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Advent 3, Sunday December 12th, 2021


Advent 3,

December 12, 2021

JOY


Prelude: Prepare the Way. SS2

Prepare the way, prepare the way, a flame is burning bright.

For Jesus Christ is coming the Way, the Truth the Light.


We are the pathways winding roads.

We shall be straightened Love will grow.

We are the rough roads, smooth and slow,

and the valleys that fill the mountains laid low.


Prepare the way, prepare the way, a flame is burning bright.

For Jesus Christ is coming the Way, the Truth the Light.


We are the people God made one.

We are beloved everyone.

We are the earth, the stars the sun.

Were preparing the way for the wonder to come.


Prepare the way, prepare the way, a flame is burning bright.

For Jesus Christ is coming the Way, the Truth the Light.


Acknowledgement

Welcome

Gathering Hymn: When God Delivered Israel. S4aGP98

When God delivered Israel from bondage long ago, they tho’t that they were dreaming, but soon they turned to laughing and sang the song of joy, and sang the song of joy.

The nations round about them could not deny God’s pow’r; they cried, "O see this marvel!" "God's work," replied the people, and so they sang for joy, and so they sang for joy.

O God, restore our nation; come, irrigate dry souls, that those who sow in sadness may reap their sheaves with gladness and sing the song of joy, and sing the song of joy.


Gathering Sentences Let the heavens be glad, let the earth rejoice before the God of all peoples, For God comes in power to judge the earth Let us open our hearts in worship and trust, and offer our lives in willing service For God shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with truth


Thank you, God, for each person who has gathered with us today, whether here in the building or from the various places that we reside. All of us have taken this time to worship together, taking a moment away from the concerns and fun of this holiday season, centering ourselves and regaining perspective. Each of us has found some comfort here and have chosen that comfort over a schedule that leaves no time for ourselves. We are blessed and we stan witness for each other, giving testament in smiles, conversation and prayer. Stay with us and remind us to keep our hearts filled with your loving grace. Amen


Advent Wreath Candle Lighting ADVENT 3 - JOY (Based on Psalm 126) We light our first Advent candle, a symbol of Hope. Light first candle We light our second Advent candle, a symbol of Peace. Light second candle We light our third Advent candle, a symbol of Joy. Light third candle Like a third candle lit in the darkness, joy shines brighter and brighter, and dances in the wind. The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. In a world that sometimes feels devoid of joy, in a year when we have missed out on expected, routine joys, God, help us to find the joy in the unexpected, in the disruption, in the silver linings. The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. God, we trust that you are with us, and that those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. Let our mouths be filled with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy, let us proclaim the truth to the ends of the earth, we have joy because God is with us! The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.

Candle lighting Song: Hope Shines. MV 220

Hope shines as the solitary star, faith is the inner light. You and I together mirror the Light of Lights, and illuminate the pathway home.


Peace shines as the solitary star, faith is the inner light. You and I together mirror the Light of Lights, and illuminate the pathway home.


Joy shines as the solitary star, faith is the inner light. You and I together mirror the Light of Lights, and illuminate the pathway home.


Collect of the Day

God of power and mercy, you call us once again to celebrate the coming of your Son. Remove those things which hinder love of you, that when he comes, he may find us waiting in awe and wonder for him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

The Proclamation of the Word

A Reading from the prophet Zephaniah 3:14-20 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time, I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the LORD.

Listen for the Leading of the Spirit Thanks be to God


Canticle 3 Song of Thanksgiving: Surely It is God Who Saves Me. CP 361


Surely, it is God who saves me; I shall trust and have no fear.

For the Lord defends and shields me

and his saving help is near.

So rejoice as you draw water

from salvations healing spring;

in the day of your deliverance

thank the Lord, his mercies sing.


Make God’s deeds known to the peoples; tell out his exalted name.

Praise the Lord, who has done great things;

all his works God’s might proclaim.

Zion, lift your voice in singing;

for with you has come to dwell,

in your very midst, the great and

Holy One of Israel.

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Listen for the Leading of the Spirit Thanks be to God


Gradual Hymn: For the Beauty of the Earth. By, Conrad Kocher


For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies

Lord of all to you we raise

This our gift of grateful praise.


For the beauty of each hour Of the day and of the night, Hill and vale and tree and flow'r, Sun and Moon and stars of light:

Lord of all to you we raise

This our gift of grateful praise.


For the joy of ear and eye,

For the heart and mind’s delight,

For the mystic harmony

Linking sense to sound and sight:


Lord of all to you we raise

This our gift of grateful praise.


For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child, Friends on earth and friends above; For all gentle thoughts and mild


Lord of all to you we raise

This our gift of grateful praise.


For the Church, who evermore

Lifts their holy hands above,

Offering up on every shore

Her pure sacrifice of love:


Lord of all to you we raise

This our gift of grateful praise.


For each perfect gift devine To our world so freely giv’n, Joys bestowed by love’s design,

Flow'rs of earth and fruits of heav'n Lord of all to you we raise

This our gift of grateful praise.


Gospel

The Lord be with you And Also with you

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Luke 3:7-18

Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages." As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

The Gospel of Christ Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ


Homily


An Affirmation of Faith Immigrant Apostle’s Creed (Rev. Jose Luis Casal)

I believe in Almighty God,

who guided the people in exile and in exodus,

the God of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon,

the God of foreigners and immigrants.


I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean,

who was born away from his people and his home,

who fled his country with his parents when his life was in danger.

When he returned to his own country

he suffered under the oppression of Pontius Pilate,

the servant of a foreign power.

Jesus was persecuted, beaten, tortured

and unjustly condemned to death.

But on the third day Jesus rose from the dead,

not as a scorned foreigner

but to offer us citizenship in God’s kingdom.


I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the eternal immigrant from God’s kingdom among us,

who speaks all languages,

lives in all countries,

and reunites all races.


I believe that the Church

is the secure home for foreigners

and for all believers.

I believe that the communion

of saints begins when we

embrace all God’s people in all their diversity.

Source: https://claytonfaulkner.com/2017/10/20/weekly-worship-thought-the-immigrant-apostles-creed/



The Prayers

God our Creator, as we once again prepare for Christmas, help us to find time in our busy lives for quiet and thought and prayer, that we may reflect upon the wonder of your love and allow the story of the Saviour’s birth to penetrate our hearts and minds. So may our joy be deeper, our worship more real, and our lives worthier of all that you have done for us through the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. We pray for the church:

· For the Christian family who will be celebrating this festival in so many different ways, and for those who dare not celebrate openly.

· For Christians in countries where there is persecution.

· For Christians in our own country, with whom we will share our celebrations

· For our Church family.

Grant that all who come into our church this Christmas time may be enabled to renew their relationship with you. Help us all to be glad of your presence, and to rejoice at the coming of Jesus. May your blessing be upon all who worship with us, give us grace to live as faithful members of your family, that we may learn each day afresh to love and serve you Lord in your mercy hear our prayer We pray for Peace:

· Give peace to the world

· Give peace to the victims of war, the refugees, the widowed and the orphans.

· Give peace to family and friends; to those who have quarrelled and need to be reconciled.

· Give peace in our own divided hearts.

We know that without justice there can be no peace. Let peace come when all people are respected, regardless of race and religion. Let peace come when trading weapons of mass destruction is a crime. Let peace come when the earth’s resources are used wisely for the common good. Let peace come when money is used to serve and not enslave the world. Let peace come through the transformation of our lives that we may do justice, love and kindness and walk humbly with our God. Your Son came as the Prince of Peace and brought a message of Peace for all people. Help us to be Peacemakers in our own homes, at our work or wherever we meet people, so that the peace and goodwill of Christmas can find a place in the hearts of all people.

Lord in Your Mercy hear our prayer We pray for people in need

We pray for homeless people and for refugees who have no country to call their own. Let your blessing be with those who work to help the homeless this Christmas, and give to all of us the determination to help where we can. We pray for people who are lonely, those who are lonely because they have lost a partner, those who are lonely because no-one seems to care, those who are lonely because of disability or illness. Let your presence be with those who are alone at this season of friendship and may we take your friendship to those whom we know will be alone this Christmas. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

We pray for those who are ill

We pray for friends and family who are ill at this time, and remember them in the quietness of our hearts. We bring them to you in the confidence that you love them and know their every need and that your healing power is still the same today. Bless all that is being done for their recovery and answer our prayers as you see best Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light which no darkness can quench. We remember friends and family who have died. Help us to experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit within us, and the fellowship of the church family around us until we are reunited once more in your heavenly kingdom. You turn our darkness into light in your light shall we see light. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer


Merciful God accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen


The Peace

Follow the light of hope’s guiding star. Seek the child

Listen to the words of the heavenly host. Find the child

Offer as gifts the best that you have. Serve the child

Peace be among us. God be with us. Amen


The Celebration of the Eucharist


Offering Hymn: Good News. By, Howard S. Olseon


When Jesus worked here on earth he preached in his home-town,

Isaiah’s hopes now fulfilled, those claims of great renown.


To bring good news to the needy, to make the blind to see,

The broken hearts heled again, to set the captive free.


The elders of the synagogue were shocked by Mary’s son,

That he was destined to be the Christ for everyone.


To bring good news to the needy, to make the blind to see,

The broken hearts heled again, to set the captive free.


The way he lived was proof of it: he quieted our strife.

The cross itself he would not flee e’en though it cost his life.


To bring good news to the needy, to make the blind to see,

The broken hearts heled again, to set the captive free.


So pass it on today good friend: the message is the same.

Deliv’rance Christ alone con give, for this to earth he came.


To bring good news to the needy, to make the blind to see,

The broken hearts heled again, to set the captive free.


Prayer over the Gifts

God of hope, renew in us the joy of your salvation and make us a living sacrifice to you, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Supplementary Eucharistic Prayer 3

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.


Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is indeed right to thank you and praise you,

holy and gracious God, creator of all things,

ruler of heaven and earth, sustainer of life,

for you are the source of all goodness,

rich in mercy and abounding in love;

you are faithful to your people in every generation,

and your word endures for ever.

Therefore with angels and archangels,

with the fellowship of saints and the company of heaven,

we glorify your holy name, evermore praising you and singing,


Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth of your glory are full. Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.


Blessed is the one, who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.


Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth of your glory are full. Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.


We praise you, merciful Father,

not as we ought, but as we are able,

because in your tender love

you gave the world your only Son,

in order that the world might be saved through him.

He made you known by taking the form of a servant,

healing the sick, liberating the oppressed,

reaching out to the lost.

Betrayed, reviled, and nailed to the cross,

he confronted the power of sin

and disarmed it for ever.

In his offering of himself,

he became the perfect and sufficient sacrifice

for the sins of the whole world.

Redeemed by Christ,

we have been adopted as your children;

by your pardon you have made us worthy to praise you.


On the night he was betrayed,

Jesus, at supper with his friends,

took bread, gave you thanks, broke the bread,

gave it to them, and said,

“Take and eat: this is my body which is given for you.

Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper he took the cup of wine,

and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said,

“Drink this all of you:

this is my blood of the new covenant

which is shed for you and for many

for the forgiveness of sins.

Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”


In obedience to him and with grateful hearts

we approach your holy table,

remembering our Saviour’s sacrifice,

and rejoicing in his victory.

Confident in his sovereign purpose, we declare our faith.


Christ has died,

Christ is risen,

Christ will come again.


Send your Holy Spirit on us

that as we receive this bread and this cup

we may partake of the body and blood

of our Lord Jesus Christ,

and feed on him in our hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.


May we be renewed in his risen life,

filled with love,

and strengthened in our will to serve others;

and make of our lives, we pray,

a pure and holy sacrifice, acceptable to you,

knitting us together as one in your Son Jesus Christ,

to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,

be all honour and glory, now and forever. Amen


The Lord’s Prayer (Sung)


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our sins. As we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory are yours. Now and forever. Amen.


Breaking of the Bread

God of promise, you prepare a banquet for us in your kingdom.

Happy are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb


The Communion


Communion Song 1: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus CP88


Come, thou long expected Jesus Born to set thy people free From our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in thee.

Israel's strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth thou art; Dear desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.


Born thy people to deliver; Born a child and yet a King; Born to reign in us forever: Now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal spirit, rule in all our hearts alone, by thine all-sufficient merit, Raise us to thy glorious throne.


I will praise my great Redeemer.

Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Let the worship rise within me

“You are Lord” my heart will sing.


Lost now found. Sick, now healed.

Saved to sow your matching grace.

Waiting with hope and great assurance

‘til I can see Your glorious face.



Communion Song 2: In the Bleak Midwinter CP122

In the bleak mid-winter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, In the bleak mid-winter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain, heaven and earth shall flee away, when He comes to reign. In the bleak mid-winter, a stable-place sufficed The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels, may have gathered there; cherubim and seraphim, thronged the air; but his mother only in her maiden bliss, worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

if I were a wise man, I would do my part;

yet what I can, I give him- give my heart.



Prayer after Communion

Merciful God, may this eucharist free us from our sins, fill us with unending joy, and prepare us for the birthday of our Saviour. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, who is Lord now and for ever. Amen


Glory to God,

whose power, working in us,

can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.

Glory to God from generation to generation,

in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Blessing


Announcements


Closing Hymn: Every Valley. By, Singpost Music


Ev’ry valley shall be exalted and ev’ry hill made low.

And all God’s people shall see together the glory of the Lord.


A voice cries out in the wilderness,

“Prepare the way of the Lord.

Make straight in the desert a highway,

a highway for our God.”


Ev’ry valley shall be exalted and ev’ry hill made low.

And all God’s people shall see together the glory of the Lord.


Comfort all my people.

The time for war is gone.

The blind shall see,

The deaf shall hear,

The lame shall leap for joy.


Ev’ry valley shall be exalted and ev’ry hill made low.

And all God’s people shall see together the glory of the Lord.


Stand upon the mountain top;

O lift up your voice to the world.

Sing joyfully, Jerusalem:

Behold, behold your God.


Ev’ry valley shall be exalted and ev’ry hill made low.

And all God’s people shall see together the glory of the Lord.


Dismissal

Rejoice in Bethlehem, two thousand years ago

Rejoice in the life that was conceived, lived and given for us


Go in peace to love and serve the world.

And may your waiting be in hope,

each day lived in faith

and the love in Christmas be moving toward you. Amen


Postlude: Annunciation. By, Gordon Light


Rejoice! Rejoice!

Daughter of God; The Father has shown himself faithful and true.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Don’t be afraid; God’s favorite is resting on you!


You will conceive and bear a son;

Salvation shall be his name.

The Offspring of David for Israel’s throne;

No end will there be to his Reign!


Rejoice! Rejoice!

Daughter of God; The Father has shown himself faithful and true.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Don’t be afraid; God’s favorite is resting on you!


“How can this be? I know a man?

What can this greeting mean?

The Spirit will over shadow you;

In your love will God’s love be seen!”


Rejoice! Rejoice!

Daughter of God; The Father has shown himself faithful and true.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Don’t be afraid; God’s favorite is resting on you!


“I am the handmaid if the Lord;

Let it be then as you say;

With joy I shall bear the Holy child;

And praise God for all of my days!”


Rejoice! Rejoice!

Daughter of God; The Father has shown himself faithful and true.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Don’t be afraid; God’s favorite is resting on you!


Like Mary before us, each one here;

Is asked to give birth to God’s Son.

God’s seeking our hearts, there’s nothing to fear;

Come, Lord, and let Your Will be done.


Rejoice! Rejoice!

Children of God; your Father has shown himself faithful and true.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Don’t be afraid; God’s favorite is resting on you!