Worship Elements: November 28, 2021

September 2nd, 2021

First Sunday of Advent

COLOR: Blue or Purple
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36


How can we participate in the coming reign of Christ? That is the challenge of Advent. God promises a new order, the birth of a world in which justice and righteous- ness rule. The promise is irrevocable—the birth will come. Whether we are among those who will be reborn with that world depends upon our commitment and allegiance, in each moment of our lives, to the one true God rather than the false gods we so often honor. God shows us the way in the life and words of Jesus, and gives us companions— our sisters and brothers in Christ. But ultimately, each of us must actively prepare if we are to be part of what is being born at Christmas.


Call to Worship (Jeremiah 33, 1 Thessalonians 3, Luke 21)

People of faith, prepare for the coming reign of Christ!  
As we gather to pray and sing and listen,
a spirit of anticipation and hope fills us.
The days are surely coming, says Our God,
when justice and righteousness will prevail.
May our worship illuminate our hearts and minds,
freeing us to respond joyfully
to God’s call in the days to come.

Opening Prayer (Psalm 25, 1 Thessalonians 3, Luke 21)

Holy Source of life and hope,
as we come together this day,
open our ears to hear,
open our eyes to see,
and open our hearts to love,
that we may come to know your ways
and follow your paths.
Help us grow in love for one another,
and for all creation,
as we prepare for the coming of the one
who calls us to turn from our false gods
to you, Holy One,
the true source of our salvation. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Jeremiah 33, Luke 21)

Loving Creator, you call us to rejoice
in your promise of the birth that is to come,
but we are afraid.
You invite us into a world
where justice and righteousness prevail,
but we turn away in fear.
We long for an easy path into your promised world,
but you warn us that there is no easy way.
Birth new life within us,
that we may abide in your perfect love —
the love that casts out fear.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 25, 1 Thessalonians 3)

God’s mercy and steadfast love endure,
strengthening our hearts and overcoming our fears.
God will remove every obstacle
that keeps us from being the body of Christ.

Passing the Peace of Christ

Anticipating the blessings of the one who is coming,
let us offer one another signs of Christ’s peace:
The peace of Christ be with you, always.
And also with you.

Response to the Word (Luke 21)

Ever-faithful Teacher of Truth,
your word is born anew each moment.
It will never pass away.
Grant that we may be bearers of that word,
bringing your love and hope and justice
into this violent, hurting world. Amen.


Invitation to the Offering (1 Thessalonians)

God’s love for us knows no bounds. In grateful response, may our gifts to others abound.

Offering Prayer (Luke 21)

Giver of all good things,
as we offer these gifts to you,
open our eyes to see more clearly
all that we have been given
and all that we have to give.
Stretch our capacity to give of ourselves:
our love, our companionship,
and our material resources,
wherever they are needed. Amen.


Benediction (1 Thessalonians 3, Luke 21)

Go into the world awake to the signs
of God’s invitations to new life.
Know that the reign of Christ draws nearer
with each right action we choose.


Contemporary Gathering Words (Luke 21)

People of faith, prepare for the coming reign of Christ!
We are getting ready!

Praise Sentences (Luke 21)

The Chosen One is coming in a cloud
with great power and glory!
Thanks be to God!
The beloved Son is coming in humble estate
with a love that embraces all.
Thanks be to God!

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

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