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Third Sunday Of Advent

Worship
Lectionary Worship Aids
Cycle B, Series IV
First Lesson: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Theme: The Lord will return to lift up the poor and wounded.

Call To Worship
Leader: Come, let all who love the Lord enter God's house for worship!
People: But many are poor and wounded and do not know of Christ's Love.
Leader: Then we must proclaim for all to hear the news of Jesus the Christ.
People: And what shall we tell the poor and wounded in the world?
Leader: Christ died so ALL might have life and is coming again to lift them up.
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Collect

God, in Your wonderful and gracious way You sent Christ to call us to a oneness with You which we could not earn on our own. Reach into our hearts and help us celebrate Your love which knows no boundaries. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Prayer Of Confession

O God, too often we have tried to believe Your love was like ours, marked by conditions and limitations as we judge who is good enough or worthy to hear Your Gospel. Forgive us, Lord, for You have warned us that as we reject even the least of Your children we reject You. Open our hearts, Lord, that we might openly seek out and welcome any and all who are lost. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Hymns

"Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates"

"Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light"

"Blessed Be The God Of Israel"




Third Sunday In Advent

Second Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Theme: Christ our Savior will return.

Call To Worship
Leader: On the day the Lord returns we will gather together saying,
People: Hallelujah, this is the Lord our God, in whom is our salvation!
Leader: For the Lord is near to all whose hearts rest in God's loving care.
People: O God, let all the world hear that You are indeed the keeper of our souls.
Leader: And let the whole world hear our joyful praise to Almighty God!
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Collect

O God, Almighty Creator and Redeemer, in Your wonderful and merciful way You sent the Christ to redeem and cleanse us even while we were yet mired in the ways of our sins. We thank You, Lord. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Prayer Of Confession

Lord, in so many ways You have tried to reach us with Your message of love and salvation, yet we have been too busy with the world around us to hear. You even sent Your son to show us Your love, and still we would not see. Forgive us, Lord, and as our hearts are opened to Your Good News, help us to spread the word to all the world around us. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Hymns

"Word Of God, Come Down On Earth"

"Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus"

"I Want To Walk As A Child Of The Light"




Third Sunday In Advent

Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28
Theme: John the Baptist proclaims the Christ is come.

Call To Worship
Leader: Wait upon the Lord; remain true and let your hearts be bold!
People: We do wait upon the Lord, and we seek God's healing power today.
Leader: Hold fast to your faith; be firm and let your hearts take courage!
People: Our faith remains strong; yet we seek the promised one to come.
Leader: Praise be to the Lord, for God has heard and honored our prayers!
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Collect

All-wise and all-powerful God, for reasons only You can fathom You have honored us by calling Your prophets from among Your people to proclaim the Good News to the world. We praise You, Lord! In Christ we pray. Amen.

Prayer Of Confession

Lord, as we continue to move through Advent, we are so aware there is much in the world that would distract and harden our hearts to the message of love You gave us in the birth of Christ. Lord, forgive us for all of those times when we have willingly chosen the distractions and turned away from You. Call us once more to the true joy in Christmas. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Hymns

"Hail To The Lord's Anointed"

"My Soul Gives Glory To My God"

"Word Of God, Come Down On Earth"


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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
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He will judge the world with righteousness,
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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. 
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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.

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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:
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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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