Bells, Welcome, Announcements and Sharing
á Hymn It Came upon the Midnight Clear
1 It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to all,
from heav’n’s all-gracious king.”
The world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.
2 Still through the cloven skies they come
with peaceful wings unfurled,
and still their heav’nly music floats
o’er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
they bend on hov’ring wing,
and ever o’er its babel sounds
the blessed angels sing.
4 For lo! The days are hast’ning on,
by prophets seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years
shall come the time foretold,
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendors fling,
and all the world give back the song
which now the angels sing.
á Confession and Forgiveness
P Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, who forgives all our sin, whose mercy endures forever.
P The Sun of righteousness shall rise with shining beams of healing.
Let us gather under the wings of God’s mercy.
P Almighty God,
we confess that we have sinned against you, and against our sisters and brothers. Our words and deeds have not proclaimed your reign of justice and truth. We have failed to watch and pray for the signs of your advent among us. Forgive our sin, and come quickly to save us.
P In the advent of Christ, the dawn from on high breaks upon us with light and healing. Through Jesus Christ ☩ God looks with favor upon you, and forgives you all your sins.
Hymn What Child Is This (ELW #296)
William C. Dix
Lighting the Advent Wreath
Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah (#240)
Light two candles to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
He shall feed the flock like a shepherd,
gently lead them homeward.
P The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C And also with you.
Call to Worship
Prayer of the Day
P The Lord be with you
C And also with you.
P Let us pray…
C God of breath,
You promised new life to your people in exile by breathing into a valley full of
dry bones. Breathe new life into us, so that we might live passionately for you.
Gospel John 11:25-27
L The Holy Gospel from John in the 11th Chapter
C Glory to you, O Lord
25 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
L This is the Gospel of our Lord
C Praise to You O Christ
Kids in the Kingdom
Reading Ezekiel 37:1–14
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord.
L This is the Word of the Lord
C Thanks be to God
Sermon Brendan Johnston
á Hymn Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers
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.
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!
WE RESPOND TO THE WORD OF GOD
á Apostles Creed (Back of hymnal)
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.
P Let us pray…
C God of mercy and grace, the eyes of all wait upon you, and you open your hand in blessing. From all that you have given us, receive these gifts, signs of our thanksgiving and praise. Fill us with good things at your table that we may come to the help of all in need; through Jesus Christ, our redeemer. Amen.
Prayers of Bethlehem
During the prayers, there will be an opportunity for you to lift up a thanksgiving, a prayer concern, the name of someone on your mind today. All are encouraged to join in this time of public prayer.
L … Lord in your mercy …
C … Hear our prayer.
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ
Words of Institution
á Lord’s Prayer
C 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 ever. Amen.
L These are the gifts of God for the people of God
C Thanks be to God
Distribution of Holy Communion
We believe that Jesus is truly present in the elements of communion – and all are welcome to receive Jesus in this food and drink.
Communion in the Pews
Prepackaged communion will be available in pews and as you enter worship. Please open and receive this sacrament after the Words of Institution.
Communion at the Table
Those who wish to receive Holy Communion at the tables in front of the sanctuary will be invited to come forward using the pulpit side aisle, and return to their seat using the piano side aisle.
As you come forward, one at a time, there will be two tables prepared for you. Wafers will be placed on plates on the first table for you to pick up and receive the Body of Christ. Cups of wine or grape juice will be placed on the second table for you to receive the Blood of Christ. Cups can then be placed in a bin.
Children not communing may come forward for a blessing.
á Post Communion Prayer
P Let us pray…
C God for whom we wait,
in this meal you give us a foretaste
of that day when the hungry will be fed with good things.
Send us forth to make known your deeds
and to proclaim the greatness of your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
LEAVE TO LIVE THE WORD
P The God of hope strengthen your hearts
as you await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
with all the saints.
Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit,
Bless you now and forever.
Sending Hymn Good Christian Friends, Rejoice (#288)
P Go in peace. Christ is with you.
C Thanks be to God!