Worship Connection: December 6, 2015

November 6th, 2015

Second Sunday of Advent

COLOR: Purple or Blue
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6


Call to Worship #1

L: Welcome today to this time of preparation.
P: Although we have been preparing for celebrations, we come seeking to prepare our hearts to receive God's Good News.
L: Get ready! The Lord is bringing to us Hope and Peace.
P: How wonderful it is that the Lord is showering us with Peace.
L: Open your hearts and let your spirits be quieted. Be at peace with the Lord.
P: Lord, prepare our lives and bring us peace. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2

L: The Lord has looked with favor on God's people.
P: Praise to the Lord!
L: A messenger of peace will be sent to us.
P: Thanks be to God!
L: The messenger will place peace in our hearts and our spirits.
P: Come, O Messenger of Peace, we stand in need of your presence. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2089, "Wild and Lone the Prophet's Voice", have a soloist or small ensemble sing the verses as directed]

L: Darkness has been upon the land. Fear and Anxiety seek to claim our lives. To whom can we turn in our trouble.
P: Seek the Lord. In God there is peace and hope. A voice has proclaimed it so.

Soloist/Ensemble: sing verse 1 of "Wild and Lone the Prophet's Voice"

L: In the midst of all turmoil, the word rings strong and true. God is faithful, loving and just.
P: Prepare us for this journey, O Lord. Help us to bold proclaimers of your love.

Soloist/Ensemble: sing verse 3 of "Wild and Lone the Prophet's Voice"


Call to Worship #4

L: It's time to get ready for the journey.
P: Where are we going?
L: We are heading for the Manger and then to the Cross.
P: What will we find?
L: Today we will find peace, along with hope
P: We are ready. Let the journey begin.


Opening Prayer

We have prepared our homes, and our gifts, Lord, but we need help in preparing our spirits to receive your message of Peace. Free us from the stresses and strains of this time, and place your peace which passes all our understanding in our hearts. For we ask this in Jesus' Name. AMEN.

Lighting the Advent Candle

Reader 1: Today we light two candles- the first Candle is called HOPE and it is a reminder that God's promises are true.

Reader 2: The second Candle is called PEACE, God's gentle loving peace for our lives.

Reader 3: We seek God's peace in this time of stress.

Reader 4: Come, all is ready. Let the light of this these candles, called HOPE and PEACE, bring brightness to your spirits.

[The first and second Advent Candles are lighted]

Prayer of Confession

Lord, hear us this day as we open our hearts and our spirits to you. These times in which we live are often confusing and fearful. We are pushed to make preparations for a season which is supposed to bring hope and peace; yet we crowd it with obligations and stresses and shut the door to your healing love and compassion. We find ourselves being on edge, fretful, wondering if we have done enough, can do enough. You answer our fears with your voice, "Peace, be still". Help us to hear you. Slow us down. Encourage us to take some time to listen rather than shout, to stop and rest rather than run. Cause us to look around at situations and people who are in need and to place our focus on helping them. For it is in helping your people and reaching out in love that we will find true peace. These things we pray, in Jesus' Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

Jesus said, "I am bring you peace, not the kind of peace the world would give to you. My peace I give to you, now and forever." Be at peace. Know God's love is given for you. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer

Lord, if we see one more list of things to do, we think we might scream. We have made list after list, in preparation for the holiday season. We have shopped until we feel we might drop, we have baked, decorated, sent cards, planned festivities, gone to concerts, school performances, gotten ready for the church presentations. We are in a whirlwind of preparation. But what we have forgotten is to place your presence in our lives. You bring us hope and peace. You remind us that it is we who have created and succumbed to hectic schedules. Slow us down, Lord. Bring us again to those moments in which we are not running lists of obligations through our heads. As we have brought the names and needs of people near and dear to us into your presence for your healing and comfort, remind us that we also stand in need of your healing love. Help us to focus on you and the gift of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to take a "big breath" and to exhale slowly, letting the anxiety and stress out. Fill our lives with your peace as we continue on this Advent journey. For we ask this in Jesus' Name, AMEN.


[If it is possible, have the readers sing the little "snippets" of the songs]

Reader 1: Oh, you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why.........

People: Come into our hearts, Lord Jesus.

Reader 1: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Yuletide carols being sung by a choir and........

People: Come into our hearts, Lord Jesus

Reader 2: Frosty the Snowman, was a jolly happy soul, with a corn cob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal.......

People: Come into our hearts, Lord Jesus

Reader 2: Jingle bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way, O what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh......

People: Come into our hearts, Lord Jesus

Reader 3: Away in a manger, no crib for a bed. The little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head, the stars in the night sky........

People: Come into our hearts, Lord Jesus.

Reader 3: O Come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant. O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. Come and adore him, born the King of Angels

People: [singing} O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

[UMH 234, "O Come, All Ye Faithful", refrain only]


Peace be with you and with all whom you love. Go now into God's world with God's peace in your hearts and lives. Go in hope and peace. AMEN.


The traditional color for this Sunday is PURPLE or BLUE

Note: I recommend putting a brief paragraph describing or explaining the symbolism used in your visual display. These become good teaching tools for a congregation.

Note: Risers are any objects which create a higher place than the main level. You may use books, wood blocks, anything that is sturdy on which to place various objects. Usually the risers are placed on the worship center first to create the variation in levels.

Note: For ADVENT 1, I have chosen to use the color blue, varying the shades each week with the addition of fabric and other symbols for the day. If your worship center is against a wall you may want to consider placing fabric behind the worship center so that it forms a screen effect and then draping the worship center with the same identical fabric. I recommend the use of dark blue during Advent (leaving the purple for Lent).

I have chosen not to have the cross on the worship center during Advent, but rather to focus on the Advent symbols themselves

For ADVENT 2: We will be adding little green leaves, only about 15 or 20 to the bare branch on the worship center. We will also be adding a small, plain, unpainted or varnished, wooden cross to the top of the center riser, alongside the pillar candle.

SURFACE: Place 5 risers on the worship center. One riser in the center back and the other four risers to the right and left, but not in a straight line, they should be staggered.

FABRIC: Cover the entire worship center with dark blue fabric (or dark purple).

CANDLES Place one dark blue 8-10" pillar candle on the center riser. Place dark blue votive candles, in holders on each of the other risers.

FLOWERS/PLANTS: no flowers or plants at this time

ROCKS/WOOD: Using crepe paper in emerald or celery green, cut out leaf shapes, about 2-3" long. Using floral tape, carefully tape them to some of the branches of the bare limb, making sure that they can been seen from a distance. The amount of leaves you place should suggest growth is happening, but it is not complete - the stage is being set.

OTHER: If you have a wooden cross about 10-12" high, place it on the center riser with the large pillar candle. The cross should be rough, unpainted and unvarnished.

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