December 17, 2017
Third Sunday of Advent
ORDER OF SERVICE
Welcome and Passing of the Peace
WE INVITE GOD’S PRESENCE INTO OUR HEARTS
Centering Music “Sanctuary”
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true; with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for You.
Ringing of the Church Bell
Prelude “Angels’ Jubilee” by Linda R. Lamb (Chime Choir)
*Call to Worship
Leader: The spirit of God is on me because God anointed me;
People: sent me to bring good news to the poor,
Leader: heal the heartbroken,
People: announce freedom to all captives,
Leader: I will sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul.
All: Come, let us worship.
*Opening Prayer (Unison)
Giver of joy, fill our hearts with praise as we gather to worship you. As your light fills the room, pushing out the darkness, so, too, let your light shine within us that there is no shadow of fear left within us in this hour. Remind us of your presence and your faithfulness in all times and all places. Let your light shine through us, illuminating your way in this not-yet-perfected world. Amen.
Hymn of Praise “Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn” #107
Lighting of the Advent Candle
Reader: Advent is a season of waiting; waiting for the hope, peace, joy and love of God to break into our lives anew through the story of the birth of Jesus.
All: As we light the candle of joy, we remember the stories of God’s loyalty to all creation. We give thanks for the messengers—the apostles, prophets, artists, sages, faithful ones—present in every age, who bring the good news of God’s restoring love; and we shout with joy, trusting that God is with us and before us, and that joy will be born anew in us.
Christmas Pageant “A Super Christmas”
WE PRAYERFULLY ENTRUST OURSELVES TO GOD
Introduction to Our Time of Prayer
Silent Prayer of Confession
Words of Affirmation
You are forgiven! God loves you. God blesses you with new beginnings and new life. Put aside your old ways and become new! God gives a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning. Rejoice! Never forget the gift of God’s redeeming grace. Amen.
Joys and Concerns
Prayers of the People
Lord’s Prayer (sins)
Congregational Response “Be Still and Know” #743
Be still and know that I am God. (3x)
WE LISTEN FOR GOD’S WORD
Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Advent Comments “Shouts of Joy”
WE OFFER GRATITUDE TO GOD
Invitation to Give and Share
As Mary moved from tears to acceptance she sang, “My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior… surely from now on all generations will call me blessed.” Mary said yes to God. Mary accepted the burden and responsibility of being God’s chosen. She gave her whole self over to God. God calls to each of us. How do we respond? What do we bring? In the spirit of Mary’s “yes,” let us bring forth our offerings and gifts.
*Doxology “We Give You But Your Own” #785
We give you but your own, what e’er the gift may be; All that we have is yours alone, we give it gratefully.
*Prayer of Dedication
Holy God, our answer too, is “Yes!” Yes, we will serve only you. Yes, we will bring our whole selves to the effort. Yes, we will sing your praises to the universe. Accept these offerings as tangible proof of our collective “yes.” May the be magnified for your use in our time. Amen.
WE GO FORTH AS GOD’S PEOPLE
*Hymn of Dismissal “Go Tell It on the Mountain #154
*Shared Blessing (Unison)
The joy of God is our strength. Jesus is coming. So, we live with courage and hope.
*Sung Blessing “God Be With You” #809
God be with you, God be with you, God be with you till we meet again. O God be with you, God be with you, God be with you till we meet again.
Postlude “Joy to the World” arr. by Ron Mallory (Chime Choir)
Ringing of the Church Bell
Please join us downstairs for refreshments and fellowship.
*Those who are able are invited to stand for sections marked with an asterisk (*).