Sunday Worship Service – Advent III

December 10, 2023

Prelude: “Christmas Time is Here” from “Peanuts” by Vince Guaraldi – Kimie Karlton, pianist



Wise Words from John Gaul

Hymn: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” Vs. 1, 3, 5

Opening of the Word

Responsive Invocation: 

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

    I will go to the altar of God,

    to God my exceeding joy;

    and I will praise you with the harp,

    O God, my God.

Let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy.

    Be glad in the Lord and rejoice,

    O righteous,

    and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.

    My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,

    and my mouth praises you with joyful lips.

Invitation to Prayer:

O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our maker.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.  Amen.

O Lord, our heavenly Creator, whose great love holds a forgiveness for all who desire and seek it: we thank thee for thy gracious assurance that thou art always near and ready to forgive.  Pardon and deliver us from all our sins; confirm and strengthen us in all goodness and truth, and bring us into everlasting life; for thy mercy’s sake.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

O Lord, open thou our lips:

And our mouths shall show forth thy praise.

*Praise ye the Lord!

The Lord’s name be  praised!

The Sanctus

God of All, Your Name is Holy

Earth and Heaven are full of Your Glory

Alleluia,  Amen.

Lighting of the Third Advent Candle

Lighting of the Third Advent Candle: “The Candle of Joy”

(The Candles of Hope and Peace are re-lit)

Leader: We continue our Advent pilgrimage together. We have lit the first candle, the candle of hope, and the second candle, the candle of peace.

People: In Advent, the season of preparation for the birth of Christ, we own for ourselves humanity’s ancient hunger for harmony with God, nature, and neighbor. God’s desire for the creation is ours as well. 

Leader: The prophet Isaiah speaks of the restoration of hope, peace and joy to humankind, and to the whole creation: the wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom;

People: Like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.

Leader: Today we light the third candle — the candle of joy.

(The Candle of Joy is lit)

Leader: Let us pray.

Unison Prayer:

Eternal God, you taught us that the night is far spent and the day is at hand. Keep us awake and alert, watching for your kingdom. Make us strong in faith, so that we may see the Lord close at hand, and hear him speak, and serve him, as we see and hear and serve our neighbor. Give us joy in this season of hope. Amen.

Congregation Carol: “One Candle is Lit”, Vs. 1 – 3

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:67-79; Isaiah 65:17-25; Apocalypse Explained #204 (Swedenborg)  

Children’s Message

Duet: “Christmas Sanctus” Music by Lee Dengler, Words by Susan Naus Dengler – Mark Owen Davis and Heather Garland

Spiritual Message: What is a prophecy? – Rev. Junchol Lee 

Silent Meditation

Affirmation of Faith (unison)

Great Spirit, Christ, the Compassionate One, Light of the World, You are that which sustains and nurtures our spirit. You draw us closer to Heaven and to each other. Your Divine Love and Wisdom flows into every living soul. You dwell among us and warm every human heart. We acknowledge our need to be fed by your Sacred Spirit, to share in the beauty of life, and to build a Holy City on Earth by giving of ourselves, yet knowing that all that is good and true flows into us from You. Amen.

Prayer of the People/Pastoral Prayer

Invitation to the Offering

Offertory: “Immanuel”, words and Music by Michael Card


Praise God the Source of life and birth; Praise God the Word who came to earth. Praise God the Spirit, holy flame; All glory, honor to God’s name.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

Hymn:  Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”


Closing of the Word

Sung Response: Advent Benediction 

May the Lord God Almighty bless and keep you, we pray. May God’s face shine upon you, and grace hallow your way with hope and peace and joy; Love, God’s own incarnation, be born in you today. Amen.

Postlude: A Christmas Medley – “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, and “The Christmas Song” by Mel Tormé