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Worship Service: December 5, 2021, the Second Sunday of Advent

Gathering

Prelude

“The Advent of Our God” (Tune: Franconia)
C.S. Lang

Opening Hymn #26 (green hymnal)

“Prepare the Royal Highway”

1  Prepare the royal highway;
the King of kings is near!
Let ev’ry hill and valley
a level road appear!
Then greet the King of glory,
foretold in sacred story:

Refrain
Hosanna to the Lord,
for he fulfills God’s word!

2  God’s people, see him coming:
your own eternal king!
Palm branches strew before him!
Spread garments! Shout and sing!
God’s promise will not fail you!
No more shall doubt assail you! Refrain

3  Then fling the gates wide open
to greet your promised king!
Your king, yet ev’ry nation
its tribute too may bring.
All lands will bow before him;
their voices join your singing: Refrain

4  His is no earthly kingdom;
it comes from heav’n above.
His rule is peace and freedom
and justice, truth, and love.
So let your praise be sounding
for kindness so abounding: Refrain

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 our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming give to all the people of the world knowledge of your salvation; 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: Malachi 3:1-4

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
  For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

  The word of the Lord.

C: Thanks be to God.

Second Reading: Philippians 1:3-11

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight 10 to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11 having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

  The word of the Lord.

C: Thanks be to God.

Gospel: Luke 3:1-6

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

C: Glory to you, O Lord.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
 “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
 ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
  make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
  and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
 and the crooked shall be made straight,
  and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”

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. John the Baptist calls all people to prepare the Lord’s way, for the kingdom of heaven is near.

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

P:  Baptize us with the fire of your Spirit, that we may be a light shining in the darkness, welcoming others as Christ has welcomed us, 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 #36 (green hymnal)

“On Jordan’s Banks the Baptist’s Cry” v. 1-3, 5

1  On Jordan’s banks the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
awake and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings!

2  Then cleansed be ev’ry life from sin;
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.

3  We hail you as our Savior, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without your grace we waste away
like flow’rs that wither and decay.

5  All praise to you, eternal Son,
whose advent has our freedom won,
whom with the Father we adore,
and Holy Spirit, evermore.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
 the Father, the Almighty,
  maker of heaven and earth,
  of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
 the only Son of God,
 eternally begotten of the Father,
 God from God, Light from Light,
 true God from true God,
 begotten, not made,
 of one Being with the Father.
 Through him all things were made.
 For us and for our salvation
  he came down from heaven;
  by the power of the Holy Spirit
   he became incarnate from the virgin Mary,
   and was made man.
 For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
  he suffered death and was buried.
  On the third day he rose again
   in accordance with the Scriptures;
  he ascended into heaven
   and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
 He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
  and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
 who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
 With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
 He has spoken through the prophets.
 We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
 We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
 We look for the resurrection of the dead,
  and the life of the world to come. 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 Holy Spirit has prepared the way of the Lord in our hearts, so taste and see the salvation of God.

  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 #29 (green hymnal)

“Comfort, Comfort Now My People”

1  “Comfort, comfort now my people;
tell of peace!” So says our God.
Comfort those who sit in darkness
mourning under sorrow’s load.
To God’s people now proclaim
that God’s pardon waits for them!
Tell them that their war is over;
God will reign in peace forever.

2  For the herald’s voice is crying
in the desert far and near,
calling us to true repentance,
since the kingdom now is here.
Oh, that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way!
Let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him!

3  Straight shall be what long was crooked,
and the rougher places plain!
Let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign!
For the glory of the Lord
now on earth is shed abroad,
and all flesh shall see the token
that God’s word is never broken.

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 and Sending of Prayer Shawls

P: Let us bless these prayer shawls and the ministry God shall do through them.

  Gracious God, loving all your family with a mother’s tender care: As you sent the angel to feed Elijah with heavenly bread, we now send these prayer shawls to comfort and uplift those who are sick. In your love and care, nourish and strengthen them body, mind, and spirit, bless the one whose hands made these shawls, and give us all the comfort of your abiding presence through the body and blood of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

C:  Amen.

Blessing

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

C: Amen.

Closing Hymn #35 (green hymnal)

“Hark, the Glad Sound!”

1  Hark, the glad sound! The Savior comes,
the Savior promised long;
let ev’ry heart prepare a throne
and ev’ry voice a song.

2  He comes the pris’ners to release,
in Satan’s bondage held.
The gates of brass before him burst,
the iron fetters yield.

3  He comes the broken heart to bind,
the bleeding soul to cure,
and with the treasures of his grace
to enrich the humble poor.

4  Our glad hosannas, Prince of peace,
your welcome shall proclaim,
and heav’n’s eternal arches ring
with your beloved name.

Dismissal

A: Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

C: Thanks be to God.

Postlude

“Lift Up Your Heads, You Mighty Gates” (Tune: Milwaukee)
Jan Bender


Worship Leaders

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

Upcoming Events

Sunday, December 5: Second Sunday of Advent

9 am Sunday School / Adult Forum
10:30 am Worship Service (in-person/livestreamed)
After Worship: Hanging of the Greens

Monday, December 6

5:30 pm Confirmation Class

Wednesday, December 8

7 pm Bell choir rehearsal

Thursday, December 9

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

Friday, December 10

7 pm St. Paul Players perform “The Game’s Afoot”

Saturday, December 11

12 pm Setup for Live Nativity
3 pm Live Nativity
7 pm St. Paul Players perform “The Game’s Afoot”

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

Copyright Notices

“Prepare the Royal Highway”: Text © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress.

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

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.