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Second Sunday of Advent

Worship
Lectionary Worship Aids
Series III
* CALL TO WORSHIP
Hear the words of the Lord. Are they not words of peace, peace
to his people and to his loyal servants and to all who turn and
trust in him?

* PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God of the first day, God of today, God of the last day, we admit
that we are more frightened by the threat of a nuclear accident
or a nuclear war than we are hopeful for a new heaven and earth.
It is like our apprehension of major surgery, an unpleasant
experience, but one that can bring about the condition in which
healing can take place. We may be fatalistic and feel powerless
to change unjust institutions that provoke and promote war.
Forgive our reluctance to look for the new day and to work for
justice and peace with patience, repentance, and perseverance,
whatever the disappointments and delays. Baptize us with the
Holy Spirit according to the gospel of Jesus Christ, your Son.
Amen.

* DECLARATION OF GOD'S FORGIVENESS
Hear the Good News! God has forgiven your guilt and put away all
your sins. Friends, believe the Good News! In Jesus Christ, we
are forgiven.

* EXHORTATION
Prepare a road for the Lord through the barren places of our
common life. Clear a highway for God across the fruitless areas
of our history.

* PRAYER OF THE DAY
Jesus Christ, Son of God, since you have walked in our shoes,
enable us by the same Holy Spirit of our baptism to proclaim the
good news and prepare the way for your coming again so that you
may be surrounded by people from all earth's cities and
countrysides. Amen.

* PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Saving God, loving Christ, baptizing Spirit, hear our
thanksgiving for all who have paved the way for your good news to
reach us. We admire the bold preaching of the prophets and
apostles. We appreciate the work of scholars and translators in
preparing a written text for us to read. We are grateful for the
printers and binders that make Bibles for us and for all who help
us to read and understand the Word of God written. Most of all
we

thank you that your saving and forgiving love was embodied in
Jesus of Nazareth, the great good Shepherd who has gathered his
flock into the Church. For past deliverance, for present
comfort, for future promise we give you thanks, faithful God.
Amen.

* PRAYER OF DEDICATION
We worship you, loving and faithful Lord, by the presentation of
these tokens of our prosperity and the yield of our work. Use us
and our offerings to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.

* PSALM 85:1-2, 8-13
LORD, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you pardoned all their sin.
Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The LORD will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.

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The Immediate Word

Thomas Willadsen
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George Reed
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For May 9, 2021:
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John E. Sumwalt
Frank Ramirez
Contents
“Waking Up to Racism” by John Sumwalt
“Twists and Turns” by Frank Ramirez

 
Waking Up to Racism
by John Sumwalt
Psalm 98

Let the floods clap their hands;
    let the hills sing together for joy
 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
    to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.
(vv. 8-9)

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
In the mid-1960s, a popular song declared, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of.”1 It was an era of both national and international unrest. And the American landscape was reeling from the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and opposition to both. Amidst headlines so marked by unrest and division, therefore, the sentiment of the song struck a chord with an American audience. 
Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Acts 10:44-48
Prejudice is always wrong. Nat King Cole is a well-known artist who was the first African American to host his own national television program. In 1948, he purchased a beautiful home in an exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood. When the local neighborhood association confronted him and informed him it didn’t want any undesirables to move in, Cole responded, “Neither do I. If I see any coming in here, I’ll be the first to complain.” He lived in that house until his death in 1965.

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John Jamison
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (vv. 9-12)

Hi, everyone! (Let them respond.)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus gave up his life for us. In our worship today let us explore how to love one another as he has loved us.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes our love for each other is thin and pale.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we pretend to love but fail to care.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we don't know how to love.
Lord, have mercy.

SermonStudio

John E. Sumwalt
Jo Perry-sumwalt
One evening, when I was 26 years old, beleagered by guilt for acknowledged sins, I was deep into an hour-long prayer of repentance. In despair, I grieved that I had broken the commandments and that I was not worthy of God's love.

Near me lay the Bible, unused and unfamiliar. I had never, ever read from the Bible. Yet my hands reached out and took the Bible to open it. I knew not where, nor why. But my hands knew the way. They opened to John 15:9-11 and as my eyes began to read, my mind knew the meaning with clarity. My eyes read verse 10 first:
Mark Ellingsen
Theme of the Day
God's love brings us together.

Collect of the Day
It is noted that God has prepared great joy for those who love Him. Petitions are then offered that such love may be poured into the hearts of the faithful so that they may obtain these promises. Justification as a reward for our deeds (love) is communicated by this prayer.

Psalm of the Day
Psalm 98
Stan Purdum
(See Christmas Day, Cycles A and B, for alternative approaches.)

Richard E. Gribble
Once upon a time a great and powerful king ruled over a vast territory. There was something very strange about this kingdom, however -- everything was the same. The people ate the same food, drank the same drink, wore the same clothes, and lived in the same type of homes. The people even did all the same work. There was another oddity about this place. Everything was gray -- the food, the drink, the clothes, the houses; there were no other colors.

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