For Sunday December 4, 2016
Year A, Second Sunday of Advent
Second Sunday of Advent :: Blue/Purple ::
Isaiah 11:1-10 :: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 :: Romans 15:4-13 :: Matthew 3:1-12
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Isaiah 11
L: A shoot shall come out of the stump of Jesse
P: The Spirit of the LORD shall rest on Him.
L: His delight shall be in the LORD
P: With righteousness He shall judge the earth
L: The wolf shall live with the lamb
P: The leopard shall lie down with the kid
L: The calf and the lion and the fatling together
P: And a little child shall lead them. Amen.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be your glorious name forever, may your glory fill the earth. Lead us in your glory and righteousness, O God. Guide us in your truth. Give ear to our prayers and revel in our praise. Guide us closer, to you, O God, in the midst of our worship. Lead us on a path which points to your Son, Jesus the Christ.
May I confess that there is a John the Baptist quote in Matthew 3:8 that makes me uncomfortable? It says “Bear fruit worthy of repentance.” John is talking to the Pharisees and other religious leaders of the day, but I’m still not wild about the quote. I think it all stems from the fact that my core belief says we should bear fruit worthy of our redemption, not just our repentance. When we love, it should be the love of a redeemed one, not just a repenting one. When we praise it should be the praise of a redeemed one, not just a repentant one. And when we give, it should be the giving of a redeemed one, not just a repentant one. Today, as we receive the tithes and offerings, I encourage you to bear fruit worthy of not just repentance, but of redemption.
Giving God, who was, and is, and is to come, we bring before you our gifts. We offer them as a sign of our devotion and love for you and the mission to which you have called us. Bless and use these gifts so that others will come to know the love of Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray.
Romans 15:7 says “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the Glory of God.” We come to this table, each one, welcomed by Christ, for it is Christ’s table. As Christ’s hands and feet in this place, we welcome YOU. In the name of Christ, for the Glory of God. Come to the table and receive Christ’s wonderful gifts.
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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