Bulletin – Sunday, December 8, 2019
Sunday, December 8, 2019
Second Sunday of Advent
White Gift Sunday
Gathering Song VU #68 – “All Poor Ones and Humble”
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 dawns, 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 #680 – “Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old”
Prayer of Confession
Many voices clamour for our attention. We are good at tuning them out, hearing only what we want to hear. That includes your voice, God-especially your voice—for you often speak to us from the wilderness, from places beyond the margins of our comfort and security. And you speak through strange messengers, people who don’t fit in, prophets like John the Baptist, prophets like Jesus. We are good at tuning them out. Forgive us; heal our spiritual numbness. Soften our senses and help us to feel. Make us eager to answer your call to follow the path of life.
(written by John Moses, Aylesford United Church, used with permission)
Words of Assurance
Passing the Peace
Time for All Ages
Hymn VU #18 – “There’s a Voice in the Wilderness Crying”
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church
Thanks be to God!
Meditation – “To Turn Towards God”
Anthem – “Turn Your Heart to Christmas”
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.
God of Peace, we offer you our gifts, that peace may come to our troubled world. Help us to build peace with justice, wherever our lives touch others. Amen.
Prayers of the People
One: We pray to you this day.
All: Hear our prayer!
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.
Closing Hymn VU #64 – “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
Commissioning / Benediction Response
May the Spirit of the Christ Child show us how to 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.