Monday, December 10, 2012

Third Sunday of Advent - C

Texts: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18

Call to Worship
L: God comes! So don't let go
of all the reasons to rejoice.
P: We will sing a song of Advent to the One
who fills our lives with wonder and joy.
L: God comes! So don't stop lifting
your prayers with thanksgiving.
P: We will sing a song of Advent to the One
who hears our words and especially our silence.
L: God comes! Son don't stop giving your hearts to God.
P: We will sing a song of Advent to the One
who graces us with a peace we cannot begin to understand.

Prayer of the Day
Advent God:
like a mother lullabying a baby,
you sing over us;
like a father picking up
his kids after school,
you bring us home.

Jesus Christ,
Wellspring of salvation:
may we draw near
and drink deeply of
your living waters,
so we might be renewed to life
and restored to wholeness.

Holy Spirit,
Peace surrounding
our hearts and minds:
help us to set aside
our fears and worries,
so we may rejoice in
what God has done and
is doing in our midst.

God in Community, Holy in One,
in the midst of us,
in this holy time and sacred space,
in every moment and place we live,
hear us as we pray, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Don't be afraid! God does not turn away from us,
but comes towards us. God does not hold what
we have done against us, but take away the judgments
against us. Join me as we pray to our loving God,

Unison Prayer of Confession
How can we think of rejoicing, God of all times,
when we face our world, and who we are? Called
to gentleness, we can be angry and hurtful people.
Called to generosity, we tighten our grip on our
clothes, our food, our love. Called to fairness, we
can easily reject those who are different from us.
Yet, you are our salvation, Joy of our hearts, and
you forgive us. Renewed in your love, we can be
more loving; restored to new life, we can give
ourselves away to others; as you rejoice over us
with gladness, may we share the joy of Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Savior, with everyone we meet.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L: This is the good news proclaimed to us: the Lord
is near, the Lord who is our salvation.
P: We give thanks to God, who has come bringing
peace, bearing hope, carrying joy into our lives. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L: May God our salvation be with you!
P: And also with you!
L: Rejoice and exult with all your hearts,
daughters and sons of God.
P: We open our hearts to draw from the
springs of salvation.
L: Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of God.
P: We sing aloud to God who is in our midst.

We rejoice and exult you
with all our hearts, God of wonder,
for you came into the midst of chaos,
shattering it with a shout of joy:
creating pools of clear water,
planting fields of abundant food,
shaping us in your image.
You would rejoice over us with gladness,
but we turned towards your enemies,
sing, and death, our praise changing to shame.
Longing to deal with our oppressors,
you sent us the prophets, singing your love,
but we would not turn back.
So you sent Jesus, your Gentleness,
to gather us up and bring us home.

Renewed in your love, graced by your hope,
we join our voices with those around us
in calling on your name:

P: Holy, holy, holy are you, God who approaches us.
All creation makes known your great deeds.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes to bring us home.
Hosanna in the highest!

You are holy, God of joy, yet always in our midst,
and Jesus Christ is the One who gives us victory.
Seeing us shackled by our rebellious ways,
he came to set us free by your mercy.
Hearing our cries of pain and suffering,
he came singing of your healing power.
Confronting our oppressors, he died on the cross,
saving all broken by sin,
gathering those cast aside by death,
to bring us home to life with you.

As we journey towards that most holiest of nights,
as we prepare to sing with the choirs of angels,
we tell of that faith which is our gift:

P: Christ died, to become our salvation;
Christ rose, to make God renowned through all creation;
Christ will come to change our silence into praise.

As we gather at this Table,
we sing aloud to you, God our God.
By your Spirit, you transform
common gifts into sacred use,
so we might draw closer to you.
On this festival day, feed us with that Bread
which changes our apathy in commitment,
so we might go forth to deal
with the oppressors of our time,
sharing in the lives of the broken.
At this feast, pour out the Cup of grace,
which can fill us with your hope and peace,
gifts which we will share
with everyone we meet
on this journey to Bethlehem.

And when we are gathered home with you,
we will sing with all your daughters and sons
from every time, and from every place,
forever praising you,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

© 2012 Thom M. Shuman