December 6, 2020 (Advent 2)

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

December 6, 2020
Advent 2B

These resources are being posted on “Giving Tuesday”, an opportunity for you to support charities and non-profit agencies that make the world a better place.  We hope you will choose to practice generosity on this special day as you seek to enrich the community in which you live.  If you find these resources helpful, you can also make a gift to the Center for Faith and Giving by clicking here, which directly supports their availability. Thank you!

Isaiah 40:1-11

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

2 Peter 3:8-15a

Mark 1:1-8

Call to Worship  (from Isaiah 40)

One:  We’ve come together today to prepare.
Many:  Prepare the way of the Lord!
One:  We want to be ready when the glory of the Lord is revealed.
Many:  So we lift our hearts and focus our minds to worship God.

If you’re singing, you might add “Prepare the Way of the Lord”, CH 121, or, if you’re on-line or using a screen, use any of Godspell’s “Prepare the Way of the Lord”


Opening Prayer 

God of all time, we’ve come to worship you this second Sunday of Advent, grateful for the opportunity to turn the page to the last month of 2020.
It’s not an easy or comfortable time, but all who have ever moved through a pregnancy (in our own body, or in the body of someone we love) know the mix of anxiety and peace which muddles in us as we anticipate Jesus’ birth.
In this complex time, help us focus and truly yearn for the One who is to come.  Stir us to eagerness for new life, new energy, renewed peace in our lives and in the world.
With grateful hearts, we praise your name!  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (from Mark 1)

It’s not easy being #2.

Many of us would love to be #1 in our class, our work setting, our “go-to” group of friends. Many of us think it would be great to be “top” in what we earn.  Some of us would be delighted if we were #1 in what we are willing to give to this congregation, or to organizations working to respond to particular needs.

I wonder if John the Baptist found it tough to be #2?  We hear about him in what sounds like he’s the leader in the Gospel lesson today from Mark 1.  After all,  “all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him”.

But John proclaimed “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me.”  He knew he was #2, baptizing with water, while anticipating the Coming One who could baptize with the Holy Spirit.

And yet, John offered the best he had!  He preached to all who came.  He baptized them in the river Jordan.  He lived in expectation even while he worked.

What about you?  For all who declare “we are disciples of Jesus”, we acknowledge we cannot be #1.  That place belongs ever and always to Jesus.  But we CAN offer the best we have.

Today, I invite you to dig deep.  Know your offering (will it be time, talent and treasure?) shows you to be a #1 follower of Jesus.

We give thanks for all faithful followers who give to support this congregation, our special Christmas offering and ______________ (whatever outreach you’re doing this season).

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all good gifts, thank you for all who are faithful, whether that’s John the Baptist, a little child, or someone in the ninth decade of life.  Thank you for the gifts offered today.  Help them be signs of Good News in this congregation, in our ministries beyond these walls, and for the sake of the world to which you continue to send “the one more powerful than I”.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  (from 2 Peter 3)

So often when we come to this Table, we think of Jesus at the end of his earthly life, instituting “the last supper” with his disciples.  But as we begin this new year of church life, we hear from 2 Peter, concerning the coming day of the Lord.

So today, I invite you to take a moment, recognizing this season of Advent as a time of anticipation and expectation!
Then, “while you are waiting for the coming of new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home”…

While we are waiting, let’s to come to the Table, ready to eat this bread, full nourishment for the future life for each of us and for God’s beloved world.  Come to the Table, eager to drink in the possibilities which God holds for us and for all.

All are welcome!