FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT | 12-03-23

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT  

(First Sunday of the Church Year)

12-03-2023       10:00AM Hybrid Worship 

 

+   Gathering   +

INTRODUCTORY WORDS TO TODAY’S WORSHIP:    

Brothers and sisters, welcome in the mighty name of God, in the saving name of (+) Jesus, and in the strong name of the Spirit – Hallelujah! Advent is a season of humble reflection and hopeful preparation when we recognize the barrenness in our lives and yearn for God’s help. God often acts when it seems too late – past time and beyond belief. As we wait, let’s get ready! Long ago in poverty… today in hope… and tomorrow in power –  CHRIST IS COMING!

OPENING SONG:  “Soon and Very Soon”         Brown #38

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH AND PRAYER:     

L   Waiting without hope is torture.

Waiting without help produces fear.

C   But our hope is in the God who does come.

And our help is in the God who is here.

L   So we wait, expectantly, for the God who will come again into our lives, into our church, into our world.

For we know that the Liberator is on the way!

C   People, get ready! People, wake up!

Salvation is nearer now than when we first believed!

L   As we light the first candle of the Advent wreath, the Candle of Hope, we ask for God’s presence to fill our

hearts and our homes. Let us pray…

C O Lord, bless us as we light the first candle of this Advent wreath.

May the hope of Christ’s coming bring light to our darkness and renew our spirits. 

We renounce evil; we claim your love; we choose to be set free and made whole.

Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Hallelujah!

[One candle is lit on the Advent wreath.]

 

+   Holy Word   +

FIRST READING:   Isaiah 64:1-9
[A discouraged people refusing to give up – a desperate plea for God to act!]

64:1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence–

64:2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil– to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!

64:3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

64:4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.

64:5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

64:7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.

64:8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

64:9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

SONG SELECTION: Maliek Patterson

SECOND READING:   1 Corinthians 1:3-9
[Enriched with spiritual gifts that enable faithfulness to the end.]

1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,

1:5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind–

1:6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you–

1:7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1:8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1:9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

GOSPEL VERSE:

“We need to hear from You, we need a word from You.

If we don’t hear from You, what will we do?

Wanting You more each day, show us Your perfect way.

There is no other way that we can live.”

GOSPEL:   Mark 13:24-37
[The Lord’s unexpected arrival – “You must be ready!”]

13:24 “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,

13:25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

13:26 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory.

13:27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

13:28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.

13:29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.

13:30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.

13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

13:32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

13:33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.

13:34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.

13:35 Therefore, keep awake–for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,

13:36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.

13:37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

SONG SELECTION: Stephanie Fluellen       

THE SERMON:      Pastor Gwen or Pastor Neil

SONG RESPONSE: “My Lord, What a Morning”                               Brown #40

THE PRAYERS…  We pray for the world to be redeemed, the Church reformed, and all people restored!

(sung at beginning and end)   “Oh… hear us.     Oh, hear us.     Oh… hear us, Lord.     Hear us, Lord… hear us.”

    (sung after each intercession) “Hear us, Lord… hear us.”

 

+   Holy Meal   +

TITHES (10% giving) AND GIFTS…  We faithfully undertake GOD’S MISSION with our money and our lives! 

SONG SELECTION: ALL SAINTS CHOIR 

OFFERTORY:

“Come by here, my Lord, come by here; come by here, my Lord, come by here;

Come by here, my Lord, come by here. O LORD, COME BY HERE!

(2)  Someone needs You, Lord, come by here…

(3)  Send a blessing, Lord, come by here… ”

OFFERING PRAYER by the Communion Assistant:

O Lord Jesus, we open our hearts and our lives to your presence, your power, and your promises!

We want to be part of what you are doing in the world even now.

Give us the spirit to do what is right with our offerings, time, and talents.

May we bear your light to all who sit in the shadows of darkness and despair.  AMEN

THE PREFACE:

     L   Sisters and brothers, the Lord be with you!     C   AND ALSO WITH YOU!

     L   Lift up your hearts!     C   WE LIFT THEM UP IN LOVE FOR GOD!

     L   Let us give thanks to the Lord our God!     C   IT IS RIGHT TO GIVE GOD OUR THANKS AND PRAISE!

THE EUCHARISTIC WORDS by the Celebrant, who recalls and re-enacts Jesus’ Holy Meal.

THE LORD’S PRAYER  (spoken)

COMMUNION AND BLESSINGSAll believers in Christ are welcome at the Lord’s Table! We will have “continuous distribution” with wafers and either wine or grape juice. CHRIST COMES TO US IN BREAD AND WINE AND BLESSING, BRINGING US PEACE, UNITY, STRENGTH, AND HOPE! 

[During the Advent Season we will not have any Communion Songs. Instead, we invite you to spend the time in quiet reflection and prayer. Without God our lives are empty and barren, without hope! Sometimes trouble surround us and turmoil makes our hearts shudder and grow weary. And sometimes temptation leads us astray. Can we recognize our deep need and look for those signs of God’s saving grace?  

THE COMMUNION BLESSING by the Celebrant after all have communed.

POST-COMMUNION PRAYER by the Communion Assistant.

 

+   Sending   +

BENEDICTION by the Pastor… God sends us TO SHINE with the Light of Jesus Christ in a shadowy world!

CLOSING SONG: “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”                  Brown #297

SEASON OF ADVENT – 

Jesus challenges us to wake from sleep, to be watchful, to be ready.

What would need to be done in your own life to get ready for the advent of Jesus?

Even in the midst of trouble and turmoil, God allows us glimpses of the kingdom to come. 

What signs of promise do you see that bolster your hope in a new heaven and a new earth? 

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jun
23
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jun
30
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
3
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
5
Fri
2024
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.