Sunday December 17, 2017
Year B, Third Sunday of Advent
Third Sunday of Advent :: Violet ::
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OFFERING STEWARDSHIP MOMENT INCLUDED for Disciples of Christ Congregations.
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 126
L: The LORD has done great things for us.
P: Let us rejoice!
L: When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
P: Our tongues were filled with shouts of joy!
L: As we prepare for your coming, O LORD,
P: We anticipate the arrival with Joy.
(Adapted from Isaiah 61)
Loving and Gracious God, we come with Joy in our hearts and song on our lips. As we journey through the celebration of your Advent, we long for the year of your favor. For those among us who are mourning, we ask your comfort. For those who are oppressed, good news; captives, liberty; and release for all of those who are imprisoned by oppressive things of this world. We come to sing your praises. Accept our offerings of praise and prayer with joy.
Somewhere out there, there might be a church which has never needed resources for a search committee; has never had a conflict which needed someone to coach them through; has never sent a child to camp, a woman or man to retreat; has never needed a fresh set of eyes to look at a challenge. That mythical church probably doesn’t need the partnership that comes from being a part of a regional church. We are not that church. So we set aside our Christmas Special Offering to support the ministries of our region, knowing that we are stronger together than we are apart. Today, and next Sunday, we ask you to not only bring your tithes to our church, but also a special offering, which will help make the ministries of our region possible.
Almighty God, we bring these gifts with joy and thanksgiving. For we know that they are a mere returning of a small portion of all which you have blessed us. Join them with the gifts of others and multiply them, we pray, that churches throughout our region will be strengthened by them. We offer them in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prepare Ye the Way of Lord. That was the cry of the one in the wilderness, whom John proclaimed himself to be. As we stand around the table of the Lord, we know that today’s desired journey for Jesus is into hearts of believers. As we come to this table, let us open our hearts, minds and souls fully, that today’s journey into each of us will be an easy one for Christ our Lord.
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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