December 23, 2012 (Advent 4)

For Sunday December 23, 2012
Year C, Fourth Sunday of Advent
Fourth Sunday of Advent :: Violet :: Micah 5:2-5a  :: Luke 1:46-55 :: Hebrews 10:5-10 :: Luke 1:39-46

Call to Worship (Responsive)  
Adapted from Luke 1
L: The LORD has done great things for me.
P: Holy is God’s name!
L: God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
P: and lifted up the lowly.
L: God has filled the hungry with good things.
P: And remembered the faithful in love.
God of Love, Hope, Peace and Joy, We come claiming the promises of old for the one who is to rule.  We recall the promise that the Messiah shall stand and feed the flock in the strength of the LORD; and they shall live secure, and the holy one will be great to the ends of the earth; and there shall be peace.  Bring your peace into each heart today.  Bring the hope that only you can bring.  Guide us in love for you and one another.  Enflame our joy in the light of your Son.   In this time of worship, draw us nearer to your eternal presence and make us aware of your love.  We offer these prayers in the name of Christ our Lord.
Stewardship Moment:
It would appear the Mayans got it wrong. This is no surprise to us.  What we can be sure of is this:  out there is someone who is surprised that the world is still here, and is looking around for the next message of hope.  Our tithes and offerings help us to meet those people with love and compassion, and help us to share the Good News we celebrate and we anticipate.  We will now receive the tithes and offerings which allow us to reach out with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Offertory Prayer:
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 others who are feeling lost today might find your eternal hope and love.  We offer them in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.

Communion Meditation:
Elizabeth said to Mary: “why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.”  In the Christmas season, we all experience a little hint of an inner child.  As we come to the table, as we hear the Lord’s greeting, I pray that we will allow that inner child to “leap for joy.”  Come with joy as we remember the words and promises of Christ our Lord.
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