November 29, 2020

The First Sunday of Advent

10:20AM





Gathering


Welcome, Announcements




Prelude



Lighting the Advent Candle

One: Hear these words from Isaiah 64:1-9.

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— 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! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 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. 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. 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. 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. Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.


Light the first Advent Candle:

All: O Holy One, we light this first candle, a candle of grief, in the midst of the stories of the last year. Let it burn through these weeks as a beacon to become the light of Hope. Let it guide us to your presence in our midst. God be with us in this Light of Hope.


Invocation

Almighty God, as we begin this season of Advent remind us again that in the midst of our darkness you are bringing us hope, to inspire our anxious spirits and renew our lives. Turn our hearts again toward you. Make us ready to receive Jesus our Savior. Be with us in this waiting time and give us the blessing of your hope in our spirits. For we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Call To Confession




Prayer Of Confession

Holy God we seek signs of your presence in our world and in our lives. We know that your signs are all around us, and yet, we miss the signs of your inspiration. We find signs of gloom and doom – but we should be looking for signs of hope and triumph. Forgive us, merciful God, when we spend so much time looking for the scary things in life. Focus our attention on ways in which we can be of service to our world. Forgive us when we seek the darkness of anger and fear and turn our backs on the light of possibilities. Open our hearts once again to your redeeming love, inspiration, and hope, for we ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Assurance Of Pardon





Hearing


Prayer For Illumination



Scripture

Mark 13:24-37


“But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 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. “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. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 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. 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, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”





Meditation


Rev. Marie A. Bacchiocchi


Responding


Music




Sharing Our Joys and Concerns


Pastoral Prayer


The Lord’s Prayer

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.




Call to the Offering






Unison Prayer of Dedication

Bless these gifts, Holy One, and help them to bring the transforming love you have given us into ministries of hope in this our world. AMEN.


Sending


Benediction





Postlude



Today’s liturgy is adapted from Ministry Matters.