Here are worship materials for the 4th Sunday of Advent, December 19, 2021.
* Call to Worship
One: O come, Emmanuel, come to us for we are lonely for God.
All: Come and bring the peace of God-with-us.
One: O come, Wisdom from on high, to create order of chaos as at the beginning of time.
All: Come and lead us in the ways of knowledge; come and show us the paths of peace.
One: Resurrected shoot of the Jesse tree,
All: Come and bring new life to our spirits.
One: O Rose now blooming in the gray of winter,
All: Come and grant to us the blessed gift of hope.
One: O bright morning star of the darkened world,
All: Come and be for us the light, the truth, the way.
One: Jesus, the one whom we call Christ,
All: Come and dwell among us for we want to be your people.
One: In the faith that this will be fulfilled, we proclaim to the world,
“The peace of Christ be with you.”
All: And also with you.
Prayer of Invocation (in unison)
Incarnate God, our time of waiting draws short, and fulfillment is nigh—the fulfillment of your promise to abide with us, sustain our living, redeem our wanton wastefulness, and teach us how to walk in your way of peace and compassion.
As the season of Advent draws to a close and Christmas dawns, grant us a sense of wonder and mystery, and disrupt our sureness with a new hearing. Following Mary this morning in the beginning of her motherhood—this girl who was bold in faith beyond her years, courageous in hope that heeded no social barriers, unfaltering in following the path you lay before her, and unflappable in receiving your great gift to the world—we pray that we might, like her, welcome you to grow in our hearts and labor for you to take place in this world, you who comes to us from among as and from beyond us with the power to save and the grace to love.
We pray this in Christmas hope, peace, joy, and love. Amen.
Lighting of the Advent Candles Love!
One: Our Advent journey is almost complete, and the Christ child will soon be here.
All: As we light the fourth candle, our anticipation is kindled ever stronger.
One: The one whom we await reveals in true light the systems of this world, so often built on injustice and deception. Therefore, the one whom we await brings disruption.
All: The one whom we await comes to us in self-emptying, self-giving, and sacrificial love, by which true peace can reign. Therefore, the one whom we await brings peace.
One: Thus it is true, as Micah promised: The one to come shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.
All: Thus it is also true, as Mary confessed: He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.
O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high, and cheer us by Thy drawing nigh; Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death's dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
All: God our Savior, Prince of Peace whose reign is justice and love, as we seek to be bearers of your disruptive peace in the world, may these four candles be an ever-brightening stand in the darkness that encourages our own ever-brightening withstanding and steadfast faithfulness. Amen.