FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT ORDER OF SERVICE

We will gather together for worship service on Zoom using the following information:
MEETING ID: 5977365682
MEETING PASSWORD: 204934

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St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church         

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT          Coronavirus
(First Sunday of the Church Year)
11-29-2020     10:00AM Worship

INTRODUCTORY WORDS TO TODAY’S WORSHIP:     

Grace to you and peace from (+) God, our maker, our mercy, and our might.

Advent is a season of humble reflection, hopeful preparation, and patient waiting 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. While we are waiting for Jesus Christ to show up in our lives and at the end of the ages, God is

Waiting on us. What is God waiting on us to do so that we are ready and our world is prepared?

OPENING SONG    “Soon and Very Soon”           

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH AND PRAYER:          

L   In our homes and as a community of faith on Zoom, we gather to pray for our lost hopes, our broken peace, our limited joys, and love so hard to find and to share in this season of coronavirus.

C    The candles on the wreath mean that we claim the power to call this season ADVENT, because we believe that God’s light continues to COME  into this troubled world, into a wounded heart, and into a seeking community of faith. And nothing can overcome it! Jesus Christ is still our true light!

L   Today we light the CANDLE OF HOPE in the face of such things as – COVID-19 deaths, infections, and anxiety… hurricanes, wildfires, and so many other disasters… lost jobs, closed businesses, and remote schooling… loneliness, missed hugs, and holidays without gathering together… political unrest, systemic racism, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

C    Waiting without hope is torture, and waiting without help produces fear. But our hope is in the God who does come, and our help is in the God who is here.

[The first candle, sometimes called the CANDLE OF HOPE, is lit.] 

L   God’s hope shines on hopelessness, and brightens the path toward peace. This morning we pray:

C    Stir up your power, O Holy One, and come!
      Show us the creative power of hope and prepare our hearts to be transformed by you.
Keep us mindful that at any moment you may ask for an accounting of our lives.
Help us to love you and to love one another in all we do, to be blameless when you arrive.
We renounce evil; we claim your love; we choose to be set free and made whole.
Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Hallelujah!

SUNG 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.”

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       

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:    “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… “

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.”

       

THE SERMON:      Pastor Neil or Pastor Gwen

SONG RESPONSE:         

OFFERING PRAYER:           

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

Give us the spirit and the patience, we pray, to bear your light to all who sit in the shadows of darkness. 

Help us shine upon lost hopes, broken peace, missing joy, and love too hard to find and to share.  

May your Kingdom come soon – to us and through us.  AMEN. 

MUSIC SELECTION     Dennis Fortune

THE PRAYERSWe 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.”

THE LORD’S PRAYER

SONG SELECTION:     “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”               

THE BENEDICTION by one of the Pastors.

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