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Second 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 40:1-11, Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13, 2 Peter 3:8-15a, Mark 1:1-8.
You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering. It would be great for every person to have a part.
The season of Advent is 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 in expectation of God’s power at work among us as we celebrate this season.
Call to Worship
Leader: We are gathered today to prepare the way for Christ–
All: For the hope of Christ, the peace of Christ –to enter our world, and to enter our lives.
Leader: We cry out together in the wilderness:
All: The kingdom of heaven has come near.
Leader: Remember light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overtake it.
All: We have come to live in the light!
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.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel (instrumental)
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 85 (NRSV),
Lord, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you pardoned all their sin. Selah
8Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.
Exhortation from the New Testament
2 Peter 3 (NRSV) says, 8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. 14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
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 40 (NRSV).
Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
9 Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.
A reading from Mark 1 (NRSV),
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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.).
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…”
Where have you seen God show up in this season? Where is God at work in the world and in your life?
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 its 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,
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.