Worship service, December 6, 2020

“On the Road”          Advent 2

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This year’s Advent theme, “On the Road . . . ,” conveys a sense of movement, of traveling from one point to another. In the story of the magi from the East, they literally took to the road and drew closer to Jesus with each passing step. This rich imagery sets the tone for the Advent season as we seek to move our congregations closer to Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves along the road of faith.

Prayer for Peace  &  Lighting of Peace Candle

This morning you are invited to think of a place, person, or situation that is in need of peace and hold that in silence before God’s healing love.

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-moment of silence –

Call to worship   Adapted from Isaiah 40:3-5

Leader: Listen! A voice cries out in the wilderness:

People: Prepare the way of the Lord!

Leader: Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill made low.

People: Prepare the way of the Lord!

Leader: Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together.

All:        Prepare the way of the Lord!

Prepare ye the way of the Lord” from Godspell

Scripture        Isaiah 40:1-5

Comfort, O comfort my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that she has served her term,
    that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all people shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Opening Hymn  “Comfort, comfort, o my people”   HWB 176

Sharing & Prayer (see email attachment)

Offering Prayer         STJ 148

God has shown us the meaning of generosity

in the rich diversity of creation,

in the overflowing love of Jesus Christ,

in the never-ending gift of the Holy Spirit.

God has abundantly blessed us and called us

To be a community that honors each other,

to be servants to others with joy,

to share our love and material possessions.

Let us rejoice in what we have been given

and in what is ours to give.

Children’s Story “Advent in 2 Minutes”

Scripture        Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Sermon – Advent 2  “Prepare the Way” by Rose Marie Zook Barber

(see emailed attachment)

Hymn of Response  Oh, how shall I receive thee    HWB 182

Benediction    (Ruth C. Duck, The United Methodist Book of Worship)

God of grace and glory, we thank you that you judge us not by the perfection of our actions, but by our readiness to live boldly by faith. Help us, as individuals and as a congregation, to trust you and follow where you lead, that in Christ your name may be glorified in all the earth. Amen.

Postlude  

“For unto us a child will be born” words & music by Garrison Doles

For to Us a Child Will Be Born
words and music © Garrison Doles
from his CD
Songmaker’s Christmas

1.
O the nights have grown long in the deepening winter
The gray of the sky giving way to the dark
So I light a candle and wait by the window
For to us
A child will be born

2.
O the measure of winter is stately and somber
The drifting of snow at the foot of a tree
I wait at the end of my lane with a candle
For to us
A child will be born

refrain
He will be called
Wonderful Counselor
He will be called
Prince of Peace
No-o-oel
No-o-oel
No-o-o-o-oel

3.
O the longing of winter is poignant and wakeful
The silence that beds in mysterious hush
We bring our candles abiding together
For to us
A child will be born

4.
O the vigil of winter is still and untroubled
The slumbering world in linens of snow
We bear our candles in watchful procession
For to us
A child will be born

repeat refrain