a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Communion: Turning

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.
Then let us sing!

Canticle of the Turning v. 1-3

Mighty God, we rejoice with all who hunger,
for your Son Jesus, whose coming we proclaim,
spreads a table of blessing before us
and feeds us with his very presence.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this meal,
that we might be united with Jesus Christ,
and with all who magnify his name.
Sustain us with your presence
and keep us faithful to the end,
singing with joy and confidence:

Canticle of the Turning v. 4

We pray with the One whose life turns the world
and we say together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

Confession: Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Advent is a season of singing.
We sing as we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus.
Let us sing and pray our confession together:

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 1

Lord Jesus, set us free from slavery to sin,
and establish your kingdom in our lives.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 2

Our hearts long for your blessing,
and our world yearns for your presence.
Come to us now with forgiveness
and rule in our lives forever.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 3-4

*suggested tune: Stuttgart

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

prayer of confession: greatness and glory

submitted by Eric Beene, Pastor, White Bluff Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia

Almighty God, we know that the things you have done for us are great.  The powerful cannot rule us, and the hungry are filled with good things.  We know the greatness of your strength, and we know the unexpectedness of your mercy.  So why do we try to make your coming into the world cute, cozy, and soft, like a fuzzy blanket on a cold night? Forgive us, O Lord, for the ways we reduce your glory into something easy.  Prepare us, O Lord, to stop what we are doing, to look, and to listen; to let our jaws drop and let chills run up our spines; to stare wide-eyed in wonder and awe at the glory of the Lord dwelling among us.  We pray in the name of Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Call to worship, confession, & assurance for Advent 4

From Rev. Jenny McDevitt, Bayside Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach, VA

Call to Worship
One: We are waiting on you, God. We are still waiting.
All: The darkness is deeper, but look! The star is beginning to shine.
The everlasting light is creeping closer.
Hope is in the air. Peace is promised. Joy is on the tips of our tongues.
One: Love is coming. Love divine, all loves excelling.
All: We are waiting on love. And Love is waiting on us.

Prayer of Confession
Living God, Love Incarnate, we confess that we are not perfect.
You who are everything, we acknowledge that we are lacking.
Child of the manger, we admit that we prefer to be sentimental rather than sacrificial.
Hear us now as we confess our faults and admit our frailties.

Silent confession

One (sung): O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.
All (sung): O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.

Assurance of Forgiveness
All: The truth of Advent is this: God is coming to us! We are not alone.
In Christ, we are accepted. We are set free of the past. We are given to the future.
One: Hear the water splashing: this is what forgiveness sounds like.
Look at the light shining: this is what hope looks like.
Take one another’s hand: this is what incarnation feels like.
Share a sign of peace: this is what the world is waiting for.

Sunday’s Coming: working toward December 18

Here we are, the 4th Sunday of Advent. Some of us will be having special musical programs this week, others children’s programs or pageants. Some of us are bursting with anticipation at getting to preach about David’s desire to build a house of cedar for God (now that his own palace of cedar is finished!) and the smackdown David gets from God: “did I ask you to build me a house?” Okay, maybe no one is bursting with anticipation to preach that a mere 6 days before Christmas.

But the Annunciation, where nothing is impossible? Mary visiting Elizabeth? the Magnificat? Some of us got to preach the Magnificat last week, others like to save Mary for the fourth Sunday. Either way, we may be engaging in singing that classic Advent carol The Canticle of the Turning! 🙂

Maybe you’ve been following the Epistle lessons this Advent, and have finally reached the easy part of Romans: “To God be the glory forever!”

What are you doing this week, liturgically? What can we do together? As the season continues toward the climax next weekend, what resources are you using? What prayers are you writing? What hymns are you singing? As we light the fourth candle, let’s create together!