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Advent 4, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 19, 2010

The Gathering of the People of God


Please, O God of Hosts...
Let your hand rest upon the One at your right side,
the Chosen One you raised up for yourself.
Then we’ll never turn from you again;
our life renewed, we will invoke your Name.
Adonai, God of Hosts, return to us
let your face smile on us and we will be saved!

SONG: ‘O come, O come, Emmanuel’ (265)


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.

Lighting the third Advent candle.

We light the third candle,
reminding us to be constant and patient in our relationships
and in our living.

READING Matthew 1:18-25

The Good News and Power of God.
Praise to you, O Jesus Christ.
Lighting the fourth Advent candle.

God, may the light of this candle illumine our path through life
so that our way is your way of righteousness, trust, and faithfulness.
Amen! Come, Jesus, come!


Let us turn to God, who even in our weakness
is always on the side of humanity.

O Jesus, you are the promised Emmanuel,
our God-with-us:
Ky-ri-e e-le-i-son (760).

Jesus Christ, you are our Saviour;
you come to save us from our sins:
Chris-te e-le-i-son.

O Jesus, you are one of us
fully human, to make us completely human
and sons and daughters, children of God:
Ky-ri-e e-le-i-son.

Have mercy on us, God,
and pour out on us your forgiving love,
make us belong to you,
and 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.


The light of God’s love shines upon each of us
in the gift of God’s love, Jesus Christ.
This is given for you.
Rejoice! You are loved by God, now and forever.
Jesus says, Your sins are forgiven!
Thanks be to God.


Let us pray to Abba God
that we may give a warm place to the Christ
in our hearts and in our lives.

God of our Saviour Jesus Christ
let your Child be reborn in us
at the source of our life and hope.
Lift us up from our sadness
and bring us into the light.
Make us just and reliable
and people of peace.
Come to all nations,
into every home and into every heart,
that together with Christ
we may give glory to you,
our God in the highest,
now and forever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

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

OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 7:10-16

May your word live in us, O God;
and bear much fruit to your glory.




Our saving God hears the cries of the people.
Let us entrust to God all our longings and all the people dear to God and to us,
as we say: Let your face smile on us, and we will be saved.

... Our saving God, give us Jesus your Own.
In Christ all our expectations will be fulfilled, now and 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 joy we give thanks to the Holy One
for wanting to become our God-with-us in the Christ, Jesus.


The people stand.

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 you rest your hand upon us,
calling us to be your holy saints and giving us life again.

L: Before time began, your Holy Spirit brooded over the chaos
 and brought the earth and its inhabitants to birth.
 Through your prophets speaking in the holy scriptures
 you promised us a child
 born as a sign of your saving presence with us.

R: Your promise has taken flesh in your child, Jesus the Christ,
 who was born of the line of David.
 When he was killed by your enemies,
 your Spirit brought him forth again
 by resurrection from the dead.

Through him the light of your presence has been restored
and we have been called into the obedience of faith
that we might belong to Jesus Christ forever,
living by the hope conceived in us by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore 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, God’s Own,
and the Child of Mary;
Friend to us and Saviour.
Happy are we to receive him
as our God-with-us.


Abba God,
you choose to come among your people
in the weakness and humility of a child
through your Own Jesus Christ.
You have given him to us here
as our God-with-us.
Let him put us to shame
when we boast of our achievements
or place all our trust in our own resources.
Teach us that your Only Begotten
is the source of our power
and that we and the world can become fresh and new
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God




Go now and live by the hope conceived within you.
Refuse evil and choose good.
Call on the name of the Holy One.
Walk with God in faithful obedience,
and do not fear public disgrace.

And may God be with you;
May Christ Jesus save you from your sins;
And may the Holy Spirit restore to you
the light of God’s presence.


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: Ants (http://biology.ucf.edu/~pascencio/images/ants.png).