Bulletin – Sunday, December 22, 2019
Sunday, December 22, 2019
Third Sunday of Advent
Gathering Song VU #36 – “Angels from the Realms of Glory”
Welcome and announcements
Call to Worship
One: In the midst of frenzied shopping and end-of-year weariness,
All: we have spread out a blue cloth,
One: and read again the ancient stories,
All: lighting a candle in the darkness, to celebrate a star in the sky.
Choral Response – Choir
Hark how all the heaven rings
Glory to the king of kings;
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
heav’n and earth unite to say,
“Christ the Lord is born today!”
One: Gathered here we declare our intention to live as if the greatest gift in the world were about to be placed into our hands,
All: We watch in anticipation of a surprising and wonderful gift, as the shepherds watched for a sign in the sky, and as if the Giver has understood our deepest needs, our most heartfelt prayers.
One: Like John the Baptist, may we call out for new life in the wilderness.
All: May we hear the call and turn towards God and the coming gift, as the wise men turned away from their lives to follow a star to a new life.
One: Like Mary, may we be surprised by our calling;
All: May we see God’s glory coming in a new unexpected way, and like Mary open our hearts to God incarnate. (Like Simeon and Anna, may the years increase our faith;)
One: like sleepy shift workers on a hillside, may-our eyes be opened;
All: like Joseph may we listen to our dreams; for this season requires our creative imagination.
One: There is a Presence in our world that asks to be seen, who will stay awake?
All: There is a coming to our world that seeks a welcome, who will offer hospitality? For even now Jesus Christ is moving toward us.
Prayer of Approach
As this sacred time of Advent nears its end, we turn our eyes to the stars. We pray that you, Holy God, would tear open the heavens and come down. Where the world is shadowed and cold, where your children are hungry and hopeless, where we look for meaning and purpose in our lives, may your Spirit come. Help us to watch for your coming, dancing in the night sky with the heavenly hosts, shattering the chaos all around us; help us to embrace your coming that we find the courage we need to share it with the world. Amen.
(adapted from Nora Vedress, Calvary United Church, used with permission)
Opening Hymn VU #29 – “Hark the Glad Sound”
Prayer of Confession
Almighty but Elusive God, we long for you to come into our lives once again, to fill our hearts with your fire. We look for you and cannot find you, search for you and you are not there. Perhaps you are near, but we can’t feel you. In this season of deepening shadows, when life can seem so full of sadness and despair, come and touch our lives with your gentle presence. Fill our souls with hope so we may endure the waiting.
(written by Jim Warburton, Meadow Lea United Church, used with permission)
Words of Assurance
Passing the Peace
Anthem – “Christmastime”
Time for All Ages
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church
Thanks be to God!
Meditation – “To Dream”
Anthem –“A Communion of Carols”
Offering / Response: “Adoration”
Holy Child of God, we adore You now;
Like the wisemen bowed we kneel before You now.
And our gifts we bring as an offering; Lord,
we’ve gathered here to worship You alone.
Loving God, we would dedicate these gifts of money and discipleship to your purpose in this world, re-gifting to you the gifts that you have given to us in order to further your dream of love. We would also dedicate all the other giving that we do at this time of year to you and your dream of love as well. Amen.
Prayers of the People
One: Be with us as we…
All: Be with us Loving God.
Christmas Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, all praise to your name.
Your kingdom in heaven, on earth be the same.
By mortals and angels, come, Lord reign alone;
Oh, hear us and bless us, from heaven’s high throne
The bread that we yearn for provide us each day;
As we forgive others, our sins take away;
In times of temptation, to lead us be near;
From evil deliver your children most dear.
For yours is the kingdom, o’er all things you reign,
And yours is the power, all things you maintain.
To you be the glory, resounding again
from all of creation, forever. Amen.
Anthem – “Celebrate Jesus the King”
Commissioning / Benediction Response
May the Spirit of the Christ Child show us how in love to live
For the joy and peace of Christmas is for us to share and give.
May the story of God’s coming, God with us – Emmanuel,
Fill the world with light of Christmas, as in awe we do God’s will.