Home Church Advent 2, December 5, 2021, Rev. Karen Hollis
We acknowledge these lands upon which we worship are the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.
Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!
Preparing the Space Around Us
Welcome if you are gathering on zoom or if you are worshipping at home with the bulletin. We are one community and all part of the body of Christ. I invite you to prepare the space around you so that for the next hour you can be fully in this worship experience, not to keep out the realities of the world, rather to focus us in the midst of it all on God. If you need to go and get something or shift something around you, feel free. We are in the season of Advent; it is a season of presence . . .of watching and waiting. . . of spaciousness . . . of preparing. Welcome to this space where God will be born anew; welcome to the season of Advent and the gifts that are awaiting you here.
Preparing the Space within Us
Let us prepare now the space within us for a time of worship. I invite you to sit quietly, perhaps with feet on the floor, taking a couple of deep breaths and bring yourself into this moment. Open yourself to the presence of God who is with us and within us . . . as you intentionally open yourself to God, open yourself also to what you need from this time of worship.
Prelude: Prepare the Way of the Lord - VU #10
Prepare the way of the Lord! Prepare the way of the Lord!
Make a straight path for him, make a straight path;
prepare the way of the Lord!
One: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
All: And also with
Call to Worship - Enfleshed, adapted
One: The Living God is among us
All: reviving what has grown stale,
transforming lives, not discarding people,
One: bringing new life through repentance and repair.
One: God does not threaten with flames that destroy, but says
All: Let us burn away pretense to get to the heart of the matter:
One: We are here to dream of the world to come
All: and to live radically in its direction.
One: With courage, with faith, let us worship the One who guides us.
Advent Candle Lighting - Tim & Anne
Hymn: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel v. 1&7 - VU #1
1O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
7 O come, Desire of nations, bind
all peoples in one heart and mind.
O bid our sad divisions cease,
and be for us the Prince of Peace. Refrain
Invitation to Confession - Enfleshed, adapted
The prophet Malachi writes: For [God’s messenger] is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” These words are not intended to invoke images of punishment or judgement, rather a refiner’s fire is used to burn away impurities in something that is essentially good and valuable; in the process, that substance becomes stronger and more resilient. Fuller’s soap is used to scrub the dirt from wool so that it can be made into thread and woven into something beautiful. These images remind us that the world is not easily divided into good and bad, just as we are not so easily divided. We come to confession today with the invitation to open ourselves before God and be refined, that we might be strengthened and more resilient.
Prayer of Confession - BAS
One: Let us pray,
Lord have mercy
All: Christ have mercy
One: Lord have mercy
It takes all of our strength and courage to show up before you, carrying our bundle of regrets, inaction, mis-action, self-sabotage, self-criticism, and beliefs that no longer serve us. We come with the most vulnerability we can muster and put ourselves in your loving hands, O God. Help us to empty ourselves at the cross and turn toward your loving embrace.
Silent prayer of confession
Assurance of Grace
Before the thought of God is even in your awareness, God is here with open arms of love, reaching out to embrace you. God waits as we peek out from our layers of protection, where God’s healing love can reach us once again. Thanks be to God.
Peace of Christ
I invite you to look around this gathering at all the people, all the faces, all the names; each of us is a story, each a particular manifestation of the Holy, and together, the continually refined body of Christ through the process of reconciliation. Let us unmute our mics and practice what Christ teaches by sharing the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding…
A-M: The Peace of Christ be with you!
N-Z: And also with you!
First Reading: Malachi 3:1-4 - Reader: Susan Brockley
See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight--indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
Song of Zechariah (Luke 1:68-79 Voices United) - Reader: Susan Brockley
Blessed be the God of Israel,
who has come to the people and set them free,
who has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
born of the house of the servant David.
Through the holy prophets of old
God promised to save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us,
to show the mercy promised to our ancestors,
to remember the holy covenant,
the oath God swore to our ancestors Abraham and Sarah,
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to serve God without fear,
holy and righteous in God’s presence,
all the days of our life.
And you, child,
will be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
to give the people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God,
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who sit in darkness,
in the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Gospel Reading - Reader: Paddy Waymark One:
God be with you.
All: And also with you.
One: The Good News of Jesus Christ according to Luke;
All: Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 3:1-6 (NRSV)
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"
One: This is the Gospel of Christ;
All: Praise be to Jesus Christ
New Zealand Creed
Let us affirm our faith . . .
You, O God, are supreme and holy.
You create our world and give us life.
Your purpose overarches everything we do.
You have always been with us.
You are God.
You, O God, are infinitely generous,
good beyond all measure.
You came to us before we came to you.
You have revealed and proved
your love for us in Jesus Christ,
who lived and died and rose again.
You are with us now.
You are God.
You, O God, are Holy Spirit.
You empower us to be your gospel in the world.
You reconcile and heal; you overcome death.
You are our God. We worship you.
Prayers of the People - Betty Schultze
One: Loving God,
All: Hear Our Prayer.
Lord’s Prayer - New Zealand Prayer Book – Jim Cotter
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
in the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen
Offering - Mona Smart, Worship Committee
We worship you with gratitude and joy, O God. Your gifts and goodness are overwhelming. We give thanks for all who tend to the matters of our particular practice of worship: those who organize and plan, who dream and imagine, who quietly tend to details so that when we gather, we can more fully come before you as a community in worship. In Christ Jesus we pray, Amen.
Hymn: I Heard the Voice of Jesus - VU #626
1 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
weary and worn and sad;
I found in him a resting-place,
and he has made me glad.
2 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down, and drink, and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.
3 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's light;
look unto me, your morn shall rise;
and all your day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in him my star, my sun;
and in that light of life I'll walk
till travelling days are done.
Blessing - Iona Community
If you are with another person, you’re invited to bless each other, taking every other line.
One: The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, on your journey, guiding you, cherishing you.
A-M: The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and stories, feeding you, challenging you.
N-Z: The Spirit’s blessing be yours, wind and fire, joy and wisdom, comforting you, disturbing you.
All: The Angel’s blessing be yours, on your house, on your living, guarding you, encouraging you. Let us walk together, a community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing. Amen!
One: Let us go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God! Alleluia!