The Promised Peacemaking

In an effort to be intentional about celebrating Advent and Christmas more fully, as outlined by Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources, Discipleship Ministries (United Methodist Church), in the United Methodist Worship post Three Ways to Celebrate Advent and Christmas Season Fully updated for 2016-2017 , my congregation will begin to observe Advent Sunday, November 13, 2016. The “new” fourth Sunday of Advent will be December 4, 2016.  We are following the lectionary for these Sundays, as they already exist. Using the Old Testament lessons, I am writing Advent Wreath Lighting Liturgies for our Advent observance.  If you would like to use them in worship, please feel free; however, I do ask that you acknowledge me as the author of the material.

I have centered worship around the prophetic promises about what God will do. Each week, the sermon is focused on a promised action from God.

Advent 3 – November 27, 2016
Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5
Sermon: Promises – The Promised Peacemaking

Leader:

The future God has planned for the nations of the earth is a peaceable kingdom, an existence in which all the nations and their peoples will not have a need for war or weapons of war. The prophet Isaiah saw a day that is to come when swords and spears would be fashioned into tools for tending the earth, tools that bring life not death.

In this third week of Advent, we join our voices to that of Isaiah as we proclaim the promise of God to make peace among the nations and to settle their disputes so that all may be taught the ways of God without fear.

People: “Nation will not take up sword against nation: they will no longer learn how to make war” (Isaiah 2:5).

Leader: As we wait for Christ’s coming, we do what we can to make peace with our neighbor; and we trust in the power of God to bring an end to every war and to reconcile all humankind.

People: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44).

Leader: We light this candle on the third Sunday of Advent confidently waiting on God’s promise of a world free from violence.

People: The promises of God shall be fulfilled. On the day of Christ’s appearing, peace shall reign forever and ever.

All: Come, Lord Jesus. Come.

Rev. Amy Persons Parkes © 2016

 

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The Promised Gathering

In an effort to be intentional about celebrating Advent and Christmas more fully, as outlined by Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources, Discipleship Ministries (United Methodist Church), in the United Methodist Worship post Three Ways to Celebrate Advent and Christmas Season Fully updated for 2016-2017 , my congregation will begin to observe Advent Sunday, November 13, 2016. The “new” fourth Sunday of Advent will be December 4, 2016.  We are following the lectionary for these Sundays, as they already exist. Using the Old Testament lessons, I am writing Advent Wreath Lighting Liturgies for our Advent observance.  If you would like to use them in worship, please feel free; however, I do ask that you acknowledge me as the author of the material.

I have centered worship around the prophetic promises about what God will do. Each week, the sermon is focused on a promised action from God.

Advent 2 – November 20, 2016
Scripture: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Sermon: Promises – The Promised Gathering

Advent Wreath Lighting Liturgy

Leader:

Not all who have been called prophets agreed with one another. One prophet encourages, “Nothing bad will happen to you” (Jeremiah 23:17); and another prophet warns, “Your own weapons will be turned against you” (Jeremiah 21:4). And, both claim to be speaking for God. So, the faithful are aware that the true prophetic voice will only be recognized as such, with the passage of time.

Jeremiah was a prophet whose message of accountability and judgement no one wanted to hear, but time told the truth. In this season of Advent, we affirm with the prophet Jeremiah that God has looked upon creation and all contained within it and that God as the Good Shepherd denounces the actions of all who have misled and scattered the Good Shepherd’s sheep. In this season of Advent, we join Jeremiah’s prophetic voice to proclaim God’s promise to gather in the sheep of God’s fold and to keep them from harm.

People: “The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing” (Psalm 23).

Leader: Trusting in the promise of God spoken through Jeremiah, we look toward a coming day when the sheep of God’s pasture will listen to the voice of the True Shepherd and follow his voice.

People: “They won’t follow a stranger but will run away because they don’t know the stranger’s voice” (John 10:5).

Leader: We light this candle on the second Sunday of Advent believing in the promises of God, which will stand the test of time.

People: The promises of God shall be fulfilled. The night may be long; but the sun will rise.

All: Come, Lord Jesus. Come.

Rev. Amy Persons Parkes © 2016

The Promised Creating

In an effort to be intentional about celebrating Advent and Christmas more fully, as outlined by Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources, Discipleship Ministries (United Methodist Church), in the United Methodist Worship post Three Ways to Celebrate Advent and Christmas Season Fully updated for 2016-2017 , my congregation will begin to observe Advent Sunday, November 13, 2016. The “new” fourth Sunday of Advent will be December 4, 2016.  We are following the lectionary for these Sundays, as they already exist. Using the Old Testament lessons, I am writing Advent Wreath Lighting Liturgies for our Advent observance.  If you would like to use them in worship, please feel free; however, I do ask that you acknowledge me as the author of the material.

I have centered worship around the prophetic promises about what God will do. Each week, the sermon is focused on a promised action from God.

Advent 1 – November 13, 2016
Scripture: Isaiah 65:17-25
Sermon: Promises – The Promised Creating

Advent Wreath Lighting Liturgy

Leader:

The call of the prophets of old was to relentlessly proclaim the promises of God for all the people. The prophet was not a seer nor a fortuneteller, rather a voice used by God to call a stuck, imprisoned, misguided people toward the plans God had for them.

As the church, we have received God’s salvation in Jesus Christ, who has died and rose again for our sakes; but we are also prophets of a new day when Christ will come again.  The season of Advent, that we observe in the four weeks preceding our Christmas celebration, is an opportunity to recognize the chasm existing between our world as it is and the new creation that God will bring about in Christ’s coming again.

So, on this first Sunday of our Advent observance, we hear the prophet Isaiah proclaim the promise of God’s creating.

People: Create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew within us right spirits (Psalm 51).

Leader: We join our voices with that of Isaiah to speak hope to hurting world, to proclaim a day that is coming when weeping and death will be no more.

People: On God’s holy mountain, no one will hurt or destroy (Isaiah 65).

Leader: We light this candle on the first Sunday of Advent placing our trust in the promises of God, which no force of darkness can thwart.

People: The promises of God shall be fulfilled. That new day will dawn.

All: Come, Lord Jesus. Come.

Rev. Amy Persons Parkes © 2016

Advent Opening Prayer 2016 & Scriptures with Sermon Themes

In an effort to be intentional about celebrating Advent and Christmas more fully, as outlined by Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources, Discipleship Ministries (United Methodist Church), in the United Methodist Worship post Three Ways to Celebrate Advent and Christmas Season Fully updated for 2016-2017 , my congregation will begin to observe Advent Sunday, November 13, 2016. The “new” fourth Sunday of Advent will be December 4, 2016.  We are following the lectionary for these Sundays, as they already exist. Using the Old Testament lessons, I am writing Advent Wreath Lighting Liturgies for our Advent observance.  If you would like to use them in worship, please feel free; however, I do ask that you acknowledge me as the author of the material.

I have centered worship around the prophetic promises about what God will do. Each week, the sermon is focused on a promised action from God.

Advent 1 – November 13, 2016
Scripture: Isaiah 65:17-25
Sermon: Promises – The Promised Creating

Advent 2 – November 20, 2016
Scripture: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Sermon: Promises – The Promised Gathering

Advent 3 – November 27, 2016
Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5
Sermon: Promises – The Promised Peacemaking

Advent 4 – December 4, 2016
Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10
Sermon: Promises – The Promised Leading

Because I tend to use one collect in worship for a season or month, depending on the time of year, I have also written a collect/opening prayer that keeps these themes of prophetic promises before the congregation for the four Sundays of Advent. Again, feel free to use this in worship; but I do ask that you acknowledge me as author.

God of the Coming Day,
we await Your advent among us
with hope and assurance.
We have no need to worry or fret,
nor to anxiously pace back and forth,
because you are as good as your Word,
because you keep your promises.
God of the Coming Day,
we rise up in the darkness preceding the dawn,
looking East, toward Your appearing.
For we know that when You appear,
You will create a new world;
You will gather in all of your people;
You will make peace the law of the land;
and You will lead us in life everlasting.
God of the Coming Day,
we await Your advent among us.  Amen.

Amy Persons Parkes © 2016