Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent 2012: Joy and Peace Liturgy For Second Sunday, Dec. 9

 Here is the worship service for Advent Second Sunday we used on Dec. 9. This coming Sunday Dec. 16 we will light the third candle, for Love, and have our special liturgy shaped around the waiting, the preparation, for the coming of Love into our hearts, our lives, our pocketbooks, our faith. It was appropriate that we held our Annual Christmas Party for the neighborhood on this past Sunday, since it was a Sunday to lift up Joy. Here are images from the party to accompany the liturgy...

The Welcome Table
A Free Universalist Christian Missional Community

Following the radical Jesus in deeds not creeds. Join us in service to our community throughout the week. Our Welcome Table is open to all who welcome all, regardless of belief or denomination, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities, economic status, or political affiliations. We don’t think Jesus would have it any other way.

Free because we don’t require creedal adherence, even though we may find much truth and wisdom in the ancient creeds and statements of the church. We don’t give theological tests for admission, but encourage you to test us to see if this way is for you. Universalist because we believe God is Love and All who abide in Love abide in God for all time (1 John 4:16). Christian because the generous compassionate way and story of Jesus, while not exclusively so, is our primary pathway opening up to God. Missional because we are sent to serve others more than ourselves. Community because we are made not to be autonomous individuals but to be a people of God.

Today is the day which God has made: Let us rejoice and be glad therein.
What does the Eternal require of us?
To live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

Chalice Lighting and Covenant Affirmation
This is our covenant as we walk together in life as a people of God striving to make Jesus visible in the world: In the light of truth, and the loving and liberating spirit of Jesus, we gather in freedom, to worship God, and serve all.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you As the day rises to meet the sun.

Advent: Welcome To A New Kind of Time Zone
Celebrating Joy and Peace

Lighting The Advent Candle For Peace

One: The Gospel of John speaks of Christ as the true light coming into the world. In
commemoration of that coming, we light candles for the four weeks leading to
Christmas and reflect on the coming of Christ, the coming of the God’s Anointing of all. It is significant that the church has always used that language—the coming of Christ—because it speaks to a deep truth. Christ is coming. Christ is always coming, always entering a troubled world, a wounded heart. And so we light the first candle, the candle of peace, and dare to
express our longing for peace, for healing, and the well-being of all creation.

All: Loving God, as we enter this Advent season, We open all the dark places in our lives and memories to the healing light. Show us your creative power. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by You, that we may walk in the light of the way of Jesus.

One: We light this candle knowing full well that peace is elusive, and in some parts of the world, it is almost completely absent. Yet in this season of Advent, we trust that God is never absent from us, especially even in our times of struggle. God is always preparing something new.

All: And even where there is war and discord, whether between countries, within families, or within our own hearts. God is present, gently leading us to new possibilities.
---Jeanyne Slettom, alt.

From Morning Songs of Peace: Dona Nobis Pacem, I’ve Got Peace Like A River, Gonna Lay Down My Sword and Shield

 Hymn For Advent: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here, Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring come, and cheer Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O Come, you Splendor very bright, as joy that never yields to might
O Come, and turn all hearts to peace, that greed and war at last shall cease.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Prayer of Peace by St. Francis
O God help us to be instruments of Thy peace. Where hate rules let us bring love;
where injury, pardon; where discord, union; where doubt, faith; where despair, hope;
where darkness, light; where sorrow, joy. Let us strive more to comfort others than to be comforted; to understand others--than to be understood; to love others--than to be loved. For it is in giving, that we receive, and in pardoning, that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are raised to eternal life.

Lighting The Advent Candle For Joy
One: Joy is all around us—in the children, the lights, the music, the gathering together. But how often do we let our preparations—or our memories—push joy to the side?

All: Joy is like an underground spring that wells up within us, but joy is also a choice, an attitude. Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised. So today we open ourselves to joy, trusting that God has already planted it in us. All we need to do is give it care and offer it to share.

One: Loving God, we open ourselves to you, trusting that this is how you made us: you created us for joy-filled hearts and lives. Show us the creative power of hope. Teach us the peace that comes from justice. Fill us with the kind of joy that cannot be contained, but must be shared. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you, that we may walk in the light of the way of Jesus.

All: We will Rejoice for God has created us with the capacity for joy. We will find what makes us joyful, and make that our gift to the world. We will trust in God's good will for all of creation and open ourselves to God's gentle, transforming love. We will welcome new possibilities in our lives. We will offer ourselves to God's goodness. We will go forth in peace, and joy.

From Morning Songs: #30, Over My Head; #29, Joyful, Joyful; #95, There Is More Love

 Hymn For Advent: Angels We Have Heard on High


True Peace and Joy Comes Through Justice

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.50His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.51He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;53he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.54He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,55according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” From Luke 1

Prayer of Confession: Gracious and Loving God, we acknowledge to you, to one another, and to ourselves that we are not what you have called us to be. We have stifled our gifts and wasted our time. We have avoided opportunities to offer kindness, but have been quick to take offense. We have pretended that we could make no contribution to peace and justice in our world and have excused ourselves from risk-taking in our own community. Have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and help us to live our lives differently. We long for peace within and without, for harmony in our families, for the well-being of our neighbors, and the love for our enemies. Yet we have too often not made the hard choices that love requires. Show us how to walk in your path of faithfulness, hope, and love. Amen.
Words of Assurance: One fact remains that does not change: God loves all, for all time. This is the good news that brings new life. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Please share prayers and blessings, joys and sorrows

Now we join in saying the prayer Jesus taught for all those who would follow in his way of radical compassion, courage, conscience, and commitment.
Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer: O God, in the loving and liberating spirit of Jesus, we gather at this welcoming table open to all, remembering how Jesus gathered people from all the walks of life, stranger and friend and enemies, gave thanks to you, offered all the bread of life and the cup of blessing and proclaimed a covenant of love for all in your name. We remember too the wonder of his life, as we remember the wonder of all of Creation given unto us and how all are One. We remember the agony of his death, and all the terrors and the tyrannies that oppress people today. And we remember the power of resurrection, the mystery of faith in the everlasting Spirit, the triumph over fear. Help us to remember to practice resurrection everyday, as we remember all those who have given Love the ultimate trust and the last word and who have worked to create the beloved community of renewed and abundant life. Help us to remember with this meal especially all those who are hungry, and may we treat all our meals as sacred and to be shared. Take us, bless us, so that even in and with our brokenness we may serve others. Amen.
Jesus said I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. And they said, Lord, when did we do this? And he said, You did this for me when you did it for the least of these. Here is the bread of life, food for the spirit. Let all who hunger come and eat. Here is the fruit of the vine pressed and poured out for us. Let all who thirst now come and drink.
We come to make peace. We come to be restored in the love of God. We come to be made new as an instrument of that love. All are worthy. All are welcome. ---Food For the Spirit, Rob Eller-Isaacs

Let us Break Bread Together

Passing the Bread of Life and the Cup of Hope

Let us go out into the highways and byways. Let us give the people something of our new vision. We may possess a small light, but may we uncover it, and let it shine. May we use it to bring more light and understanding to the hearts and minds of men and women. May we give them not hell but hope and courage. May we preach and practice the kindness and everlasting love of God. Amen ---John Murray

Hymn #413” “Go Now in Peace, Go Now in Peace, May the Love of God surround you, everywhere, everywhere, you may go.”

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