Today is the third Sunday of Advent. Today is a Sunday for Lessons & Carols. We'll scripture readings and carols throughout the service. We are being led today by our Music Small Group
Prelude, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
As the music starts before the service, take some time to center yourself in God's presence and direct your thoughts to him.
Meet & Greet
This is a time to say hi to the folks around you, and to share in God's peace and grace as we gather as a community of faith
Lighting the Advent Candle: Candle of Joy
Symbols of Advent
Every week during Advent we light a different candle and talk about more chrismons and their meaning. As we do, take time to reflect on their meaning and how that impacts our faith.
Carol: #211 O Come, O Come Emmanuel
We're collecting donations for Christmas baskets and the giving tree
On Christmas Eve our offering will go to Butulah UMC in Mozambique
Next Sunday, Dec. 22, we'll have a Youth Christmas Party after church
Joys & Concerns
This is a time to share the good things, joys, and celebrations in that have taken place in the last week, as well as the hard things and concerns that we face.
Reading: Isaiah 40:1-8
A reading from the prophet Isaiah with a word of hope to a people who are suffering:
1Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 3A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 6A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. 7The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. 8The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.
Merciful God, you sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation. Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may celebrate aright the commemoration of the nativity, and may await with joy the coming in glory of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen
READING: Jeremiah 23:5-6
A reading from the prophet Jeremiah with a word of the King who is coming:
5The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”
Carol: #234 O Come, All Ye Faithful
The ushers will come forward and receive the offering plates. The liturgist will say a prayer as we begin a time to give to God. This isn't just about the money that we put in the plates, but it is about how we give to God out of our love for him.
After the offertory has finished, please stand as you are able, and join in giving thanks to God for these offerings. Please join in singing the doxology.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Reading: Luke 1:26-35
A reading from the Gospel of Luke with an announcement given to Mary that she will bear a son:
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
CAROL: #218 It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
READING: Luke 1:39-47
A second reading from the Gospel of Luke with a word of joy to a struggling Mary.
39Mary got up and hurried to a city in the Judean highlands. 40She entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42With a loud voice she blurted out, "God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry. 43Why do I have this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her." 46Mary said,"With all my heart I glorify the Lord! 47In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.”
MESSAGE: Rejoicing in the Unexpected
CAROL: #245 The First Noel
Go out this week and listen for the rest of the story, and know that God will show you the deep joy, at the time when you need it most.
*POSTLUDE: #246 Joy to the World