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Sunday Morning Worship 12 12 2021
Pam Smith
Pam Smith
Sunday, December 12, 2021

Order of Worship
Third Sunday of Advent
December 12, 2021




God of Generosity, as the days grow shorter, increase our
devotion to you. Help us to listen for your voice. We wait in
hope. We light candles trusting that the smallest flame can
drive out our greatest fears. We anticipate your coming
among us with peace and thankfulness. As we await your
coming, light a flame within us:

God of Generosity, as we light this third candle, increase in
us a desire to share your love. Open our eyes to see what we
have been given, and to offer our gifts to others. If we have
food and clothing, help us to share. If we have hope, help us
to share. Light a flame within us:

God of Generosity, we remember today our sisters and
brothers in Lebanon. You are a God who knows what it means
to wander and seek safety and shelter. Provide peace and
calm to those who flee their homes in Syria. Give them food,
shelter and welcoming hearts. We pray for their safety, and
trust that you walk with them. Light a flame within us:

God of Generosity, open our hearts, minds and hands. Help
us to see the abundance in our midst.

Turn our attention to you, the One who is our song, our hope
and our joy. We pray all this in the name of Jesus, the light
that has no end.


Let us confess our sin, trusting in the tender mercy of our God.

God for whom we wait
in the presence of one another,
we confess our sin before you.
We fail in trusting that your good news is for us and for all.
We falter in your call to us to tend to your good creation.
We look to material wealth to reflect our value.
We reject those who are different from ourselves.
We do not live as your beloved children and
we turn away from your love and mercy.     
Forgive us we pray
and assure us again of your saving grace.

In Christ Jesus, God has looked upon us with favor.
Hear this good news.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit,
+ your sins are forgiven.
You are children of the Most High,
Heirs of the eternal promises   
and recipients of divine mercy 
     All Earth Is Hopeful
            ELW 266  (vs 1,3)   

All earth is hopeful, the Savior comes at last!
Furrows lie open for God's creative task:
this, the labor of people who struggle to see
how God's truth and justice set ev'rybody free.

Mountains and valleys will have to be prepared;
new highways opened, new protocols declared.
Almost here! God is nearing, in beauty and grace!
All clear ev'ry gateway, in haste, come out in haste!

    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the holy spirit be with you all.
    And also with you.

     ELW 154 

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy; have mercy, O Lord.

Let us pray.
Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the preaching of John, that, rejoicing in your salvation, we may bring forth the fruits of repentance; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

+ WORD +

FIRST READING     Zephaniah 3:14-20
The prophet Zephaniah’s message is mostly one of judgment for sin. This reading, however, which comes from the conclusion of the book, prophesies joy for Judah and Jerusalem. Judgment has led to repentance, and God’s salvation is at hand.

 14Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
 shout, O Israel!
 Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
 O daughter Jerusalem!
 15The LORD has taken away the judgments against you,
 he has turned away your enemies.
 The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
 you shall fear disaster no more.
 16On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
 Do not fear, O Zion;
 do not let your hands grow weak.
 17The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
 a warrior who gives victory;
 he will rejoice over you with gladness,
 he will renew you in his love;
 he will exult over you with loud singing
 18as on a day of festival.
 I will remove disaster from you,
 so that you will not bear reproach for it.
 19I will deal with all your oppressors
 at that time.
 And I will save the lame
 and gather the outcast,
 and I will change their shame into praise
 and renown in all the earth.
 20At that time I will bring you home,
 at the time when I gather you;
 for I will make you renowned and praised
 among all the peoples of the earth,
 when I restore your fortunes
 before your eyes, says the LORD.

The word of the Lord.     
Thanks be to God.

  THE FIRST SONG OF ISAIAH - Isaiah 12:2-6                                                      
     (sung by the Choir)    

Surely, it is God who saves me;                           
I will trust in him and not be afraid.   
For the Lord is my strong-hold and my sure defense,                           
and he will be my Savior.    

Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing                         
from the springs of salvation.                         
And on that day you shall say,             
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;    Refrain          

Make his deeds known among the peoples;                       
see that they remember that his Name is exalted. 
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things,                       
and this is known in all the world.    Refrain     

Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion,                         
ring out your joy,                         
For the great one in the midst of you                         
is the Holy One of Israel.    Refrain (twice.) 

SECOND READING: Philippians 4:4-7
Despite being in prison, Paul is remarkably upbeat as he writes this letter. Here, he urges his friends in Philippi to trust God with all their worries and concerns with the hope that they will experience God’s joy and peace.

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

ELW 175

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL     Luke 3:7-18
John the Baptist is a herald of Jesus, whose way is prepared by “repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” As we hear the careful record of human leaders, we sense the spectrum of political and religious authority that will be challenged by this coming Lord.

The holy gospel according to Luke.
Glory to you, O Lord.

7John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
10And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" 11In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." 12Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" 13He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." 14Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."
15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
18So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


     Fling Wide the Door
            ELW 259  (vs. 1,4)

Fling wide the door, unbar the gate;
the King of glory comes in state;
the Lord of lords and King of kings,
the Savior of the world who brings
his great salvation to the earth.
So raise a shout of holy mirth
and praise our God and Lord,
Creator, Spirit, Word.

Come, Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ;
our hearts are open wide in trust.
Oh, show us now your lovely grace,
upon our sorrows shine your face,
and let your Holy Spirit guide
our journey in your grace so wide.
We praise your holy name,
from age to age the same!


I believe in God, the Father almighty,
   creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
   who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
   born of the virgin Mary,
   suffered under Pontius Pilate,
   was crucified, died, and was buried;
   he descended to the dead.
   On the third day he rose again;
   he ascended into heaven,
   he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
   and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
   the holy catholic church,
   the communion of saints,
   the forgiveness of sins,
   the resurrection of the body,
   and the life everlasting. Amen.

In this season of watching and waiting, let us pray for all people and places that yearn for God’s presence.

     A brief silence.

Holy God, renew your church and raise up leaders who announce your good news. Grant peace to congregations and seminarians in the midst of transition. Guide the work of candidacy and call committees.
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Creating God, your Spirit brought forth the earth and all that is in it. Breathe life into us, that we are inspired to live in harmony with one another and the planet.
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Shepherding God, you lead your people in paths of righteousness. Raise up prophets in our own day who warn against captivity to greed and point us to the freedom found in generosity.
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Nurturing God, you come near in times of worry and need. Cradle us in your arms, that we trust you and are not afraid. Attend to any who are hungry, imprisoned, or ill this day, particularly Alena, Jenna, Margaret, Anna Mae, Julie, Ryan, Kate, Brooklyn, Emerson, Alan, Ken, Carol, Anne, Allen, JoAnn, Meagan, Betty, Dione, Nancy, Dottie, Theresa, Bobby, Dottie, Tim, Julie, Ruth, Henry, Mary, Greg, Ann Joyce, Barbara, and Shelby. 
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Rejoicing God, you exult over us in singing. Enliven the song of this assembly and bless the ministry of church musicians. With instruments and dance, join our voices to the song of all creation.
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

We give you thanks for your servants who showed us your goodness and grace (especially). By the power of your Spirit, keep us steadfast in faith until we make our home with you.
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

God of new life, you come among us in the places we least expect. Receive these prayers and those of our hearts, in the name of Jesus.

The peace of the Lord be with you.
And also with you.

+ MEAL +
We are resuming the passing of the offering plate during the service. Alternatively, some are using for online giving or are using their bank’s online banking option.  Whichever way you choose to give, we are grateful for your stewardship and generosity.

God of our waiting and watching, we offer the gifts of our hearts and our lives vto the service of all your people. Prepare the way before us as we meet you in this simple meal, through Christ Jesus, who is peace.


The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior Jesus Christ.
You comforted your people with the promise of the Redeemer,
through whom you will also make all things new
in the day when he comes to judge the world in righteousness.
And so, with all the choirs of angels,
with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

 ELW Setting Three, p 144

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of pow'r and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna. Hosanna. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Holy One, the beginning and the end, the giver of life:  Blessed are you for the birth of creation.  Blessed are you in the darkness and in the light. Blessed are you for your promise to your people.  Blessed are you in the prophets’ hopes and dreams. Blessed are you for Mary’s openness to your will.  Blessed are you for your Son Jesus, the Word made flesh.

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:  Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.  Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying:  This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.  Do this for the remembrance of me.

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
    Christ has died.
    Christ is risen.
    Christ will come again.

With this bread and cup we remember your Word dwelling among us, full of grace and truth.  We remember our new birth in his death and resurrection.  We look with hope for his coming.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Holy God, we long for your Spirit.  Come among us.  Bless this meal.  May your Word take flesh in us.  Awaken your people.  Fill us with your light.  Bring the gift of peace on earth.
Come, Holy Spirit.

All praise and glory are yours, Holy One of Israel, Word of God incarnate, Power of the Most High, one God, now and forever.

    Our Father, who art in heaven,
        hallowed be thy name,
        thy kingdom come,
        thy will be done,
            on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread;
    and forgive us our trespasses,
        as we forgive those
        who trespass against us;
    and lead us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from evil.
    For thine is the kingdom, 
        and the power, and the glory,
        forever and eve.  Amen.


In Holy Communion, the baptized children of God are invited by the Lord to the Lord's Table where we receive Jesus' very body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine. We commune at the head of the aisle receiving the host and then moving to receive wine or grape juice by the individual cup. The ushers will direct you. Gluten free bread is available. If you wish to commune but cannot come forward, let an usher know and Pastor will come to you. For those who do not wish to commune, they are welcome to come forward to receive a blessing from Pastor.

     Come to the Table    ELW 481

Come to the table of mercy,
prepared with the wine and the bread.
All who are hungry and thirsty,
come, and your souls will be fed.
Come at the Lord's invitation;
receive from his nail-scarred hand.
Eat of the bread of salvation;
drink of the blood of the Lamb.


Most High God, You have come among us at this table.  Having been nourished, shape us so that we may be bears of your Word, sharing the gifts of mercy and grace with all through Christ Jesus your Son, our Lord.

BENEDICTION HYMN                 

    Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers
           ELW 244 

Rejoice, rejoice, believers,     
and let your lights appear;     
the evening is advancing,     
and darker night is near.     
The bridegroom is arising     
and soon is drawing nigh.     
Up, pray and watch and wrestle;     
at midnight comes the cry.  

The watchers on the mountain     
proclaim the bridegroom near;     
go forth as he approaches     
with alleluias clear.     
The marriage feast is waiting;     
the gates wide open stand.     
Arise, O heirs of glory;     
the bridegroom is at hand.  

The saints, who here in patience     
their cross and suff'rings bore,     
shall live and reign forever     
when sorrow is no more.     
Around the throne of glory     
the Lamb they shall behold;     
in triumph cast before him     
their diadems of gold.

Our hope and expectation,     
O Jesus, now appear;     
arise, O Sun so longed for,     
o'er this benighted sphere.     
With hearts and hands uplifted,     
we plead, O Lord, to see     
the day of earth's redemption     
that sets your people free! 


All Earth Is Hopeful, Text: Alberto Taulé, b. 1932; tr. Madeleine Forell Marshall, b. 1946, Spanish text © 1993 and English text © 1995 Centro de Pastoral Liturgica, admin. OCP Publications. Music: Alberto Taulé,. Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLismallocense A-722274.  All rights reserved.

Kyrie, Music: Mass No. 1, Avon Gillespie.  Music copy; GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense A-722274.  All rights reserved.

Liturgical Text, Music, and Images from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, © 2006 and 2020 Augsburg Fortress and Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies License #SAS016761.  All rights reserved.

Gospel Acclamation,  Music: "Alleluia 7, Jacques Berthier, 1923-1994, and the Taizé Community.  Music © 1984 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense A-722274.  All rights reserved.

Fling Wide the Door,  Text: Georg Weissel, 1590-1635; tr. Gracia Grindal, b. 1943, Text © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress..  Music: J.A. Freylinghausen, Geistreiches Gesangbuch, 1704; arr. hymnal version, Arr. © 2006 Augsburg Fortress. Text and music reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense A-722274. All right reserved.

Come to the Table, Text: Claire Cloninger, b. 1942. Music: Martin J. Nystrom, b. 1956.  Text and Music © 1991 Integrity's Hosanna! Music | Curb Word Music,  Text and music reprinted and/or streamed with permission under CCLI License # 2241477.   All rights reserved.

Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers, Text:  Laurentius Laurenti, 1660-1722; tr. Sarah B. Findlater, 1823-1907.  Music:  Swedish folk tune.   Public domain.