closing HymnJoy to the World UMH 246

1. Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

2. Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! Let all their songs employ; while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

3. No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.

4. He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness, and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love, and wonders, wonders of his love.

* Benediction

L: Rejoice always and pray without ceasing.
Give thanks to God, whatever your circumstances.
P: God has done great things for us.
We rejoice that we are part of God’s family.

L: Listen for the word of the prophets.
Be open to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit.
P: The Spirit of God has come to us.
We have a mission to accomplish for God.

L: God is faithful and will stand by you.
You are valued in God’s covenant community.
P: We are filled with joy as we go out to serve.
We are thankful for the good news we carry.

* Choral ResponseWe Need A Silent Night In Here (Moors-Charles and Bell)

We need a silent night in here;
We need Your presence to be near.
Give us the hope we need and the peace we seek.

* Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell

* Organ PostludeAllegro (Crabbe)

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on December 14, 2018

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