The snow is quietly falling but travel is dangerous. We have cancelled all activities at church today, including the final cantata performance this evening, but that doesn't mean we can't worship Him in the comfort and safety of our own homes. Gather round your Christmas tree, your home Advent wreath or your kitchen table, or call your loved one or neighbor. Share our prayer, advent liturgy and Gospel lessons with those you love, for wherever two or more are gathered in My Name, I am with you. Advent Blessings, Pastor Patrick
Opening Prayer Holy Living God, Blessed Jesus, Guiding Spirit, as we embark on a journey of remembering the past, we look to You, the Redeemer of all life and thank you that, through You, no past hurt, disappointment or grief is outside of your care and forgiveness. Open us to your miracle just begun and in this season transform us into those whose giving brings hope in a turbulent world. Open us to You, to each other, and to the voices no one hears so that your reign of mercy, justice and love can be made known to all.
Lighting of the Advent Candles
Today we relight the candle of PEACE. Remembering that the Lord gives strength to His people and that the Lord blesses His people with peace.
[Light the first candle]
Now we light the candle of HOPE.
[Light the second candle]
With Christians around the world, we use this light to help us prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of God's Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we receive God's light as we hear the words of the prophet Isaiah: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them light has shined." ~Isaiah 9:2
Let us pray: Lord as we look to the birth of Jesus, grant that the light of Your Love for us will help us to become lights in the lives of those around us. Prepare our hearts for the joy and gladness of Your Coming, for Jesus is Our Hope. Amen.
Gospel Lesson - Luke 9:57-62 Please join me in prayer. Guide us, O God, by your Word and Spirit, that in your light we may see the light, in your truth, find freedom, and in your will discover your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
As they were going along the road, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” And Jesus said to another, “Follow Me.” But the person replied, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus replied to the person saying, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.”