Worship Elements: December 10, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent

COLOR: Blue or Purple
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8

THEME IDEAS

In these readings, we are told to prepare for the day when God will be among us. Isaiah’s vision of comfort and rest comes as a promise to all who struggle, while the Gospel message calls us to repentance in expectation that God will be among us very soon. No one knows the exact time or day, but we can depend on God’s promises and love.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 85)

Let us hear what God will speak,
for the Holy One speaks peace to the people,
to the faithful, and to all who turn to God in their hearts.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet.
Righteousness and peace will embrace.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Holy One will give what is good,
and we will bring our praise and song.

—Or—

Gathering Words (Isaiah 40)

The world is dark and cold.
We look for signs of your coming.
The world is hungry for righteousness.
We look for signs of your coming.
The world yearns for your love.
We look for signs of your coming.

Opening Prayer (Isaiah 40, Psalm 85, 2 Peter 3)

God of winter and starlight,
you have promised us your presence:
to live among us,
to right all wrongs,
to bring good things to all who wait
for your new day.
In these dark days,
we look for signs of your coming:
the sounds of children at play,
the music that fills our hearts
with anticipation,
the company of all who serve
the last and the least.
Make us at home with righteousness,
that we may be ready to walk
in your holy ways. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Isaiah 40, Psalm 85)

God of love and kindness,
you have promised to renew our lives,
to be with us in a new heaven and new earth—
a realm where steadfast love and faithfulness
embrace forever.
We are afraid of your promised coming.
We cling to rules we understand:
the rules of privilege and power.
We are afraid of a world of true justice and peace,
afraid that you will change the way
things have always been.
As we wait for you to live among us,
we confess our unwillingness to see
that you have always been here.

Words of Assurance (Isaiah 40, Psalm 85)

In God’s love and mercy,
we are given each new day
for the healing of the world.
In the name of Christ, you are forgiven.
In the name of Christ, you are forgiven.

Response to the Word (Isaiah 40, Psalm 85, 2 Peter 3, Mark 1)

God of patience and peace,
as John the Baptizer called the people
to repentance,
so you call us to new life
in your Spirit.
Help us wait for your promised coming,
and prepare your way
with faithfulness and steadfast love. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Offering Prayer (Isaiah 40, 2 Peter 3, Mark 1)

Lord God, you have shown us your glory:
in your holy word,
in the blessings of our daily lives,
and in the promise of your eternal kingdom.
You share your glory with us,
giving us the power to live
in holiness and godliness.
Your loving patience gives us hope
as we await the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ.
In gratitude and thanks,
we offer you our hearts, our lives,
and all that we have.
Use these gifts, we pray,
to prepare your way of salvation
and to establish your realm of peace.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Amy B. Hunter)

Communion Prayer

God of justice and bounty,
in your new day,
the world is filled with good things.
Bless these gifts of bread and wine,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands,
that they may nourish us as we await your coming,
in the name of Christ, who lived and died
so that we might live. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

Christ be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give our thanks to the Holy One.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is a right, good, and a joyful thing,
always and everywhere, to give you thanks.
You lead us in paths of righteousness and peace.
In the words of the prophet Isaiah,
and the cry of John the Baptizer,
you have spoken of your great love
for your people and have promised
to heal all that is broken and forsaken,
to redeem all who are lost and alone.

And so, with your people on earth,
and all the great cloud of witnesses in heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy One, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes
in your holy name.
Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, and holy is your child, Jesus Christ,
who came to the river to be baptized,
and taught us of the Holy Spirit,
living in us and around us and among us.

On the night in which he gave himself up
(continue the Words of Institution)
do this in remembrance of me.

And so, in remembrance of your mighty acts
in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves
in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may become one with Christ,
who lived and died and rose to bring healing
to a broken world.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ,
one with each other, and one in ministry
to all the world, until we feast together
at the heavenly banquet in your eternal realm.

Maker of justice and mercy,
Spirit of compassion and grace,
Lover of all creation,
we give you thanks and praise.
Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Isaiah 40, Mark 1)

Go out to a world that hungers for righteousness.
Prepare the highway for our God:
make ready the paths of peace.
Amen.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Gathering Words (Isaiah 40, Mark 1)

Prepare the way of the Holy One.
Prepare the way of our God.
Make ready the paths of peace.
Prepare the way of our God.
Make ready your hearts for the coming of the Lord.
Prepare the way of our God.

—Or—

Gathering Words (Isaiah 40, Mark 1)

Prepare the way of the Holy One.
Prepare the way of our God.

Praise Sentences

The Holy One gives what is good.
We give our thanks and praise.


From The Abingdon Worship Annual, edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press.

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