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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Advent 2, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 5, 2010

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

Then a shoot will sprout from the stump of Jesse;
from Jesse’s roots, a branch will blossom ...

On that Day, the Root of Jesse will serve as a symbol
to the peoples of the world nations will flock to you,
and your home will be a place of honour.

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

GREETING

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.

READING Psalm 72:17

O God, we remember that you sent Jesus,
not to the rich and the powerful,
but to the poor and those in need.

We remember that Jesus healed the sick,
comforted those who mourn,
and went out of his way to welcome children.

Lighting the second Advent candle.

God, may the light of this second candle,
as it dispels the darkness around it,
remind us that we are to dispel the darkness
of sickness, poverty, injustice, and suffering all around us.
Amen! Come, Jesus!

PENITENTIAL RITE

Let us ask our God to forgive us
that we have failed to bring Jesus
and his message to a waiting world.

O Jesus, we have not thoroughly prepared
the way for your coming in our world.
Ky-ri-e e-le-i-son (760).

Jesus Christ, we have said we are Christians,
but we have not always lived your life.
Chris-te e-le-i-son.

O Jesus, we have received the Holy Spirit,
but her fire is often dim among us.
Ky-ri-e e-le-i-son.

God, let your forgiving mercy
convert us to your ways.
Lead us to everlasting life.

Silence.

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.

FORGIVENESS

The people stand.

Accept one another as Christ accepted us,
for the glory of God.
Christ beacme a servant of the chosen people
to live out the truth of God’s promise to them,
and at the same time
to give the Gentiles cause to glorify God
for showing mercy ...

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

COLLECT

God our Mother and Father,
you sent your Child into our world
with the power and the fire of love.
May all your people accept such love in faith
so that love can grow in us.
Keep your Church faithful
to the gospel of justice and peace
and hasten the time of joy
when you gather into your kindom
all who have believed in your love.
We ask this through Christ our Saviour.

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.

The people stand.

GOSPEL Matthew 3:1-12

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

HOMILY

SILENCE

We observe a period of silence for contemplation and reflection.
During this time, we sit or kneel as we are comfortable.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us pray to our brother and Saviour Jesus
that he may share with us the Spirit of joy,
that our Saviour may become visible and alive among us today.
Let us say: O God, live among us.

... O Jesus be fully alive among us,
that with your help we bring about that harmony with God,
with the earth, with one another and with ourselves
which is the sign that you are present.
Be our Saviour for ever and 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

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

We share a sign of peace.

INVITATION

We voice our praise and thanks to Abba God
for the coming of the Christ among us
and we pray that we may receive the Spirit more deeply.

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

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.

Those who wish may raise their hands with the presider.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for your reign draws near
with the promise of justice, peace and security for all.

L: You created the earth and its inhabitants,
 and through the voice of the prophets crying in the desert,
 you called us to prepare the way for your coming.

R: Through the scriptures,
 you spoke words of steadfastness and encouragement,
 filling us with hope in your visions of peace.

You came to us in your Anointed One, Jesus
the new branch growing from the stump of Jesse’s line
and baptised us with Holy Spirit and fire.

Though he was killed, you raised him to life,
and clothed him in righteousness
so that as his reign dawns,
justice may flower upon the earth,
profound peace prevail,
and the knowledge of your grace
extend from sea to sea,
and to the ends of the earth.

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.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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.

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

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

LAMB OF GOD (765)

 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.

THE COMMUNION

This is Jesus, the Lamb of God,
announced by the prophets
as the Saviour of all.
Happy are we that he invites us
to prepare the way for his coming.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Abba God,
your Spirit of wisdom and strength
was alive in Jesus, your Chosen One.
Pour out the same Spirit on us,
that we may bear witness today
to your faithfulness.
And give us always people inspired by you,
prophets like John the Baptist,
to wake us when we are self-satisfied or arrogant,
and to inspire us to prepare the way
for the coming of Jesus Christ,
our Saviour. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

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

BLESSING

We bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing ...

May God, the source of all fortitude
and all encouragement make you capable
of living in perfect harmony with one another
according to the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

May God, the source of hope,
fill you with all joy and peace,
until, by the power of the Holy Spirit,
you overflow with hope. Amen.

May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

 

Acknowledgements:
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 by Getty Images
(http://thundafunda.com/33/travel-world-pictures/Honeycomb.php).