For Sunday December 11, 2016
Year A, Third Sunday of Advent
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OFFERING
The Center for Faith and Giving has been pleased to offer these resources in partnership with the Jubilee Fund for free each week for the past five years. You can help us continue to provide these and other valuable stewardship related resources by making a gift. Would you consider a “five for five” gift of $25 ($5 for each year)? Click here to help us celebrate and for you to become a generator of generosity!
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 146
L: Happy are those whose hope is in the LORD;
P: The Maker of heaven and earth.
L: The LORD executes justice for the oppressed;
P: The LORD gives food to the hungry, and sets the prisoners free.
L: The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
P: The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down and loves the righteous.
L: The LORD will reign forever;
P: Praise the LORD!
We come into this holy place, O God, with thanksgiving on our hearts and voices filled with joyous song. We come together to sing your praises and offer our prayers as we continue our journey. We come following a star and seeking our Savior. Fill our hearts with gladness, our minds with wisdom, and our souls with joyous freedom. Speak to us, O God through the words of our leaders. Guide us in your ways. Help us to know your presence as we offer ourselves in prayer.
Luke 2: 25 – 32 tells us of the story of Simeon, a righteous and devout man, who was told by the Holy Spirit he would not die until he saw Israel’s Messiah. When Jesus was brought by his parents to the temple to be circumcised, at eight days, they encountered Simeon. Simeon took Jesus into his arms to praise God for allowing him to hold the Messiah, who had finally come. Simon, guided by the Holy Spirit, knew that what the Israelites hoped and believed, the Messiah, the great hope for the nation of Israel had been born.
In the Regions, we too can look, in these days of Advent, of a people who believe and hope that through the Holy Spirit we too can see Salvation and become a light of revelation to all people. As Disciples of Christ, we can Believe Again that God is actively promising us a deeper hope for our congregations and regions working together to be in covenant with each other. Many churches, differing churches, all in one region Believing Again; Hoping Again together that the God who ushered in a Savior as a baby in a complex world can once again save God’s people.
We covenant together, as a region to work together to be the kind of change that needs to happen for Jesus to again become the Savior of the world through the works and ministries of the Regional Churches.
The Christmas Special Day Offering supports all of these and many other ministries of our Region. Your generous gifts make the difference in our covenantal, shared ministries in the Region, giving us a deeper hope that we can Believe Again that God is active in the world through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
We come before your throne, O Holy One, offering our gifts. We bring them out of love and devotion to you and the shared mission to which you call us. Bless and use these gifts, O God, so the world may come to know your gift in the prince of Peace, our Lord and Savior, in whose name we pray.
Be patient until the coming of the Lord. Advent is a time of waiting, a time of preparation, a time of hope. But advent requires patience as we wait for the coming of the Lord. But even in the midst of all the waiting, we come to this table, and we don’t have to wait. We don’t have to wait, because Jesus meets us here. Christ comes to us, in the breaking of the bread, and drinking of the cup, as we seek to remember him. Come to the table, experience the one for which we wait, Christ our Lord.
All material copyright 2016 The Jubilee Fund, Inc., and appear on this site via a partnership agreement with the Center for Faith and Giving. Permission granted to reproduce and use any of the above for Churches and Congregations to the glory of God without requirement of compensation or notification.
Scripture Quotations from the New Revised Standard Version. Online Scripture links a service of the Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library, of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN