THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT ORDER OF SERVICE

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church         

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT          Coronavirus

12-13-2020     10:00AM Worship

              

INTRODUCTORY WORDS TO TODAY’S WORSHIP:            

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

Many have tired of the waiting. Many have turned and walked away. Many have moved back into, or never even left, the shadows where dreams are few or false. Into this dark, lonely world comes a man bearing a testimony – humbling the exalted, exalting the humbled, confessing that he is only the beginning of God’s new day, proclaiming the approach of life-saving light. The light has come to give sight to the blind, reopen the eyes of the dead, open the minds of those who questioned, and shine upon those who were lost and forgotten. That light has transformed the darkness of all of this life’s shadows and the final darkness of physical death into the shining promise of a new day. May you see the true light of Christ… receive it… and shine forth!

OPENING SONG:    “On Jordan’s Banks the Baptist’s Cry”   

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH AND PRAYER:       

L   In our homes and as a community of faith on Zoom, we gather to pray 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   We have lit the first two candles, one for HOPE and one for PEACE. Today we light the third candle, the

CANDLE OF JOY, in spite of missing so many things we thought were essential to a merry Christmas –

shopping in stores, parties and holiday meals, photos with Santa, chances to hug, travel plans, school

sports, Christmas pageants with the children, gathered family and friends, a decorated church sanctuary.

C    Joy is like an underground spring that wells up within us, but joy is also a choice, an attitude. 

Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised in order to develop. 

So today we open ourselves to joy, trusting that God has already planted it in us. 

All we need to do is give it some care and offer it to share in the midst of life’s great trials.

[The third candle, sometimes called the CANDLE OF JOY, is lit.]

L   God’s joy ignites embers under the losses and sorrows of life and brightens the path to love.

This morning we pray:

C           Come, O Holy One, breaker of chains and renewer of life!

We will give thanks in all circumstances and encourage one another.

Stir us to bring a good word from God to those who are in distress – 

the liberation of those who are oppressed,

the healing of those who are frail and broken,

springs of water in all the parched places,

and Jesus Christ, risen and alive among us!

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 61:1-4, 8-11    [HOPE sprouts from the ruins!]

SONG SELECTION       

SECOND READING:   1 Thessalonians 5:16-24   [JOY bursts in trying circumstances!]

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:   John 1:6-8, 19-28   [LIGHT shatters the deep darkness!]        

THE SERMON:      Pastor Neil or Pastor Gwen

SONG RESPONSE:    “Hold Out Your Light”    

OFFERING PRAYER:               

O Lord, we open our hearts and our lives to your presence, power, and 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 – both to us and also 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                

THE BENEDICTION by one of the Pastors.

 

   

   

 

   

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

        

 

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