Third Sunday of Advent Worship Bulletin | 12-17-23

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT  

12-17-2023       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! 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.

OPENING SONG: “On Jordan’s Banks the Baptist’s Cry”                                                      Green #36

 

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH AND PRAYER:      

L   In the midst of life’s great trials and worst tribulations, we shall rejoice!

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

C  Because we are ourselves changed, let us bring a good word from God to those who are in turmoil.

Captives will be released, the distressed relieved, and those who are at death raised up!

L   Be patient, be encouraged; it won’t be too much longer.

     There is no need to fear, for God is coming to save!

C Leap and sing for joy! God’s promises are true.

             Even now springs of living water rise up to quench our thirsting souls.

L   As we remember the Candle of Hope and the Candle of Peace, and now add the Candle of Joy, let us pray…

C O Lord, bless us as we light three candles of this Advent wreath.

Open our eyes and ears to see and hear your saving presence.

Open our lips and hands to testify to the true light in word and deed. 

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

Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Hallelujah!

[Three candles are lit on the Advent wreath. Sometimes the first is called the Candle of Hope,

the second is called the Candle of Peace, and the third candle is called the Candle of Joy.]

 

+   Holy Word   +

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

61:1 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;

61:2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;

61:3 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.

61:4 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.

61:8 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.

61:9 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.

61:10 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.

61:11 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.

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

5:16 Rejoice always,

5:17 pray without ceasing,

5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.

5:20 Do not despise the words of prophets,

5:21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good;

5:22 abstain from every form of evil.

5:23 May 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.

5:24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

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

1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

1:7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.

1:8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

1:19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

1:20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.”

1:21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.”

1:22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

1:23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,'” as the prophet Isaiah said.

1:24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.

1:25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”

1:26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know,

1:27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.”

1:28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

SONG SELECTION: ALL SAINTS CHOIR  

THE SERMON:      Pastor Robert Holum

SONG RESPONSE:       “Steal Away”                                                                               Brown #175

Steal away…  steal away…  steal away to Jesus!

Steal away…  steal away home…  I ain’t got long to stay here.

  1. My Lord calls me, he calls me by the thunder.

The trumpet sounds with-in-a my soul…  I ain’t got long to stay here.

  1. Green trees are bending, poor sinners stand a-trembling…
  2. Tombstones are bursting, poor sinners stand a-trembling…
  3. My Lord calls me, he calls me by the lightning…

 

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:     “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”        Green #30 (different tune) 

How might we bear witness to the True Light who has come into the world?

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.