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Past Waiting

Here are worship materials for the 3rd Sunday of Advent.

Call to Worship 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

One: As the apostle Paul encouraged, we shall rejoice always.

All: We shall pray without ceasing.

One: We shall give thanks in all circumstances—

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us all.

All: Let’s not quench the Spirit.

One: Let’s not despise the words of prophets,

but we shall test everything for God’s truth.

All: We must hold fast to what is good.

One: We must, by grace, abstain from every form of evil. All: And may the God of peace himself sanctify us entirely;

One: May we, in spirit, soul, body be kept sound and blameless

at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All: The one who calls us is faithful; the Lord in Christ will do this.

One: By grace, then, it is so—this which we proclaim in greeting

one another, “The peace of Christ be with you.”

All: And also with you.

Prayer of Invocation (in unison)

God of memory and of hope, during this short season of Advent, whose consideration is though as long as time itself, we’re drawn back to that surprising occurrence so long ago, awaiting it anew as if naïve to its already having happened, while we’re drawn forward to what it all portends, an event so singular it is the aim and end of all there is: our whole lives gathered by your again arrival and eternal embrace, abounding with your amazing grace, and bound for your glory from everlasting to everlasting.

All this from a most commonplace thing: the birth of baby. Compelling. Demanding. Vulnerable. Powerful. Adorable. Alive.

Help us, then, live deeply into this promise, entering into every moment with the full joy of assured fulfillment. Help us to recognize in our incarnate presence amidst this astonishing creation your will and desire for abundant life in full array. Help us to recognize in one another the abiding of your love and need. Help us to make of this whole world a realm that approaches your reign of justice and peace, which approach will one timeless day be brought to completion, by your power and longing to redeem and make whole all things.

In this, we rejoice. In this, we rejoice. Amen.

Lighting of the Advent Candles

One: Surely God is our salvation; we will trust and will not be afraid.

All: With joyous expectation we watch for signs of God’s coming.

One: God is our strength and our might.

With joy we will draw water from the wells of salvation.

All: With joyous expectation we watch for signs of God’s coming.

One: Give thanks to God, call on God’s name;

make known God’s deeds among the nations.

All: With joyous expectation we watch for signs of God’s coming.

One: Shout aloud and sing for joy,

for great in our midst is the Holy One.

All: With joyous expectation we watch for signs of God’s coming.

One: We light the first two Advent candles, the candle of hope and the candle of peace. As we light the third candle, the candle of joy, we join the heavens and the earth in praising God’s holy name. With joyous expectation, we watch for signs of God’s coming. Amen

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