1062 Autumnwood Dr, Winnipeg, MB R2J 1C7  (204) 256-8792

Bulletin – December 20, 2020

Advent 4

Love born in the wilderness

Candle Lighting

We light this candle of love this day, knowing that many people today do not feel love in their own lives. As we move towards the coming of Love Incarnate into the world let us love deeply, honestly, without judgment, so that the love that you so radically gave to all may be alive in each of our lives today.

God of Advent, in love you have called us together, in love you give us the gifts of community and fellowship. We thank you for these gifts and ask that during this Christmas season we would always remember those whom we love, our family and friends, and even though we might not be able to be with them in the same way as we usually are, that, having experienced your love in our own lives, we will be able to share that love with all we meet. We pray in the name of the one whose coming we await, Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Response:

We light this candle for Love.
Await the new life within.
May our hearts now live each day,
So Love can find a way,
So Love can find a way. 

Call To Worship

One: The time of waiting and watching is here! Are you ready?

All: We are waiting for the God of love to open our hearts.

One: God of all love come to us this day to free us from our burdens, to bring love to a world that longs for something more.

All: We are ready to receive the precious blessings of God.

One: Come, let us worship God who loves us dearly.

All: Let us praise God for God’s blessings in our lives. AMEN.

Opening hymn – VU #60 – “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
Glory to God in the highest;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Prayer of Approach

Let us pray:

This time of year can be so hectic, yet this year there is so much more going on for all of us. Loving God, we ask that you help us to settle ourselves, to step back from everything, if even for a moment, and instead, look around at the wondrous acts of love and compassion that are happening, even in these dark times. For just a moment, help us to take a deep breath and then exhale slowly – relax. Look around! Help us to know that in doing this we will find you, God, present with us, guiding and loving us. Then challenge us to look at others and rejoice in their offerings of tenderness and assistance. When we do, we might see that it is to this that Christ is drawn – to people who will reach out in Christ’s name, in acts of healing love and mercy. We know that we would rather not. It is easier for us to concentrate on what is happening in our own lives and not be concerned for others. You call us out of ourselves to look around, to see others around us, to reach out in love, just as you reach out to us in love. So often we stop before we do, we seem frozen, waiting. Patient God, are we waiting for Christmas? No! Help us to enjoy the journey of healing, transformation and love that is filling our lives so fully. Christmas is coming……..and we will be ready in our hearts and our spirits to receive your gift of love, God incarnate in Jesus Christ. Pay Attention!  Amen!

Sung Response:

Breathe into this moment of love
With courage to let go, daring to dream.
For the days are surely coming when we’ll rise –
Strong together once again in love.

Words of Assurance

God know what is in our hearts. God knows the challenges and struggles, and God loves us through them all. The grace of God’s love is always with us. We are called to share this wondrous gift with all that we meet. Let us live in love, as we are truly loved. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Time for All Ages

“Jesus Came Bringing Us Hope” MV #33

Jesus came bringing us hope…,

Jesus came bringing us peace…,

Jesus came bringing us joy…,

Jesus came bringing us love…,

Hallelujah forever more!

Scripture

2 Samuel 7: 1 – 11, 16

1Now when the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 3Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD is with you.”

4But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan: 5Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 8Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the LORD of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. 

16Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

Luke 1: 26 – 38

26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Anthem – “She Walked in the Summer”

Luke 1:46 -55

46And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48    for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49    for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

50    His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51    He has shown strength with his arm;  he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52    He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
53    he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
54    He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55    according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.

Thanks be to God!

Meditation – Love born in the wilderness.

Anthem – “This is Love”

Prayer

Merciful God, may Mary’s song be heard through the ages, drowning out the din of Christmas chaos.
May it be heard by the victims of violence everywhere in the world.
We pray for your presence, your mercy, your justice, O God.

Hear us singing Mary’s song this day.

May it ring in the ears of those traumatized by war and strife.
We pray for your presence, your mercy, your justice, O God.

Hear us singing Mary’s song this day.

May it sing in the hearts of those stuck in the never-ending cycle of poverty, addiction, those who are marginalized in our world today.
We pray for your presence, your mercy, your justice, O God.

Hear us singing Mary’s song this day.

May it sing in the lives of those who struggle with illness, both physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological, including those from this community whom we raise up to you this day….(prayer list).

We pray for your presence, your mercy, your justice, O God.

Hear us singing Mary’s song this day.

May it be an earworm song of hope for all standing strong for land rights.
We pray for your presence, your mercy, your justice, O God.

Hear us singing Mary’s song this day.

May it be the rally cry of peace for all the world, that war may be no more, that power will be equally shared.
We pray for your presence, your mercy, your justice, O God.

Hear us singing Mary’s song this day.

May it nourish hope in the bellies of those fearful of failed harvests, those who face hunger.
We pray for your presence, your mercy, your justice, O God.

Hear us singing Mary’s song this day.

May it be a song that stirs reverent fear in the hearts of those who assume power.
We pray for your presence, your mercy, your justice, O God.

Hear us singing Mary’s song this day.

And may the joyful promises of justice and overturned power fill all our hearts to overflowing action. Amen.

Closing hymn – “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (VU #48)

Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King;”
Peace on earth and mercy mild,  God and sinners reconciled:
Joyful all ye nations rise,  Join the triumph of the skies,
With the angelic host proclaim,  Christ is born in Bethlehem:
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.”

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the God-head see; hail, the incarnate deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die;
Born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!

Benediction

God of hope, peace, joy and love, in whom there is no darkness, cause your light to shine on us and through us to others, that they may know of you and of your Love. Go in peace, dear friends, and know that the God of light, hope, peace, and joy goes with you. AMEN.

Sung Response – (tune VU #36)

God, dismiss us with your blessing;
Fill our hearts with joy and peace;
Let us each, your love possessing,
Triumph in redeeming grace;
O refresh us, O refresh us,
Travelling through the wilderness.

Categories: General News