Worship service Dec. 13, 2020

“On the Road”          Advent 3

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

Mary’s song – can we sing it on a bleak mid-winter midnight

   while we wait for good news and the violence just gets worse

   and the people keep dying?

Is the Child winning the battle and we just can’t see well enough?

But we can pray – that the hope of the world keeps being born in us and God will do the rest.

Diane Zaerr Brenneman, Words for Worship 2

-moment of silence-

Call to worship

Adapted from Psalm 126:2-6

Leader: The Lord has done great things for us, and so we rejoice!

People: Our mouths are filled with laughter, and our tongues with shouts of joy.

Leader: Those who sow in tears will reap shouts of joy.

People: Those who go out weeping will come home with shouts of joy.

All:         The Lord has done great things for us—we rejoice!

Opening Hymn  It came upon a midnight clear   HWB 195

Scripture        Luke 1:46b-55 “Mary’s song”

My soul magnifies the Holy One,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for you have looked with favor on the lowliness of your servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for you, O Mighty One, have done great things for me,
and holy is your name.
Your mercy is for those who fear you
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm;
you have scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
You have brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
you have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
You have helped your servant Israel,
in remembrance of your mercy,
according to the promise you made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and Hagar and Sarah and to their descendants forever.

Hymn  What child is this (HWB 215) & Helpless and hungry (STS 26) – with lyrics

Sharing and Prayer (see attachment to email)

Offering Prayer         HWB 750

Generous God, we thank you for gifts that belong not to us alone, but to all our human family, since they, too, are created in your image. Let their need become our need; let their hunger become our hunger; and grant to us also a portion of their pain, so that in sharing ourselves, we discover the Christ who walks with all of us. Amen.

Special Music “For everyone born” by Shirley Erena Murray

Children’s Story                “Joy”      

Scripture        John 1:6-8, 19-28

 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. 24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

Sermon           Pastor Rose Marie Zook Barber (see attachment to email)

Hymn of Response  Joy to the world     HWB 318

Benediction    Sing the Story 201

All the broken hearts shall rejoice; all those who are heavy laden, whose eyes are tired and who do not see, shall be lifted up to meet with the Motherly Healer.

The battered souls and bodies shall be healed; the hungry shall be fed; the imprisoned shall be free.

All earthly children shall remain joy in the reign of the just and loving One coming for you coming for me in this in this world. Praise God!