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Advent 3, Year C
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 16, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Zephaniah 3:14)

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart!

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians.

SONG: “Bring a light” (John McRae)

Lighting the Advent Candle.


There is no need to worry,
for God wants you to be happy,
our God is near to you.
May peace and joy be with you always.
And also with you.



When the problem is too large for us like injustice and violence in the world, the lack of love, disunity, exploitation of the earth what is there that we can do? We can begin by acting responsibly in our own neighbourhoods, with the people around us, and by doing well what we have to do. This is John the Baptist’s advice to those who come to him for conversion.

The Saviour’s joy becomes tangible for us
when Jesus reconciles us in the pardon he offers.

Jesus, you are a God near to us
and so we dare to say:
Keep us in your love.
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, with you near to us
we have no more evil to fear.
Keep us in your joy:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, you ask us to be happy
and no longer to worry, for you are near:
Keep us in your peace.
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Silence for personal confession.

heal us from the fears caused by sin
and bring us the joy of your forgiveness.
Lead us to everlasting life. Amen.



Let us pray for the courage
to do well what we have to do in life.

Faithful God,
give us the courage to welcome your Own
by sharing what we have,
doing well what is right and just,
making and maintaining peace.
May your Beloved baptise us
with the Holy Spirit and fire,
and may he renew us by his love
that our hearts might overflow with joy.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Saviour.

The Liturgy of the Word

EPISTLE READING Philippians 4:4-7

The Wisdom of God.
God’s Word made new.


GOSPEL Luke 3:10-18

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




If there is too little joy among us, it is perhaps because we are not Christian enough. Let us pray to the God of joy that we may always live in peace and joy, and let us say: God, you are our joy.

... God, you have brought us freedom through Jesus your Own. May we live in your hands as free people and people of great joy. We ask this through Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING TIS 544 “Since the world was young”

God of life and happiness,
with Jesus we want to accept tensions and even pain
without losing our inner peace,
to possess without attachment
and to love without complete fulfillment,
to cherish ourselves without deserting others,
to work for the future without reaping results.
We want to encounter Christ,
without knowing him fully.
Let this be our offering to you
that brings us your joy for ever and ever.




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 are coming in the fire of love
to baptise your people and gather them home.

V1: In love, you created the earth and its inhabitants
and sent faithful prophets to call us,
and all children of Abraham,
to turn to you and to bear fruits of justice and mercy.

V2: In your child, Jesus, you made your home in our midst.
Releasing the captives and gathering the outcast,
he confronted our oppressors
and lifted us from shame to honour.

When he was cut down and killed
you raised him to resurrection life.
Now, as the day of his coming draws near,
he plunges us into his Spirit and fire
to renew us in love, and banish our fear.

With all the company of heaven and earth 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.
We praise you, almighty God,
through Christ, in Christ and because of Christ.
We affirm the Church’s faith:
Christ has died, Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

We remember ...

Send to us the Holy Spirit that this meal may be holy,
and your people may become one.

Unite us in faith, inspire us to love,
encourage us with hope,
that we may receive Christ as he comes to us
in this holy banquet.

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


Abba God in heaven,
glory to you!
Your rule of love renews the earth.
In your name, we take part in that renewal
helping, and not harming,
caring, and not coercing ...
We pray that we might receive with thanks
the bread we need,
the money we need,
the warmth we need ...
We pray that forgiveness and freedom
flow through our lives.
Teach us that in sharing life
we live life to the full ...
Remind us that evil is real.
Still, we are not afraid of it,
but confident
that love is stronger than hate,
justice other than revenge,
true peace the work of your Spirit.



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


This is the Saviour who said:
Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You are sad now but I shall see you again
and then your hearts will be full of joy.
No one shall take that joy from you.
Happy are we to be invited
to the Saviour’s table.


Abba God,
you have refreshed our hope and joy
in this holy meal with your Own.
Help us to seek joy and happiness
not in personal contentment nor in things
but in relationship with others and in you
in human kindness,
in communion with the earth,
and in doing all things well.
Make our every day new and worth living
through the presence among us
of Jesus Christ our Sovereign. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God


SONG TIS 658: “I the Lord of sea and sky”


We have our share of cares and worries
just like everyone else.
Yet, on account of our trust in God
and the quiet assurance
that the Saviour is ever near to us,
we keep our serenity and joy.

May your joy be contagious,
with the blessing of Almighty God ...+

Go in the hope and joy of Christ.
Thanks be to God.


Based on ‘The Service of the Lord’s Day’
in Uniting in Worship 2, Sydney, 2005;
also, Claretian Resources (www.bible.claret.org);
Eucharistic Preface based on prayers by Nathan Nettleton
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Artwork: Andrei Rublev (1360s, died 1427),
‘The Prophet Zephaniah’.