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Advent 3, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 12, 2010

The Gathering of the People of God


Happy are those whose help is the God of Israel ...
... Our God will reign forever. Alleluia!

SONG: ‘Come, O God of all the earth’ (181)


Blessed is the Holy Trinity of love,
Father, Son, Holy Spirit,
One God, mothering all creation;
and blessed is the reign of God,
now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Grace and peace from our Abba God
and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors.

Lighting the first Advent candle.

We light the first candle,
reminding us of God’s promise of peace on earth.

Lighting the second Advent candle.

We light the second candle,
reminding us that we are to dispel the darkness
of sickness, poverty, injustice, and suffering all around us.

READING James 5:7-10

Lighting the third Advent candle.

God, may the constant light of this candle
serve as an example of the kind of patience
we are to have in our living and in our relationships.

As we rush about with shopping, parties, cooking, decorating,
and the busyness of these days,
may we not forget the true reason why we do these things;
and may we not grumble against one another.
Amen! Come, Jesus!


Let us ask forgiveness from our God
that we have often closed our eyes
and not seen the plight of those who are poor.
O Jesus, you gave sight to the blind.
Make us to see the distress of those who are excluded.
Ky-ri-e e-le-i-son (760).

Jesus Christ, you made the deaf hear.
Open our ears to the cries of those
who are denied access to resources.
Chris-te e-le-i-son.

O Jesus, you made the lame walk.
Make us to lift up those who are paralysed
by their fears and failures.
Ky-ri-e e-le-i-son.

Forgive us our sins, O God,
and make us more like Christ.
Lead us to everlasting life.


L: Among the poor,
R: among the proud,
L: among the persecuted,
R: among the privileged,
L: Christ is coming,
 Christ is coming to make all things new.

Silence for personal confession.


Hear the good news for those who are fearful of heart:
Take courage! Do not be afraid!
Look, YHWH is coming...
God is coming to save you!

Hear anew Christ’s word of grace to us:
Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.


Let us pray
that people may recognise in us
that our saving God is here.

O God of hope and joy,
you want to come among us
and to be near to us today
through your Chosen One.
Let it become visible
that Christ lives among us
as we are near to one another
and bring hope and justice
especially to the ‘have-nots’,
and to those who suffer.
May people recognise in this way
that Christ is the one to come
and receive life with joy. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

Your word, O God, is a lamp to our feet:
a light to our path.

Let us stand to acclaim God’s saving justice,
attested by the teaching and the prophets,
and now revealed through faith in Jesus Christ
to all who believe.

GOSPEL Matthew 11:2-11

The Good News and Power of God.
Praise to you, O Jesus Christ.




... Come, Jesus, come and save us.
Without you we are powerless, but with you we can do the impossible.
For you are our Saviour for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘Lift this child to the sun’

 Lift this child to the sun,
 Raise this child to the sky;
 God has come from above,
 Come to earth from on high.
 Lift this child, lift this child to the sun.

 Lay this child on the ground,
 One with us, one with earth;
 Let God know in the Son
 Human clay, human birth.
 Lay this child, lay this child on the ground.

 Lay this child in the shade,
 Hang this child ’neath a tree;
 With his hand on the wood
 May this child set us free.
 Place this child, place this child in the shade.

 Send this child down the road,
 Let him ride hard the track;
 To be king of the bush
 And the harsh world outback.
 Send this child, send this child down the road.

 Lift this child to the night,
 To the silence of God;
 Let this child cry for us,
 And the silence be heard.
 Lift this child, lift this child to the night.


The peace of the Promised One be with you all.
And also with you.


With thanks to Abba God we welcome the Christ in our midst
and we pray that Christ may become visible in us.


God is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to God.
Let us give thanks to the God of love.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for your mercy embraces the faithful,
one generation to the next.

L: You are the creator of heaven, earth and the teeming seas.
 You promised mercy to our ancestors
 and sent prophets as an example of suffering and patience
 to prepare the Holy Way before you.

R: In Jesus Christ we saw your promises take flesh
 as the blind saw the light,
 the deaf heard the music,
 and the lame danced with joy.

When he was killed, you raised him to life
and through him your good news still comes to the poor
like springs of water to thirsty ground,
uplifting the downtrodden
and filling the hungry from the richness of your table.

And so with thankful hearts we patiently wait,
knowing that the day is near
when all the earth will see the fullness of your glory.

And we sing ... (761):
Holy, holy, holy God, wisdom, strength and hope,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest.

To you indeed be glory, almighty God,
because on the night before he died ...

God of hope and joy,
we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
With this bread and this cup
we proclaim the mystery of our faith ... (757):
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

Therefore, loving God,
recalling now Christ’s death and resurrection,
we ask you to accept
this our sacrifice of praise.

Send your Holy Spirit upon us
and our celebration,
that we may be fed with the body and blood of Christ
and be filled with your life and goodness.
Strengthen us to do your work,
and to be your body in the world.
Unite us in Christ
and give us your peace.

May we praise you
and give you glory.

Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in your holy Church,
we worship you, O God,
in songs of everlasting praise.

Blessing, honour and glory be yours,
here and everywhere, now and forever. Amen.


L: Abba God in heaven, hallowed be your name!
R: May your reign come,
 may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven:
L: give us today the bread we need.
R: And forgive us our debts,
 as we hereby forgive those who are indebted to us.
 Don’t put us to the test, but free us from evil.


Let us receive what we are;
let us become what we receive:
the body of Christ.


 Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
 have mercy on us, have mercy on us ...
 Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
 grant us peace, grant us peace.


This is Jesus the Saviour,
who proclaimed the Good News to the poor,
freedom to prisoners,
and joy to those in sorrow.
Happy are we to receive him with joy.


Abba God,
you have entrusted to us, your people,
the mission of Jesus, your Chosen One.
Help us to strengthen the weary,
to give hope to the discouraged,
to be near to the poor and the weak
and to lift up, with the gentleness of Jesus,
those sitting by the roadside of life.
But remember us too,
for we are but weak and fallible people,
and stay with us
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God


CAROL: ‘The Friendly Beasts’

Jesus, our brother, kind and good,
Was humbly born in a stable rude;
And the friendly beasts around him stood.
Jesus, our brother, kind and good.

“I,” said the Donkey, shaggy and brown,
“I carried his mother up hill and down;
I carried his mother to Bethlehem town.”
“I,” said the Donkey, shaggy and brown.

“I,” said the Cow, all white and red,
“I gave him my manger for his bed;
I gave him my hay to pillow his head.”
“I,” said the Cow, all white and red.

“I,” said the Sheep, with the curly horn,
“I gave him my wool for his blanket warm;
He wore my coat on Christmas morn.”
“I,” said the Sheep, with the curly horn.

“I,” said the Dove, from the rafters high,
“I cooed him to sleep that he should not cry;
We cooed him to sleep, my mate and I.”
“I,” said the Dove, from the rafters high.

Thus every beast by some glad spell,
In the stable dark was glad to tell
Of the gift he gave Emmanuel,
The gift he gave Emmanuel.


Go now, with good news for the anawim
and prepare the way for God’s Anointed.
Wait patiently.
Do not grumble against one another,
but encourage one another.
Take courage! Do not be afraid!

And may God come quickly to save you;
May Christ Jesus give you everlasting gladness;
And may the Holy Spirit strengthen your hearts
and lead you on God’s holy way.



Based on 'The Service of the Lord's Day' in Uniting in Worship 2, Sydney, 2005;
Liturgy Alive for Sundays and Weekdays, the Philippines (www.bible.claret.org);
Eucharistic Preface based on prayers by Nathan Nettleton (www.laughingbird.net).
Advent Candle Lighting by the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship USA.
Advent Prayer from Cloth for the Cradle, Wild Goose Worship Group.
Haiku by Heather Robinson.
Image: www.zastavki.com/pictures/1280x800/2008/