November 29, 2020 (Advent 1)

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

November 29, 2020

Advent 1    (blue/purple)

Isaiah 64:1-9

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:24-37

Additional Advent resources may be found at

Call to Worship  (from Isaiah 64)

One:  We come to worship God, as we step into this Advent season
of anticipation.
Many:  Isaiah declares, “God works for those who wait for the Holy One.”
One:  We are the clay and God is the potter.
Many:  We are all the work of God’s hand!
One:  So tune your hearts and settle your minds,
Many:  for God, whom we come to worship, is at work in this world!

Opening Prayer

God of all time, we thank you for this particular time.
Challenging as it may be, with threats around us and worries within,
we plant our minds and steady our hearts to begin a new year with you.
In this worship hour, help us channel our energies
to anticipate and to actively wait, for Jesus, the Coming One.
We pray with thanksgiving, offering our best to you, AMEN
Moment for Stewardship  (from Mark 13:24-37)

The beginning of November (does that seem like a LONG time ago?) most residents of the United States and Canada “fell back” to standard time after six months of Daylight Saving time.

Today, at the end of November, Christians across the United States and Canada, begin a new church year, despite the calendar proclaiming we have five more weeks before 2021 begins.

And when we hear the gospel lesson from Mark 13, I’m struck by the declaration that no one really knows specific timing: “about that day or hour” when the Son of Man is to appear.

Even not knowing the timing, we’re counseled to keep awake!
Pay attention to what’s happening.
Be alert!

The calendar tells us it’s nearly four weeks until we celebrate the birth of the infant Jesus.  Scripture tells us NOW is the time to be giving our best efforts.  We may not have opportunity to see the calendar page change, or the year turn (finally!) out of 2020…so today, let’s pay attention by offering our time, talent and treasure in anticipation of God’s coming in great power and glory.

In our congregation, _______________ (name one way offerings will be used in this Advent season to witness to the presence of “God with us”).
Your participation and your generosity become signs of your wakefulness!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

In eager anticipation of your coming among us once more, God of grace, we thank you for this opportunity to be counted as AWAKE, ALERT, ADORING believers.
Wake us up from the slumber of pandemic pjs and post-political exhaustion.  Cue us into this season.
Empower us to lives of heads-up hospitality,
welcoming the least, the lost, the lonely,
that we might see you in our midst,
even as servants staying alert for the return of their master.    AMEN

Invitation to Communion 
(in response to I Corinthians 1:3-9)

When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth nearly twenty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, his words included encouragement for those who were eagerly awaiting Jesus’ return.

Twenty centuries later, followers of Jesus often get so consumed by the Christmas birth story that we ignore the scriptural admonition to anticipate the second coming of Christ.

Yet when we come to this table, we’re invited to “remember Christ until he comes” as we eat the bread and drink from the cup.
Paul reminds us we are strengthened to the end.
We lack no spiritual gift.
We’re prepared to wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So come!  You are welcome at this table.  As you take bread and drink this juice, do this not only in remembrance, but in anticipation!
Let your hearts sing out “O Come, O Come, Immanuel!”

(you might use the first 2 verses of CH #119, O Come, O Come, as your communion hymn)