Monday, November 23, 2015

Advent 2015 Liturgy Resources!

Here are all of the resources for the previously posted Advent 2015 worship series:  From Heaven to Earth!

Advent/Christmas 2015 Liturgical Resources

From Heaven to Earth

  • Advent 1 - Nov 29
    • Sermon Title:  “The Day is Coming”
    • Scriptures: Jeremiah 33:14-16
      • 2nd - 1 Thess 3:9-13
    • Candle - Hope
    • Creed:  Nicene (880)
    • Lighting the Candle of Hope:
While the people of Israel lived in exile, God was still at work. The people of God cried out for God to intervene on their behalf, but still they had to wait.  God works in God’s own time, but ever calls us to place our hope and trust in God’s plan.  From heaven to earth, God did come to our rescue and even now, especially now, the Son of David is still with us.  May we, as God’s children continue to hope in the Lord, even as God calls us to wait!
Let the candle we light today help God’s hope to burn brightly in our hearts!
    • Call to Worship:
Eternal God, we are here!
We are ready and waiting to worship you this day!
Now is the time!
And we are God’s people!
    • Prayer of Confession:
Righteous God,
We do love you.  We do praise you.  But we don’t always trust you.  It is our failure to do so that leads us astray from your will again and again.  We let culture dictate the work of your church.  We are distracted by trivial things like decorations, extravagances, and pride.  All the while, your saving work in the world, of which we are gifted to be a part, remains unfinished.  We avoid the homeless.  We refuse to see the hungry.  We ignore the disabled.  Give us clear eyes, God, and open hearts.  Hearts that are so full of hope that we can’t help to pour out your never ending love over all of your children during this season of expectation.  We expect you to come near to us God today; may we be mindful of your expectations when we leave this sacred space.  Amen.
  • Advent 2 - Dec 6
    • Sermon Title:  People, Get Ready
    • Scriptures:  Luke 3:1-6
      • Malachi 3:1-4
    • Candle - Love
    • Lighting the Candle of Love:
From the wilderness, John the Baptist comes to us today. Will we listen?  His message is the same today as it was then: God is on the way.  Yet, even as John was preaching, our Lord Jesus was already walking with God’s people.  Jesus was already preparing to teach us the ways of God, to show us what sacrifice looks like, to demonstrate to us that nothing is greater than the love of God.  Hear the call of John today; let us prepare to meet Christ not just on Christmas, but right now.
Let the candle we light today help God’s love to burn brightly in our hearts!
    • Call to Worship:
Prepare the way of the Lord, you people!
May God’s path lead straight to our hearts.
God’s salvation is already ours.
We give thanks, this morning, and everyday, for the good news of God’s love for us!
    • Prayer of Confession:
Loving God,
What are we prepared to do this Advent Season?  We say that we watch for you.  We say that we wait for you.  But shouldn’t we be working for you while we watch and we wait?  The prophets to tell us to look around, that you are ever near to us.  We confess that in our waiting we grow anxious about the calendar.  We grow weary of all the planning.  We fail see where you tell us to look … To the ‘least of these.’  To our children that need care.  To the hungry that need food.  To the immigrant that needs our hospitality.  God, help us to go where you would go and be the people that you’ve called us to be, people who are loved into your service.  Pull us out of the wilderness and open our eyes, Lord.  Prepare us to greet you this Christmas by loving those that need you the most.  Amen.
  • Advent 3 - Dec 13
    • Sermon Title: “Filled With Expectation”
    • Scriptures: Luke 3:7-18
      • 2nd - Isaiah 12:2-6
    • Candle - Joy
    • Lighting the Candle of Joy:
The voice crying out from the wilderness, calling us to ‘Prepare the way of the Lord!’ is still calling out to us today.  John the Baptist reminded Israel of who God created them to be: a holy nation, a holy people that were supposed to be caretakers of one another.  He was bold in his cries of injustice around him and among God’s chosen people, and if he was here today he would still be calling us out.  This is a season of joy, as we remember the arrival of Jesus on Christmas day, may we be reminded that the transforming work of Jesus is to be alive in us as his church.
Let the candle we light today help God’s joy to burn brightly in our hearts!
    • Call to Worship:
Call us out, God!
You are the reason for our worship today!
Call us out, God!
Draw us into your presence!
Call us out, God!
Have mercy on us, who joyfully wait for you.
    • Prayer of Confession:
Merciful God,
We confess this day that we, your people, don’t like to be told what to do.  We desire independence, to be individuals, choosing our own paths and making life all about ourselves.  We want our will more than your will for our lives.  But, this isn’t what we need.  We need to seek your ways, above all others.  We need to see what you see.  We need to cry out for justice where there is none, in a time when gathering more and more ‘stuff’ unto ourselves is the at heart of our Christmas culture.  Lord, call us to repentance again.  As we get ready to meet the Christ Child on Christmas day, make us more mindful of the unclothed, of the hungry, of the very poor.  Remind us that we are not alone, that we are all in this together.  Your kingdom come, amen.
  • Advent 4 - Dec 20
    • Sermon Title: “We Are Blessed”
    • Scriptures: Luke 1:39-55
      • 2nd - Micah 5:2-5a
    • Candle - Peace
    • Lighting the Candle of Peace:
The hope of the world came down to us at Christmas, but in order for that to happen a mother had to say “Yes.”  When Mary accepts the blessings and the hardships that would come with being the mother of Jesus, she changed the world forever.  When Mary sings her song, she recognizes something wonderful and totally opposite to how the world works: God came into the world through a family among the very poor.  Through Jesus’ birth, God sends a challenge to all of us to seek God’s movement in unexpected ways, and show God’s hope wherever we are.
Let the candle we light today help God’s peace to burn brightly in our hearts!
    • Call to Worship:
Are you all blessed?
Yes, we are!
Does God favor you?
Yes, God does!
God heard our cries for mercy.
And God sent us Jesus!
    • Prayer of Confession:
Holy God,
We are getting ready for Christmas.  Presents are being put under trees.  Dinner menus are being planned.  Last minute errands are being run.  Traveling has begun.  As we get wrapped up in this season of Christmas, we often forget what truly matters.  In all of our dealings with presents, we forget to be present for one another, especially those outside of the circle that we call ‘family.’  In our focus on things, we forget that the best gift many of us can truly share in the gift of our time.  Time for conversation.  Time for service.  Time for worship.  God, as Mary sings her song rooted in eternal hope in your mercy, may we share mercy where we can, when we can, in the many ways we can, sharing the love of God incarnate that Jesus Christ brought to us.  Amen.
  • Christmas Eve - Dec 24
    • Sermon Title: “From Heaven to Earth”
    • Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
    • Candle - Christ
    • Lighting the Christ Candle:
As we light the Christ Candle, we remember that long ago heaven met earth with the birth of Jesus Christ.  We called on the Lord for salvation, and not only did the Lord bring it, the Lord Our God appeared to us as a baby.  A baby to be loved and nurtured in a human family.  A baby Messiah that would grow up to preach the good news that all are welcome and loved in the Kingdom of God.  Today, we welcome Jesus Christ!
Welcome to you, Lord Jesus!  May this light remind us of the hope, peace, love, and joy that can only be found in you!
    • Call to Worship:
Let heaven and nature sing -
Joy to the world!
Oh come, all ye faithful –
Joyful and triumphant!
The herald angels sing –
Glory to God!
Jesus is here!
Jesus is here!
    • A Christmas Prayer:
God, we welcome you here.  We have been waiting for you, anticipating your arrival, expecting you to visit us today.  We need you God, and we are so grateful that you love us so much that you came to us in the form of a child.  You place so much trust in us, even trusting a humble family to raise your own son.  On top of that, you gift us with care over one another.  Yes, it’s a care that we often fail to give.  Thanks be to you God that no matter how often we forget to take care of each other, to love each other as you love us, your forgiveness knows no end.  Forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love that became incarnate in Jesus Christ.   Welcome to the world, Lord Jesus.  May singing your songs, sharing in your gifts, and looking to your earthly life bring heaven closer to us this Christmas.  Amen.  

  • Sunday After Christmas - Dec 27
    • Sermon Title: “Love Came Down at Christmas”
    • Scriptures - Colossians 3:12-17
      • 2nd - Psalm 148
    • Call to Worship:
Merry Christmas, church!
And a merry Christmas to you!
The season is not yet over, there’s still time to celebrate the birth of Christ.
How can we celebrate today?
By sharing in the true gift Christ has given to us …
Love for all the world.
    • Prayer of Praise:
Jesus Christ,
We give you the glory this morning!  Where would we be without you?  Who would we be without your saving love?  As your family, we give you thanks.  For the journey you took to bring us hope, coming to us as but a little baby, we stand in awe of you - Emmanuel, God With Us.  You are the one for whom the angels sang, “Peace on earth and goodwill to all people!”  We remember you today, humble Lord Jesus.  Let us not forget to share with others the hope, peace, love, joy, and community that we have come to find in you.  Amen!
  • Epiphany Sunday - January 3
    • Sermon Title: “Searching for Jesus”
    • Scriptures: Matthew 2:1-12
      • 2nd - Psalm 72:1-7
    • Call to Worship:
From near and far, we come together in worship.
We have come here to meet Jesus!
What gift do you bring to the Lord this morning?
All honor, glory, and praise!
    • Prayer of Praise:
Lord Jesus,

As the wise men who traveled so far to meet you, we give you thanks for the glory you reveal among us.  When the world needed a savior, in your great wisdom, you chose to come down to us in humility of a stable, to be raised by those who would be looked past by those around them.  We don’t have gifts to offer you that could even start to measure up to what you have given to us in your saving life.  Take all that we have and make it yours, call our lives to light the darkness of this world with your everlasting light.  Amen.