CCLI license #1913561
Lakeview Presbyterian Church
Service of the Word for December 5, 2021
The Second Sunday of Advent
Welcome: Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Questions for Reflection: What are the things you might need to leave behind to return to “the way of the Lord?”
Prelude: “Prepare the Way, O Zion” TPH#13 sung by Keisha Prime
Call to worship
John came out of the wilderness to preach repentance; he preaches to us still.
Make straight the paths we now walk and prepare the way for God’s reign of justice and love in our wilderness. Make straight the path and make the rough places smooth. The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together. Amen.
Covenant God, you send us messengers to prepare us for your coming. Help us endure the mirror of the prophets’ message and make a way in the wilderness so that all people will be prepared when you suddenly appear among us. Amen.
Advent Candle Lighting
Today is the second Sunday in Advent. Along with the prophets and people through the ages, we dream of a world of peace and justice. We share John the Baptist’s dream of preparing the way of the Lord by making crooked paths straight and making a smooth highway broad enough for all God’s people to move on together in peace and harmony.
Our actions can help build that highway. God’s dream can become our dream.
The first candle, the candle of hope reminds us that our hope is lived out in prayer and action.
(The first purple candle is lit)
The second Advent candle reminds us that God dreams for peace in the world, and that Emmanuel, “God with us,” is the Prince of Peace.
(The second purple candle is lit)
Prayer: Loving God, give us the desire, the willingness, and the courage to be part of fulfillment of your dream for a world of peace and justice. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen
*Hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” TPH # 5
Call to Confession
Let us trust in God’s love for us and confess our sin, confident in God’s mercy.
Prayer of Confession
Refining and restoring God, you have sent us prophets and we have not listened.
We have not obeyed your law or made way for your reign in our lives, our church, and our society.
Forgive us, we pray, and renew your covenant within us, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Declaration of Forgiveness
The One who began a good work in us will bring it to completion. Grateful for the promise of joy and of peace, let us share that peace with one another.
(please share signs of peace with one another while respecting social distancing)
Prayer for Illumination
Illumine our hearts, O God, that we may hear your call to become a pathway in the wilderness and a highway to your truth. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Reading from the Prophets Isaiah 40: 1—10 NRS
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." A voice says, "Cry out!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!" See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
Hymn (please remain seated) “Comfort, Comfort You My People” TPH # 3
Reading from the Gospels Luke 3: 1—6NRS
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was rulerof Galilee, and his brother Philip rulerof the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias rulerof 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.'"
Sermon “Preparing the Way” The Rev. Russell Lehman
Affirmation of Faith (from A Declaration of Faith, pcus)
God sent the promised Deliverer to his people.
Jesus, the long-expected Savior, came into the world as a child, descended from David, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of Mary, a virgin. He lived as a Jew among Jews. He announced to his people the coming of God's kingdom of justice and peace on earth. We affirm that Jesus was born of woman as is every child, yet born of God's power as was no other child. In the person and work of Jesus, God himself and a human life are united but not confused, distinguished but not separated. The coming of Jesus was itself the coming of God's promised rule. Through his birth, life, death, and resurrection, he brings about the relationship between God and humanity that God always intended.
Sharing of Joys and Concerns
Statement about Offering our Gifts
Let us bring the offerings of our lives to the Lord.
Donations can be mailed to Lakeview Presbyterian Church at 1310 22 nd Av S, St Petersburg, FL, 33705 or given online through our website lakeviewpresbyterianchurch.org
Special Music “Come Emmanuel” -- Paris sung by Keisha Prime
Prayer of Dedication
God of all righteousness, receive these gifts of gratitude, the offerings of our lives. Purify them with your refining fire so that they may serve your purposes. Amen.
Invitation to the Lord’s Table
Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God! They will come from east and west, and from north and south and sit at table in the kingdom of God. According to Luke, when our risen Lord was at table with his disciples, he took the bread, and blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.
This is the Lord’s table. Our Savior invites those who trust him to share the feast which he has prepared.
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is truly right and our greatest joy to give you thanks and praise, eternal God, our creator. You have given us life and second birth in your Spirit. Once we were no people, but now we are your people. You raised up the church as a witness to the resurrection, breathing into it your life and power. From worlds apart, you gathered us together. When we go astray, you welcome us home. Always, your love has been steadfast. Lord, remembering all your mighty and merciful acts, we take this bread and this wine from the gifts you have given us and celebrate with joy the redemption won for us in Jesus Christ. Accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving as a living and holy offering of ourselves, that our lives may proclaim the One crucified and risen.
Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit unite us with the living Christ and with all who are baptized in his name, that we may be one in ministry in every place. As this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be the body of Christ in the world. Lord, Give us strength to serve you until the promised day of the resurrection, when with the redeemed of all the ages we will feast with you at your table in glory. Through Christ, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, with the Holy Spirit in the holy church, now and forever.
Breaking of the Bread/Words of Institution
We have it on good report that the Lord Jesus, on the night of his arrest, took bread, and after giving thanks to God, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way he took the cup, saying: This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.
Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the saving death of the risen Lord, until he comes.
Distribution of Elements
Prayer After Communion Gracious God, may we who have received this sacrament live in the unity of your Holy Spirit, that we may show forth your gifts to all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Hymn “I Danced in the Morning” TPH # 302
Make a way in your life for your God, and prepare a way in your world that God may come and make all things new. The blessings of the One Who Creates, Redeems, and Restores be upon now and forever. Amen.
Postlude Days of Elijah-Mark sung by Keisha Prime