Recorded Worship Service for December 6, 2020 Second 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.
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The King shall come when morning dawns and light triumphant breaks, when beauty gilds the eastern hills and life to joy awakes.
Not as of old a little child, to bear and fight and die, but crowned with glory like the sun that lights the morning sky.
Oh, brighter than the rising morn when Christ, victorious, rose and left the lonesome place of death, despite the rage of foes.
Oh, brighter than that glorious morn shall dawn upon our race the day when Christ in splendor comes, and we shall see his face.
The King shall come when morning dawns and light and beauty brings. Hail, Christ the Lord! Your people pray: come quickly, King of kings.
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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.
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Let us pray. Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming strengthen us to serve you with purified lives; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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Nancy Kennedy and Kristen, Hannah, and Olivia Wertz
At every beginning there is a yearning for the one who is coming. O Emmanuel, Prepare us for your coming.
We gather together to get ready for what? Only heaven knows. O Emmanuel, Prepare us for your coming.
We wait for the day when God will create a prevailing peace on the earth, and natural-born enemies turn into newborn friends. O Emmanuel, Prepare us for your coming.
We get ready for God to come close by laying our lives open to Jesus, asking him to sort through all our mixed motives. O Emmanuel, Prepare us for 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.
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In grand, flowing, poetic lines, the prophet announces that the exile of God’s people in Babylon is over. God will deliver Israel and will care for her as a shepherd cares for the sheep. This word can be trusted, because the only enduring reality in life is the word of God.
Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak 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.
A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every 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.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.
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You have been gracious to your land, O Lord;
you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of your people
and blotted out all their sins.
I will listen to what the Lord God is saying;
for you speak peace to your faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to you.
Truly, your salvation is very near to those who fear you,
that your glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness have met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Faithfulness shall spring up from the earth,
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed grant prosperity,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness shall go before the Lord
and shall prepare for God a pathway.
Scroll video to 15:55.
This short letter deals with pressing concerns regarding the final advent of Jesus, especially concerns that could arise over its apparent delay. The author of the letter calls on Christians to anticipate the promised coming of the Lord through conduct dedicated to God.
8Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
11Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
14Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15aand regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
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The Gospel of Mark does not begin with a story of Jesus’ birth but with the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord.”
1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’ ”
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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“Comfort, comfort now my people; tell of peace!” So says our God. Comfort those who sit in darkness mourning under sorrow’s load. To God’s people now proclaim that God’s pardon waits for them! Tell them that their war is over; God will reign in peace forever.
For the herald’s voice is crying in the desert far and near, calling us to true repentance, since the kingdom now is here. Oh, that warning cry obey! Now prepare for God a way. Valleys, rise to greet the Savior: hills, bow down in humble favor.
Straight shall be what long was crooked, and the rougher places plain. Let your hearts be true and humble, as befits God’s holy reign. For the glory of the Lord now on earth is shed abroad, and all flesh shall see the token that God’s word is never broken.
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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 44:40.
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.
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Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
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Hark, the glad sound! The Savior comes, the Savior promised long; let ev’ry heart prepare a throne and ev’ry voice a song.
He comes the pris’ners to release, in Satan’s bondage held. The gates of brass before him burst, the iron fetters yield.
He comes the broken heart to bind, the bleeding soul to cure, and with the treasures of his grace to enrich the humble poor.
Our glad hosannas, Prince of peace, your welcome shall proclaim, and heav’n’s eternal arches ring with your beloved name.
Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Gary Smith
Advent Wreath Lighting: Nancy Kennedy and Kristen, Hannah, and Olivia Wertz
Music: Deb Jenks (organ and piano)
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.