For Sunday December 16, 2012
Year C, Third Sunday of Advent
Third Sunday of Advent :: Violet :: Zephaniah 3:14-20 :: Isaiah 12:2-6 :: Philippians 4:4-7 :: Luke 3:7-18
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Isaiah 12
L: Give thanks to the Lord,
P: We call on God’s name.
L: Make known God’s deeds among the nations;
P: Proclaim God’s name as exalted.
L: Surely God is our salvation,
P: I will trust and will not be afraid.
L: The Lord God is our strength and our might;
P: Sing Praises to the Lord!
God of Joy, Hope, Peace and Love, We come claiming the joy of the promises found in the words of the prophet: “The Lord, your God, is in your midst.” We claim again the prophecy which reminds us the Lord will rejoice over us with gladness; will renew us in love; will exult over us with loud singing; will change our shame into praise; and will bring us home. We come into your sanctuary filled with joyful hearts, as we sing our praises to the fulfillment of these prophecies: Christ the Lord.
Advent is the season of Hope, of Peace, of Joy, and of Love. It is the season when we celebrate all that God gave us through the gift of the presence of His son, Jesus. In this season of hope, there are sister congregations (or maybe our own) that are praying for the calling of God to fill the heart of a new pastor. In this season of Peace, there are sister congregations (or maybe our own) that are seeking peace in the midst of conflict. In this season of Joy, there are sister congregations (or maybe our own) which are grieving and in need of pastoral care and support. In this season of Love, there are sister congregations (or maybe our own) that are dreaming of ways to reach out to children and youth who feel less loved than they deserve. One of the solutions to these challenges and opportunities is our shared ministries within our region. Through our region and its partnerships we do reach out to our brothers and sisters who are searching, seeking, grieving, and dreaming. As you consider making a gift for the Christmas Special Offering this year, know that your gift supports the ministries of our region: One Hundred percent. Today 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.
This is a table of remembrance. It is also a table of preparation. We come to this table to remember the promises of Jesus in the first visit as Messiah. We come also to prepare for the second coming. Advent is not only a time to remember the birth of a baby, but is also a time to prepare for a rebirth of a savior. This is one of the places we do so.
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