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A SERVICE OF WORD AND SACRAMENT

Advent 1, Year C
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 2, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 25)

God I give myself to you.
I do this with trust in your fidelity.
Teach me how to live.
Show me the right way for me.
God, remember me.
You have guided people through the ages.
It is your goodness that saves.
Forgive me when I miss the mark.
I know that I will have fullness of life
with you as my guide.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians.

SONG: “Bring a light” (John McRae)

Lighting the Advent Candle.

Today we watch in hope.
As we light the first candle,
we wait and watch for glimpses of the kindom.
May we be alert to the Advent of our Saviour.

GREETING (1 Thessalonians 3:13)

May Christ strengthen your hearts,
making them blameless and holy
before our Abba God
at the coming of our Saviour Jesus with all the holy ones.
May Christ be always with you.
And also with you.

Welcome.

PENITENTIAL RITE

Much of the world is sitting in the dark of hunger and suffering and violence, and yet if we are God’s people we keep up the indestructible hope that truth and goodness and justice will prevail. For we believe that Christ has come and is alive among us. We struggle, we know the road is rough, but Christ goes with us and tells us: Come with me, serve with me, love with me, give and share yourself with me and you will be better, and the Church and the world will be better.

We have been busy with our own affairs
and have forgotten those of the Saviour and the needs of others.
Let us ask forgiveness.

Jesus, make us recognise that you are near
in those who are hungry and needy.
Liberate us with your love.
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, make us discover you
in those who search for peace,
for themselves and for their country.
Bring them your lasting peace.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, reveal yourself to us
in the earth itself and all suffering hope.
Let your light shine on us:
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Silence for personal confession.

Be near to us with your forgiveness, God,
and keep us attentive to the signs of your Spirit.
Lead us to everlasting life. Amen.

ASSURANCE

COLLECT

Let us pray in this season of hope
that we may be kept vigilant.

Abba God,
we are your people on the move,
and we try to carry out the task
of giving shape to your kindom of love and peace.
When we are discouraged and afraid,
keep us going forward in hope.
Make us vigilant in prayer,
that we may see the signs of your Advent.
May Jesus walk with us now
the road he has shown us,
that he may lead us to you,
our living God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

FIRST READING Jeremiah 33:14-16

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

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

GOSPEL Luke 21:25-36

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

HOMILY

SILENCE

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

God, you are our hope.

For the community of the Church, that we may make the gospel
credible by our commitment to justice and love, let us pray ...

... Abba God, you love us and so expect us to make your goodness and justice visible to all. May your Beloved stay with us, that your dream and hopes of the all are realised, now and for ever. Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING TIS 688: “Come to be our hope, O Jesus”

God, as a pledge of your promises
you give us your Own Jesus Christ
in these signs of bread and wine.
We do not ask you for a life
without problems and risks,
but for your Beloved’s vision
of a world in which you are present
and for your Beloved’s courage
to answer with our own lives
your call to build up a new world,
in which Jesus can be our Saviour
now and for ever. Amen.

THE PEACE

Commissioning of Act for Peace Representative.

Rikki, are you willing to be an Act for Peace representative? I am.
Will you seek to spread the word about how churches are working together to act for peace in conflict affected regions of our world?
With God’s help, I will.

The people stand.

Will you accept Rikki as an Act for Peace Representative in this
congregation? We will.

Will you encourage her in love and support her in this ministry, serving with her the one Saviour Jesus Christ?
With God’s help, we will.

God of grace, Rikki has responded to your gentle call to be an Act for Peace Representative. May your blessing be upon her in the sharing of the stories from conflict-affected regions. Also equip and guide her in ways that will open our lives to act for peace in our world today. Through Jesus Christ the prince of peace, we pray. Amen.

INVITATION

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

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 even in the midst of chaos
your tenderness and lasting love are a sure hope.

V1: You created the heavens and the earth,
and the words you have spoken to us
are an everlasting promise.

V2: The words of your Own, Jesus Christ,
shook foundations and opened eyes to your rule of love.
He led us in the paths of your truth
and taught us faithful love.

He was crucified by the enemies of justice,
but you raised him to new life
and sent the Spirit to restore and strengthen our faith
as the day of our redemption draws near.

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.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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.

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

LAMB OF GOD (765)

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.

COMMUNION

This is Jesus, our Saviour and our Sovereign.
Happy are we if he finds us watchful and faithful.
Happy are we that he invites us to this table.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

SONG TIS 265: “O come, O come, Emmanuel”

BLESSING

Keep your heads high in hope was the message of today.
Keep hoping when there are wars and violence,
keep hoping when there is much injustice,
keep hoping when there is much hatred,
keep hoping, for there is a future.
Christ is with you, and with Christ
you can do away with violence and wars,
you can defeat enmity with friendship.
Yes, hold your heads high, for the Saviour Jesus is among us
and with him there is hope and a future.
May almighty God bless you ... +



Acknowledgements:
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 (www.laughingbird.net). Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis. Artwork: David Lilley Jr, “Jeremiah”, 2011 (www.pardonwill.com).