3rd Sunday in Advent
· Please join us in Calvin Hall following worship today for a time of fellowship.
· All Offerings that you wish to be counted by the end of 2023 must be here by Dec 26th 2023.
· Office is closed December 22nd– January 4th
· The Gathering Place will reconvene Jan. 11.
· JoAnn Grimm and Joan Boyd residents of Fieldstone in DeWitt.
· Joan Pinkston, on hospice.
· Ellen and Keith Miller who struggle with health issues. Ellen is at Eagle Point Care Center
· For our brothers and sisters in Israel and Palestine and Ukraine.
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLES
Reader 1: We light the third candle of Advent.
Reader 2: We look to John, the one you sent, to point us to your light. The light will come into our world and enlighten everyone.
Reader 1: God sent John the Baptizer to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus Christ, the true Light of the World. John called for people to repent of their sins and to live faithfully. He baptized with a cleansing water and proclaimed the new life that Christ, the one who would follow him, would bring. This Advent, we ask for God’s mercy and a joyful new beginning.
People : Merciful God, we give thanks that you send messengers like John to call us to greater faith. We ask that in these days we prepare for you in prayer and acts of holy compassion. Be with us and lead us to your light. Amen.
*CALL TO WORSHIP
One: John the Baptist calls to us,
All: “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
One: We call out to the world,
All: “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
One: This Advent, may we turn to the light of Christ.
All: The light shines in the darkness and
the darkness did not overcome it.
All: Arise and rejoice, the light is come!’
Lord, in this season of waiting, of longing, of looking for you to come into our world, we are seeking light. We are seeking light in our own lives, in our church, in our communities and in our world. We know you are the light of the world. May we have eyes to see you and ears to hear you come into our world today. Amen.
*HYMN Arise, Your Light is Come! #411
CALL TO CONFESSION
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Eternal God, John the Baptist prepares the way by calling upon us
to repent. We come humbly before you knowing that we have failed to share the Good News as we should. We have failed to honor the poor and the oppressed and to help those in need as we should. We have failed, by our actions or inactions, to share your love and light with the world as you have commanded us to do. Have mercy upon us, God. Heal and forgive us so we can welcome Christ with pure and genuine hearts. Amen
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
SONG OF PRAISE Gloria Patri #579
PASSING THE PEACE & INTERLUDE
May the peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Open us, Holy One, to your Word and your way. Clear our minds of
holiday distractions and busy tasks. Fill our hearts with the humility we
need to hear and receive the message you intend for us today. Amen.
Old Testament Reading Isaiah 61: 1-3; 10-11
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion— to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my whole being shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
The Gospel John 1: 6-8; 19-28
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but he confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.”
Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 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.
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why, then, are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
MESSAGE Arise the Light Has Come
*HYMN O Word of God, Incarnate #327
THE LORD’S PRAYER
OFFERING OUR GIFTS TO GOD
*DOXOLOGY Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow #592
*PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Gracious God, we joyfully give you our time, our talents and our treasures in grateful response to all you have so generously provided. May our gifts be used to bring joy to those most in need in our church, our community and our world. May our gifts help us to share your love and light with others and bring glory to you and your kingdom here on earth. Amen
*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen
*HYMN Rejoice! Rejoice, Believers #15
*CHARGE & BLESSING 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24