Sunday December 10, 2017
Year B, Second Sunday of Advent
Second Sunday of Advent :: Violet ::
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 85
L: LORD, you have forgiven the iniquity of your people;
P: and you have pardoned all of our sin.
L: We have come to hear what God the LORD will speak,
P: for You will speak peace to Your people.
L: Surely Your salvation is at hand for Your faithful,
P: and Your glory may dwell in our land.
(Adapted from Isaiah 40)
Almighty and Everlasting God, we have come today to cry out our love for you, as from the top of Mount Zion. We cry out and claim your promise of peace, that you will feed your flock like a shepherd, and gather them in your arms. We come to hear your word. We are like grass, which withers and fades, but your word will stand forever. Help us draw near to you, oh God of Peace. Accept our praise, hear our prayers, and touch us with your word, we pray.
Prepare the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight. We know the call of the one in the wilderness, but how do we do it today? For one who is separated from God, Church can be a scary and daunting place. Worse, the path to church is filled with twists and turns, and threats from the life which has separated them from God in the first place. One way we make the paths straight is through our outreach ministries. Whether they are gifts of food, clothing, utility assistance, or through one of our partners, we make these gifts to send the message “God loves you , and wants to be in relationship with you.” The tithes and offerings you bring today will empower those path straightening ministries. We will now receive the gifts which make these ministries possible.
God of peace, we come today bringing our gifts, and dedicating them to your service. Bless these gifts and use them to serve the needs of the many that need a straighter path to you and your love. We bring them with joy in our hearts and songs of hope and praise on our lips. Amen.
In Peter’s second letter to believers everywhere, he writes “While you are waiting [for the LORD’s return], strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish (2 Peter 3: 14). We do that at this table. Our Lord Jesus gave himself, body and blood, to form a new covenant and forgive sin for all time. When we come to this table, confessing our sin and accepting God’s forgiveness, we are cleansed by the blood of Christ, without spot or blemish. Then we shall find peace. At Christ’s invitation, come to the table of peace.
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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. Check out all of the awesome resources there at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu