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Worship Service: December 12, 2021, the Third Sunday of Advent

Gathering

Prelude

“The King Shall Come”
Theodore Beck

Opening Hymn #633 (blue hymnal)

“Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn”

1  Awake! Awake, and greet the new morn,
for angels herald its dawning.
Sing out your joy, for soon he is born,
behold! the Child of our longing.
Come as a baby weak and poor,
to bring all hearts together,
he opens wide the heav’nly door
and lives now inside us forever.

2  To us, to all in sorrow and fear,
Emmanuel comes a-singing,
his humble song is quiet and near,
yet fills the earth with its ringing;
music to heal the broken soul
and hymns of lovingkindness,
the thunder of his anthems roll
to shatter all hatred and blindness.

3  In darkest night his coming shall be,
when all the world is despairing,
as morning light so quiet and free,
so warm and gentle and caring.
Then shall the mute break forth in song,
the lame shall leap in wonder,
the weak be raised above the strong,
and weapons be broken asunder.

4  Rejoice, rejoice, take heart in the night,
though dark the winter and cheerless,
the rising sun shall crown you with light,
be strong and loving and fearless.
Love be our song and love our prayer
and love our endless story;
may God fill ev’ry day we share
and bring us at last into glory.

Confession and Forgiveness

P: Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, who alone does wonders, who lifts up the lowly, who fills the hungry with good things.

C: Amen.

P: Let us confess our sin, trusting in the tender mercy of our God.

Silence is kept for reflection.

P: God for whom we wait,

C: in the presence of one another, we confess our sin before you. We fail in believing that your good news is for us. We falter in our call to tend your creation. We find our sense of self in material wealth. We fear those different from ourselves. We forget that we are your children and turn away from your love. Forgive us, Blessed One, and assure us again of your saving grace. Amen.

P: God, in Christ Jesus, has looked with favor upon you! Through the power of the Holy Spirit, ☩ your sins are forgiven. You are children of the Most High, inheritors of the eternal promise, and recipients of divine mercy. God strengthens you anew to follow the way of peace.

C: Amen.

Greeting and Prayer of the Day

P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

C: And also with you.

P: Let us pray. Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the preaching of John, that, rejoicing in your salvation, we may bring forth the fruits of repentance; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C: Amen.

The Word

Blessing of the Lector

P: Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.
Let us pray. Be with us, O God, as John opens for us the scriptures, and open our ears to hear the good Word, Jesus Christ our Lord.

C: Amen.

First Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-20

14 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
 shout, O Israel!
 Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
 O daughter Jerusalem!
15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you,
 he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
 you shall fear disaster no more.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
 do not let your hands grow weak.
17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
 a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
 he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
18 as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
 so that you will not bear reproach for it.
19 I will deal with all your oppressors
 at that time.
And I will save the lame
 and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
 and renown in all the earth.
20 At that time I will bring you home,
 at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
 among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
 before your eyes, says the LORD.

  The word of the Lord.

C: Thanks be to God.

Second Reading: Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  The word of the Lord.

C: Thanks be to God.

Gospel: Luke 3:7-18

P: The holy gospel according to St. Luke, the 3rd chapter.

C: Glory to you, O Lord.

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

P: The gospel of the Lord.

C: Praise to you, O Christ.

Lighting of the Advent Wreath

Music: “Light an Advent Candle”
Becki Slagle Mayo

P:  Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe. Your prophets spoke of a day when the desert would blossom and waters would break forth in the wilderness.

C:  Bless us as we light the third candle of this wreath.

P:  Strengthen our hearts as we prepare for the coming of the Lord. May he give water to all who thirst, for he is our light and our salvation.

C:  Blessed be God forever. Amen.

Children’s Sermon

Sermon

Silence for meditation

Hymn of the Day

“Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding!”

1  Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding!
“Christ is near,” we hear it say.
“Cast away the works of darkness,
all you children of the day!”

2  Wakened by the solemn warning,
from earth’s bondage let us rise;
Christ, our sun, all sloth dispelling,
shines upon the morning skies.

3  See the Lamb, so long expected,
come with pardon down from heav’n.
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
one and all, to be forgiv’n;

4  So, when next he comes in glory
and the world is wrapped in fear,
he will shield us with his mercy
and with words of love draw near.

5  Honor, glory, might, and blessing
to the Father and the Son
with the everlasting Spirit
while unending ages run!

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
 creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
 He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
  and born of the virgin Mary.
 He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
  was crucified, died, and was buried.
 He descended into hell.
 On the third day he rose again.
 He ascended into heaven,
  and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
 He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
 the holy catholic Church,
 the communion of saints,
 the forgiveness of sins,
 the resurrection of the body,
 and the life everlasting. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

A: Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

After each petition:

A: Lord, in your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

After the last petition:

A: Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C: Amen.

Peace

P: The peace of Christ be with you always.

C: And also with you.

The Meal

Offering Prayer

A: Let us pray.

C: God of abundance, we bring before you the precious fruits of your creation, and with them our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need until the coming of your Son, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

P: The Lord be with you.

C: And also with you.

P: Lift up your hearts.

C: We lift them to the Lord.

P: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

P:   It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior Jesus Christ. You comforted your people with the promise of the Redeemer, through whom you will also make all things new in the day when he comes to judge the world in righteousness.
And so, with all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Sanctus
LBW Setting 1 (green hymnal, p. 69)

   Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna. Hosanna. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

P:  Holy One, the beginning and the end, the giver of life: Blessed are you for the birth of creation. Blessed are you in the darkness and in the light. Blessed are you for your promise to your people. Blessed are you in the prophets’ hopes and dreams. Blessed are you for Mary’s openness to your will. Blessed are you for your Son Jesus, the Word made flesh.

   In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

   Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

   Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

C:  Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

P:  With this bread and cup we remember your Word dwelling among us, full of grace and truth. We remember our new birth in his death and resurrection. We look with hope for his coming.

C:  Come, Lord Jesus.

P:  Holy God, we long for your Spirit. Come among us. Bless this meal. May your Word take flesh in us. Awaken your people. Fill us with your light. Bring the gift of peace on earth.

C:  Come, Holy Spirit.

P:  All praise and glory are yours, Holy One of Israel, Word of God incarnate, Power of the Most High, one God, now and forever.

C:  Amen.

P:  Lord, remember us in your kingdom, and teach us to pray:

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 trespasses,
 as we forgive those
  who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
 but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
 and the power, and the glory,
 forever and ever. Amen.

Invitation to Communion

P: The Lord your God is in your midst, here at the table.

  The Body of Christ, broken for you.

  The Blood of Christ, shed for you.

All eat bread and drink wine or juice at their seat.

Communion Hymn #24 (green hymnal)

“Come, O Precious Ransom”

1  Come, O precious Ransom, come,
only hope for sinful mortals!
Come, O Savior of the world;
open are to you all portals.
Come, your beauty let us view;
anxiously we wait for you.

2  Enter now my waiting heart,
glorious King and Lord most holy.
Dwell in me and never leave,
though I am but poor and lowly.
What vast riches will be mine
when you are my guest divine!

3  My hosannas and my palms
graciously receive, I pray you;
evermore, as best I can,
homage I will gladly pay you,
and in faith I will embrace
life eternal by your grace.

4  Hail! Hosanna! David’s Son!
Jesus, hear our supplication!
Let your kingdom, scepter, crown
bring us blessing and salvation;
that forever we may sing:
Hail! Hosanna to our king!

Table Blessing

P: The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.

C: Amen.

Prayer after Communion

A: Let us pray. God for whom we wait, in this meal you give us a foretaste of that day when the hungry will be fed with good things. Send us forth to make known your deeds and to proclaim the greatness of your name, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

C: Amen.

Sending

Announcements for God’s Mission in the World

Blessing

P: Almighty God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.

C: Amen.

Closing Hymn #626 (blue hymnal)

“People, Look East”

1  People, look east. The time is near
of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east, and sing today—
Love, the Guest, is on the way.

2  Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
one more seed is planted there.
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
that in course the flow’r may flourish.
People, look east, and sing today—
Love, the Rose, is on the way.

3  Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim,
one more light the bowl shall brim,
shining beyond the frosty weather,
bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east, and sing today—
Love, the Star, is on the way.

4  Angels announce with shouts of mirth
him who brings new life to earth.
Set ev’ry peak and valley humming
with the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east, and sing today—
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Dismissal

A: Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

C: Thanks be to God.

Postlude

“Comfort, Comfort These My People”
Johann Pachelbel


Worship Leaders

The Rev. Emily Beckering, Pastor
Kris Keith, Music Director
Kate Wollenburg, Organist
Noah Moorhouse, Assisting Minister
John Cathcart, Reader

Upcoming Events

Sunday, December 12: Third Sunday of Advent

9 am Sunday School / Adult Forum
10:30 am Worship Service (in-person/livestreamed)
2 pm St. Paul Players perform “The Game’s Afoot”

Wednesday, December 15

7 pm Bell choir rehearsal

Thursday, December 16

10:30 am Bible Study – Sunday’s readings

Sunday, December 19: Fourth Sunday of Advent

9 am Sunday School / Adult Forum
10:30 am Worship Service (in-person/livestreamed)

Monday, December 20

7 pm Council Meeting

Tuesday, December 21

**No Confirmation Class**

Wednesday, December 22

7 pm Bell choir rehearsal

Thursday, December 23

10:30 am Bible Study – Sunday’s readings
6 pm BSA Troop Meeting

Friday, December 24

6:45 pm Special Music
7 pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Sunday, December 26

**No Sunday School / Adult Forum**
10:30 am Worship Service – Lessons & Carols

Copyright Notices

“Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn”: Text and music © 1983 GIA Publications, Inc., 7404 S. Mason Ave., Chicago, IL 60638. www.giamusic.com. 800.442.3358.

“Light an Advent Candle”: Words and music by Becki Slagle Mayo © 2007 Lorenz Publishing Company, a division of The Lorenz Corporation.

“People, Look East”: Text © Miss E. Farjeon Will Trust, by permission of David Higham Associates. Arr. © 1999 Novello & Company Limited, London, United Kingdom. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

Hymns/anthems: Music reprinted and streamed by permission under ONE LICENSE #A-726103 and CCLI Licenses #21045423 and #21045416. All rights reserved.

Liturgical texts and service music: From SundaysandSeasons.com. Copyright © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS010308.