December 11, 2022 (Advent III)

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

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Isaiah 35:1-10

Psalm 146:5-10 

James 5:7-10

  Matthew 11:2-11        

Call to Worship  (in one voice)  

Beloved people of God, welcome to worship at _______________ Church.
On this third Sunday in Advent, half-way through this 4 week season 
 (the season of preparation for the birth of Jesus), let’s REJOICE!
Lighting the pink candle, the prophet Isaiah describes it this way:
              there will be a highway, called the Holy Way, for God’s people; 
                  no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.
             The redeemed shall walk there.
             The ransomed of the Lord…will come…with singing…
              (we) shall obtain joy and gladness,
               sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
With true delight in our hearts, let us worship the Lord our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer!             

Opening Prayer  

We come to you, O God, with adoration and praise, as well as thanksgiving.   Our anticipation grows as we come nearer the day we’ll celebrate the birth of your Son, whom we know as the Christ.  Open our hearts that we may truly receive that gift and know the true joy of life with you.  Amen.

adapted from

Moment for Stewardship (from Matthew 11:2-11)

(find a way to use CH #121, “Prepare the Way of the Lord” as part of this moment for stewardship:  as a congregational chorus or round, as a choir
piece, or for 4 voices, singing 4 times through)

Just as John prepared the way for Jesus, so we have opportunity to prepare the way of the Lord in our own time and place.  One way that happens is through our decisions to offer our time, talent and treasure to support the on-going ministries of this congregation.

Let me highlight three:
1)  (describe one way this congregation helps individuals grow in their own 
      spiritual lives – education?  Support groups?  Mission trips?)
2)  (in just two or 3 sentences, identify how this congregation connects with
      others to improve the lives of people in your own community)
3)  (provide a quick word picture – or describe a picture you put on the 
      screens – of JOY. when giving makes a significant improvement in the
      life of the giver or the lives of recipients)

Some might think “3 strikes and you’re OUT!” from baseball lingo.  Here, it’s “3 actions and we’re WINNING!”  

With your contributions today or by the end of this calendar year, you’ll help us finish 2022 in a positive position. This time of offering will encourage all of us to rejoice in what we can accomplish as Jesus followers!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We do clearly want to be known as “Jesus followers”, God.  Hear us as we pray for you to receive these gifts and for us to use them wisely.  Challenge each of us to find ways every day to offer our gifts for your glory and for the benefit of the world.  AMEN 

Invitation to Communion  

Please take a moment right now, whether you’re here in the sanctuary or  watching on-line. Call to mind a time when you’ve shared a joy-filled meal with people who helped you feel buoyant.  It might have been sometime recently, or decades past.

The food matters, but also the setting.  The host matters, and also those around the table.

Got your meal in mind?  Good!

Now, set that memory alongside the memory of the meal we’ll share today:  a meal with Jesus as our host, believers from all times and places at the table, and a feast in the form of simple bread and cup.

Add to that an open invitation.  Recognize THAT’S the meal to which we can come with joy.

Let us gather at the table.