Recorded Worship Service for December 13, 2020 Third Sunday of Advent
Watch this week’s service above.
Order of Worship: (Click on each blue arrow to expand/collapse each section.)
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Blessed be God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, whose forgiveness is sure and whose steadfast love endures forever. Amen.
Together let us honestly and humbly confess that we have not lived as God desires.
Loving and forgiving God, we confess that we are held captive by sin. In spite of our best efforts, we have gone astray. We have not welcomed the stranger; we have not loved our neighbor; we have not been Christ to one another. Restore us, O God. Wake us up and turn us from our sin. Renew us each day in the light of Christ. Amen.
People of God, hear this glad news: by God’s endless grace your sins are forgiven, and you are free— free from all that holds you back and free to live in the peaceable realm of God. May you be strengthened in God’s love, ☩ comforted by Christ’s peace, and accompanied with the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Scroll video to 7:39.
Light dawns on a weary world when eyes begin to see all people’s dignity. Light dawns on a weary world: the promised day of justice comes.
Refrain The trees shall clap their hands; the dry lands, gush with springs; the hills and mountains shall break forth with singing! We shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace, as all the world in wonder echoes shalom.
Love grows in a weary world when hungry hearts find bread and children’s dreams are fed. Love grows in a weary world: the promised feast of plenty comes. Refrain
Hope blooms in a weary world when creatures, once forlorn, find wilderness reborn. Hope blooms in a weary world: the promised green of Eden comes. Refrain
Scroll video to 11:10.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.
Scroll video to 11:20.
Let us pray. Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the words of your prophets, that, anointed by your Spirit, we may testify to your light; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Scroll video to 11:47.
Mark, Melissa, Sierra, and Jadyn Smith
At every beginning there is a yearning for the one who is coming. O Emmanuel, Open us up to your coming.
We gather together to allow our deeply held hopes to be reshaped by God’s promises. O Emmanuel, Open us up to your coming.
We wait for the day when God will make for us a future that is no longer predicated on our fear. O Emmanuel, Open us up to your coming.
We find a new receptivity within us that desires God’s will over our own will and relies on God’s justice and mercy to accomplish it. O Emmanuel, Open us up to your coming.
Jesus, we welcome your presence now with the lighting of these candles, whose flames bring warmth to winter and fill this place with the glow of hope. Amen.
Hymn: O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.
O come, O Wisdom from on high, embracing all things far and nigh: in strength and beauty come and stay; teach us your will and guide our way. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.
O come, O come, O Lord of might, as to your tribes on Sinai’s height in ancient times you gave the law in cloud, and majesty, and awe. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.
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Though the people had returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, they continued to face hardship and oppression. In the language of the jubilee year described in Leviticus 25, the prophet, moved by the spirit of God, announces deliverance for those who are oppressed and comfort for those who mourn.
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.
They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
For I the Lord love justice,
I hate robbery and wrongdoing;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants shall be known among the nations,
and their offspring among the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge
that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.
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When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
then were we like those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are glad indeed.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses of the Negeb.
Those who sowed with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed,
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.
Scroll video to 22:07.
Paul concludes his letter to the Thessalonians by encouraging them to live lives of continual joy, prayer, and thanksgiving. The closing blessing is grounded in the hope of Christ’s coming.
16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.
23May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
Scroll video to 22:59.
John’s gospel describes Jesus as the “light of the world.” John the Baptist is presented as a witness to Jesus, one who directs attention away from himself to Christ, the true light.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
19This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23He said,
“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ ”
as the prophet Isaiah said.
24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
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On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry announces that the Lord is nigh; awake and hearken, for he brings glad tidings of the King of kings!
Then cleansed be ev’ry life from sin; make straight the way for God within, and let us all our hearts prepare for Christ to come and enter there.
We hail you as our Savior, Lord, our refuge and our great reward; without your grace we waste away like flow’rs that wither and decay.
Stretch forth your hand, our health restore, and make us rise to fall no more; oh, let your face upon us shine and fill the world with love divine.
All praise to you, eternal Son, whose advent has our freedom won, whom with the Father we adore, and Holy Spirit, evermore.
Scroll video to 38:32.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
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The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior Jesus Christ. You comforted your people with the promise of the Redeemer, through whom you will also make all things new in the day when he comes to judge the world in righteousness. And so, with all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Holy One, the beginning and the end, the giver of life: Blessed are you for the birth of creation. Blessed are you in the darkness and in the light. Blessed are you for your promise to your people. Blessed are you in the prophets’ hopes and dreams. Blessed are you for Mary’s openness to your will. Blessed are you for your Son Jesus, the Word made flesh.
In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
With this bread and cup we remember your Word dwelling among us, full of grace and truth. We remember our new birth in his death and resurrection. We look with hope for his coming.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Holy God, we long for your Spirit. Come among us. Bless this meal. May your Word take flesh in us. Awaken your people. Fill us with your light. Bring the gift of peace on earth.
Come, Holy Spirit.
All praise and glory are yours, Holy One of Israel, Word of God incarnate, Power of the Most High, one God, now and forever.
Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray. 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; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Even as we watch and wait, Christ is here. Come, eat and drink.
Pastor or anyone offering Holy Communion to another: The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.
Scroll video to 48:16.
The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace. Amen.
Let us pray. Gracious and abundant God, you have done great things for us, and we rejoice. In this bread and cup you give us life forever. In your boundless mercy, strengthen us and open our hearts to the world’s needs, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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The Creator of the stars bless your Advent waiting, the long-expected Savior fill you with love, the unexpected Spirit guide your journey, ☩ now and forever. Amen.
Scroll video to 49:10.
Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
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Praise the One who breaks the darkness with a liberating light; praise the One who frees the pris’ners, turning blindness into sight. Praise the One who preached the gospel, healing ev’ry dread disease, calming storms and feeding thousands with the very bread of peace.
Praise the One who blessed the children with a strong yet gentle word; praise the One who drove out demons with a piercing, two-edged sword. Praise the One who brings cool water to the desert’s burning sand; from this well comes living water quenching thirst in ev’ry land.
Praise the one true love incarnate: Christ, who suffered in our place; Jesus died and rose for many that we may know God by grace. Let us sing for joy and gladness, seeing what our God has done. Praise the one redeeming glory; praise the One who makes us one.
Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Paul Eppley
Advent Wreath Lighting: Mark, Melissa, Sierra, and Jadyn Smith
Music: Deb Jenks (organ and piano), Tim Jenks (voice), Donnasue Thompson (flute), Peals of Grace
View and print the pre-reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Pre-reader’s Version View and print the reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Reader’s Version
Sing for Joy is a radio program that follows the weekly Sunday lectionary through music and reflection. The weekly scriptures are listed. Program host Pastor Bruce Benson ties together the readings of the day and the musical selections that have been provided from a number of sources by music advisor Dr. John Ferguson. The program is produced by St. Olaf College.