November 29, 2020 Liturgy

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First Sunday of Advent

Preparation for Worship

Songs:  Ask yourself and the people who will be worshipping with you (kids included), “What are some of the songs we sing about waiting and expectation?” Play them on Spotify, sing them acapella, or create your own instrumental arrangement.

Bible:  You will need a Bible to read from the scriptures.  You can use this doc or your phone as well…but I’d recommend using an actual Bible.

This week’s liturgy is based on the following texts:   

Isaiah 64:1-9, Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9, Mark 13:24-37.

You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering.  It would be great for every person to have a part.


Gathering Words

Happy New Year!  Today marks the beginning of a new year in the church calendar.  We begin our church year with the season of Advent, a time of preparation, a time of great expectation and anticipation, the season when we celebrate that God entered the world in the form of a baby.  Today we will listen and watch and wait as we celebrate this new season.

Call to Worship

Leader:       We don’t always know that time it is,

All:              but according to Jesus, it is time to watch.

Leader:       We’re not always sure what we should wear,

All:              but according to the Spirit, we should wear garments of Light.

Leader:       We’re not always sure what we should do,

All:              But according to God, we should always seek good for those around us.

Leader:       Let us watch and wait!  Come, let us worship God! Amen!

Song of Praise

Sing one song that focuses on God’s love and God’s call.

Some suggestions:

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus 

God with Us

Your Name/Forever Reign 

The Best Present Ever (for kids) 

Feelin’ Like Christmas (for kids)

For other song ideas click here.

Reading of the Psalm 

The psalmist writes in Psalm 80 (CEB),

Shepherd of Israel, listen!

    You, the one who leads Joseph as if he were a sheep.

    You, who are enthroned upon the winged heavenly creatures.

Show yourself 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!

    Wake up your power!

    Come to save us!

3 Restore us, God!

    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

4 Lord God of heavenly forces,

    how long will you fume against your people’s prayer?

5 You’ve fed them bread made of tears;

    you’ve given them tears to drink three times over!

6 You’ve put us at odds with our neighbors;

    our enemies make fun of us.

7 Restore us, God of heavenly forces!

    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

Let your hand be with the one on your right side—

    with the one whom you secured as your own—

18     then we will not turn away from you!

Revive us so that we can call on your name.

19     Restore us, Lord God of heavenly forces!

    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

Exhortation from the New Testament

1 Corinthians 1 (NRSV) says, 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— 6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer of Preparation

Guide us, O God, by your Word and Spirit,

that in your light we may see light,

in your truth find freedom,

and in your will discover your peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(The time of listening is a series of reading the scripture, re-telling the story, and paying attention to where God is stirring your hearts as you listen.  Invite everyone to listen to the words of the scriptures and to be ready to re-tell the story.)

A reading from Isaiah 64 (NRSV).

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,

    so that the mountains would quake at your presence—

2 as when fire kindles brushwood

    and the fire causes water to boil—

to make your name known to your adversaries,

    so that the nations might tremble at your presence!

3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,

    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

4 From ages past no one has heard,

    no ear has perceived,

no eye has seen any God besides you,

    who works for those who wait for him.

5 You meet those who gladly do right,

    those who remember you in your ways.

But you were angry, and we sinned;

    because you hid yourself we transgressed.

6 We have all become like one who is unclean,

    and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.

We all fade like a leaf,

    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

7 There is no one who calls on your name,

    or attempts to take hold of you;

for you have hidden your face from us,

    and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.

8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;

    we are the clay, and you are our potter;

    we are all the work of your hand.

9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,

    and do not remember iniquity forever.

    Now consider, we are all your people.

A reading from Mark 13 (NRSV),

24 “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

26 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”


Let’s remember together what was said in these readings.  You may want to read/act out one or both of the readings. What was said first?  What happened next? (go around the circle and tell the story to each other.  Try to remember as many details as possible.).

Paying Attention

What part of these scriptures grabbed your attention? Why do you think that part stood out?

Let each person in the circle take a turn to wonder about something in this text…a word, a phrase, something that happened in the text, something that you’re thinking about…  Start out by saying “As we read these texts, it made me wonder…”

What are you waiting for or anticipating in this season?

What will we carry into this week from this text? 

How can we be praying this week? 


Prayers of the People

Advent God, who comes to us in love, peace and joy,

we thank you for love that nourishes and sustains us,

for peace that enables us to live in community with others

for joy that illumines and inspires our lives.

We lift to you the things on our hearts today.

…our prayers for the world (pause)

… our prayers for our country and it’s leaders (pause)

…our prayers for our health and/or the health of others  (pause)

We pray for those for whom joy seems far away.

…for all whose loneliness is made worse by isolation, the state of the world, the brokenness in their families.

Lord, in every aspect of our lives, may we know the presence of the Wonderful Counsellor,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Be glorified and magnified in our world, in our country, in our communities, in our homes, in our lives. 

To the glory of your great name.

And now we pray together the prayer you have taught us to pray, saying:

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 sins, 

as we forgive those who sin 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. Amen.



Go out into the world in peace.

Be faithful in service and persistent in prayer;

be Advent people,

loving and serving the Lord.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or imagine, according to the power at work within us, to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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