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December 4, 2022 - 2nd Sunday of Advent - Peace & Hanging of the Greens

Join us in person or live-streamed at 10AM or find our recorded service at your convenience. Details on our Worship page. Service words are below.

Prelude: When My Heart Finds Christmas


The Gathering of the Community

Gathering Hymn: We Need a Little Christmas

Haul out the holly; Put up the tree before my spirit falls again. Fill up the stocking, I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.

For we need a little Christmas right this very minute,

Candles in the window, carols at the spinet. Yes, we need a little Christmas right this very minute.

It hasn't snowed a single flurry, but oh my friend we're in a hurry;

So climb down the chimney;

turn on the brightest string of lights I've ever seen. Slice up the fruit cake;

it's time we've hung some tinsel on the evergreen bough.

For I've grown a little leaner, grown a little colder, Grown a little sadder, grown a little older, And I need a little angel sitting on my shoulder, Need a little Christmas now.

For we need a little music, need a little laughter, Need a little singing ringing through the rafter, And we need a little snappy “Happy ever after,” Need a little Christmas now.

The Gathering - Opening sentences (from Isaiah 35)

Lonely places and deserts will be glad and blossom as the rose.

They will really blossom, and be joyful and sing.

Help the weak, and support the feeble.

Say to the fearful, "Be strong, your God comes!"

The eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf also.

The lamb will leap as a deer, and those without speech will sing.

In the wild places, springs of water will well up, and streams will flow in the desert.

Dried-up places will become like pools, and thirsty land will grow rich with grass.

A highway will be there, called "The Way of Holiness," and no danger will be found there.

The redeemed of God will use it to return to Zion, with songs of joy and gladness.

Collect for the Second Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, who sent your servant John the Baptist to prepare your people to welcome the Messiah, inspire us, the ministers and stewards of your truth, to turn our disobedient hearts to you, that when the Christ shall come again to be our judge, we may stand with confidence before his glory; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Advent Candle Lighting

Worship Leader: “What are you afraid of?” From the voices of different generations, hear their answers:

Joel: Not being enough.

Kristelle: Not making enough of a difference.

Jayden: Falling down.

Patsy: That we will forget we belong to one another.

Joel: Climate change.

Kristelle: My child having to learn gun violence drills at school.

Jayden: Spiders.

Patsy: Not having someone to take care of me; not having someone who knows my stories.

Joel: My mental health slipping.

Kristelle: Ending up alone.

Jayden: Nightmares.

Patsy: Stopping short of following God all the way.

Kristelle: Today we light the candle of peace, because we so desperately need God’s peace in

the midst of all we fear. light the candle.

Kristelle: May this light be a reminder that Christ is coming. God was with generations before,

God is with us today, and God will be with us tomorrow. Even now, God is on the way.


The Proclamation of the Word and the Decorating of the Church

1. The Holly Garland: God Promises Eternal Life (Isaiah 61:1-4)

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Background to the Holly Garland: Holly is evergreen, a symbol of eternal life obtained through Christ Jesus, who shed his blood, as symbolized by the red berries and thorns, that we might have life. Life is filled with thorns and red berries, but God also gives us a feeling of happiness, of being alive, of being green.

Carol: The Holly and the Ivy

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown of all the trees that are in the wood the holly bears the crown.


O, the rising of the sun and the running of the deer, The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir

The holly bears a blossom as white as lily flower And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to be our sweet Saviour. Chorus

The holly bears a berry as red as any blood, and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good. Chorus The holly bears a prickle as sharp as any thorn;

And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ on Christmas Day in the morn. Chorus

The holly bears a bark as bitter as any gall; And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ for to redeem us all. Chorus

The holly and the ivy now both are full well grown, Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown. Chorus

2. The Poinsettia: God's people will blossom with life (Isaiah 61:10-11)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

Background to the Poinsettia: It has red leaves, the red again a symbol of Christ's blood, which gives us life, symbolized by the green leaves. The poinsettia, a Christmas flower, reminds us that Christ is like a flower, which will bloom in the desert - the desert may refer to the waiting of Advent and to our human situation - when God comes at Christmas. The story of the poinsettia is that a Mexican girl was going to church on Christmas, but had no gift to bring. She knelt down and wept because of her poverty, and from her tears sprung the poinsettia.

Hymn: 91 CP People Look East

People, look east! The time is near of the crowning of the year.

Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table.

People, look east and sing today: Love, the guest, is on the way.

Furrows, be glad! Though earth is bare, one more seed is planted there:

give up your strength the seed to nourish, that in course the flower may flourish.

People, look east and sing today: Love, the rose, is on the way.

Birds, though you long have ceased to build, guard the nest that must be filled;

even the hour when wings are frozen God for fledging time has chosen.

People, look east and sing today: Love, the bird, is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch: when night is dim one more light the bowl shall brim,

shining beyond the frosty weather, bright as sun and moon together.

People, look east and sing today: Love, the star, is on the way.

Angels, announce with shouts of mirth Christ who brings new life to earth.

Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming.

People, look east and sing today: Love, the Lord, is on the way.

3. The Wreath: God promises to surround us with love Hosea 14:4-8

I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon. His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like that of Lebanon. They shall again live beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom like the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon. O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; your faithfulness comes from me.

Background to the Wreath: The wreath is made of evergreens, a symbol of eternal life which Christ is coming at Christmas to bring. The circle suggests the everlasting covenant God makes with us, and also the love of God which encircles us and holds us close, like we hold a baby, like Mary held her infant.

Hymn: Adorning Your House God

Adorning your house, God, with branches of green,

we pray that your glory may clearly be seen.

Now fill us with love that your promise imparts,

with hope and with joy in the rooms of our hearts.

These beautiful branches, O Jesus, so dear,

remind us your humble, sweet advent is near.

So bless us each day as your coming draws near,

to live so that others can tell you are here.

We ask for your Spirit to pour from above,

that we may be gentle, with patience and love.

Like green living branches, may all that we do

be signs that your promise is now coming true.

4. The Mistletoe: God promises a peaceful ruler (Zechariah 9:9-10)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Background to the Mistletoe: Mistletoe has no roots and no seeds. Its propagation is a mystery - like the mystery of God's love and God's presence with us in an infant. Where the mistletoe hung, was a place to meet in peace, to exchange the kiss of peace (not merely the romantic variety).

Hymn: 102 CP Prepare the Way O Zion

Prepare the way, O Zion, your Christ is drawing near!

Let every hill and valley a level way appear.

Greet on who come in glory, foretold in sacred story.

Oh, blest is Christ that came in God’s most holy name.

He brings God’s rule, O Zion; he comes from heaven above.

His rule is peace and freedom, and justice, truth, and love.

Lift high your praise resounding, for grace and joy abounding.

Oh, blest is Christ that came in God’s most holy name.

Fling wide your gates, O Zion; your Saviour’s rule embrace.

His tidings of salvation proclaim in every place.

All lands will bow before him, their voices will adore him.

Oh, blest is Christ that came in God’s most holy name.

5. The Christmas tree: God promises to beautify his church. (Isaiah 60:13-15)

The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify where my feet rest. The descendants of those who oppressed you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age.

Background to Tree: The psalmists, like Isaiah, also speak of being planted like a tree by the waters. It reminds us of waiting, of being patient for God's coming. It reminds us to be steadfast. Some of the ancient peoples of Europe worshipped at sacred trees. Christian missionaries encouraged them to keep their devotion using the trees, but to change their focus to create a Christian tradition.

Carol: O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, Thy leaves are so unchanging.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, Thy leaves are so unchanging.

Not only green when summer’s here. But also when it’s cold and drear.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, Thy leaves are so unchanging. O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, You fill all hearts with gaiety.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, You fill all hearts with gaiety.

On Christmas day you stand so tall, affording joy to one and all.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, You fill all hearts with gaiety.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, How richly God has decked thee!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, How richly God has decked thee!

Thou bidst us true and faithful be, and trust in God unchangingly.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, How richly God has decked thee!

6. The Candles and the Lights: God promises to give light. (Isaiah 60:1-6)

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Background to lights: Christ Jesus is the light of the world. In the darkness of Advent, a Light is going to shine; there is Light at the end of the tunnel.

Hymn: Beautiful Star of Bethlehem

O beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shining afar through shadows dim, Giving the light for those who long have gone. And guiding the wise men on their way unto the place where Jesus lay, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem shine on.

O beautiful Star, the hope of light, guiding the pilgrims through the night, Over the mountain ‘til the break of dawn, And into the light of perfect day It will give out a lovely ray, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem shine on.


O beautiful Star of Bethlehem,

Shine upon us until the glory dawn; O give us Thy light to guide the way into the land of perfect day. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem shine on.

Instrumental verse

O beautiful Star, the hope of rest, for the redeemed, the good and blest,

Yonder in glory when the crown is won, For Jesus is now that Star divine, brighter and brighter He will shine. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem shine on.


O beautiful Star of Bethlehem,

Shine upon us until the glory dawn; O give us Thy light to guide the way into the land of perfect day. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem shine on.

Beautiful Star of Bethlehem shine on.

Blessing of the decorations:

Bless, O God, these gifts of the earth and the work of faithful hands, which has beautified this place and furnished it in preparation for the celebration of the birth of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Grant that in these earthly things we may behold the order and beauty of heavenly things. Amen.

Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,  “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:  ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ ” Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.  But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume 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.

 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Offering Hymn: Deck the Halls

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la

'Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la

Don we now our gay apparel, fa la la la la la la la la

Troll the ancient Yuletide carol, fa la la la la la la la la.

See the blazing yule before us, fa la la la la la la la la

Strike the harp and join the chorus, fa la la la la la la la la

Follow me in merry measure, fa la la la la la la la la

While I tell of Yuletide treasure, fa la la la la la la la la.

Fast away, the old year passes, fa la la la la la la la la

Hail the new year lads and lasses, fa la la la la la la la la

Sing we joyous all together, fa la la la la la la la la

Heedless of the wind and weather, fa la la la la la la la la.

Prayer over the Gifts: God our strength, we are nothing without you. Receive all we offer you this day as you sustain us with your mercy; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Intercessions and Thanksgivings:

Surrounded by warmth and love, let us remember those who struggle in a cold and violent world: The lights, O God, remind us of Christ who comes to be the Light of the world.

May we, your church, provide light to the world.

O God, the mistletoe reminds us of the peace Christ brings.

May east and west, north and south, meet in unity and understanding.

The poinsettia reminds us that you will restore the earth as a garden of paradise.

May we be true caretakers of the earth's bounty.

The tree, O God, reminds us of the tree Christ died on, that we might live.

May our community of faith give life and love to those in need around us.

O God, the garland reminds us of the hope and joy you give in the midst of sorrow and pain.

May those in any kind of pain or trouble experience your presence incarnate in us.

The wreath reminds us of your promise of eternal life.

May we, like those who have gone before, remain in the circle of your love. Amen.

Closing Sentences (from James 5:7-9)

May you be patient for the Lord's coining, as the farmer who waits for the fruits of the earth. Amen.

May your hearts be filled with strength, for the coming of the Lord is drawing near. Amen.

May you be at peace with one another, and with all people, because the one who comes in God's name stands at the door. Amen.


Closing Hymn: Here We Come a Caroling

Here we come a-caroling among the leaves so green; Here we come a wand'ring so fair to be seen.


Love and joy come to you, and to you glad Christmas too,

And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year, And God send you a Happy New Year.

We are not daily canvassers who knock from door to door, But we are neighbours' children whom you have seen before. REFRAIN

God bless the kinfolk of this house that dwell both far and near We wish you merry Christmas and Happy New Year. REFRAIN


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

Thanks be to God

Postlude: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Rockin' around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop. Mistletoe hung where you can see, every couple tries to stop. Rockin' around the Christmas tree, let the Christmas spirit ring. Later we'll have some pumpkin pie, and we'll do some caroling.

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear voices singing, “Let's be jolly; Deck the halls with boughs of holly.” Rockin' around the Christmas tree, have a happy holiday. Everyone dancing merrily in the new old-fashioned way.

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear voices singing, “Let's be jolly; Deck the halls with boughs of holly.” Rockin' around the Christmas tree, have a happy holiday. Everyone dancing merrily in the new old-fashioned way.


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