Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
Hymn of Praise: 700
Hymn of Invitation: 122
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). Not a Psalm equivalent, but #710 may serve well as a responsive reading that “fits” the day.
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2011, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Isaiah 40:1-11
The wonder of the Lord our God
proclaims a freshened way,
inserting in the life of woe
the promise and delight.
The breaking of the grinding throes
that bear upon the soul
is echoed in the crying void
that speaks of holiness.
The tender speaking God insists
is laid upon the heart.
The speaking on the heart portends
a lure in freshness’ joys.
Proclaim in glory, say in joy
the coming of the Lord.
From exile in our company
God brings us to the fold.
The word of God for ever more
stands with integrity.
In this our saving God provides
the surety of grace.
Suggested tune: St. Steven
RESOURCES FROM THE JUBILEE FUND
Call to Worship (Responsive) Adapted from Psalm 85
L: LORD, you have forgiven the iniquity of your people;
P: and you have pardoned all of our sin.
L: We have come to hear what God the LORD will speak,
P: for You will speak peace to Your people.
L: Surely Your salvation is at hand for Your faithful,
P: and Your glory may dwell in our land.
Invocation: (Adapted from Isaiah 40)
Almighty and Everlasting God, we have come today to cry out our love for you, as from the top of Mount Zion. We cry out and claim your promise of peace, that you will feed your flock like a shepherd, and gather them in your arms. We come to hear your word. We are like grass, which withers and fades, but your word will stand forever. Help us draw near to you, oh God of Peace. Accept our praise, hear our prayers, and touch us with your word, we pray.
Prepare the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight. We know the call of the one in the wilderness, but how do we do it today? For one who is separated from God, Church can be a scary and daunting place. Worse, the path to church is filled with twists and turns, and threats from the life which has separated them from God in the first place. One way we make the paths straight is through our outreach ministries. Whether they are gifts of food, clothing, utility assistance, or through one of our partners, we make these gifts to send the message “God loves you , and wants to be in relationship with you.” The tithes and offerings you bring today will empower those path straightening ministries. We will now receive the gifts which make these ministries possible.
God of peace, we come today bringing our gifts, and dedicating them to your service. Bless these gifts and use them to serve the needs of the many that need a straighter path to you and your love. We bring them with joy in our hearts and songs of hope and praise on our lips. Amen.
In Peter’s second letter to believers everywhere, he writes “While you are waiting [for the LORD’s return], strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish (2 Peter 3: 14). We do that at this table. Our Lord Jesus gave himself, body and blood, to form a new covenant and forgive sin for all time. When we come to this table, confessing our sin and accepting God’s forgiveness, we are cleansed by the blood of Christ, without spot or blemish. Then we shall find peace. At Christ’s invitation, come to the table of peace.
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RESOURCES from COMMON WORSHIP
O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power
and come among us,
and with great might succour us;
that whereas, through our sins and wickedness
we are grievously hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honour and glory, now and for ever.
Father in heaven,
who sent your Son to redeem the world
and will send him again to be our judge:
give us grace so to imitate him
in the humility and purity of his first coming
that, when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him
with joyful love and firm faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
purify our hearts and minds,
that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again
as judge and saviour
we may be ready to receive him,
who is our Lord and our God.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2011. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2011 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries
using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2011; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010. The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010. Version 2012-1.2 30 October 2011. http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary
We also urge you to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.