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
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