Sunday December 11, 2022 Advent 6
Payette United Methodist Church
December 11th, 2022
Advent 6 - Theme: Dayspring (Joy)
Membership Liturgy - Accepting James Boesch as a Member to PUMC
One: Dearly Beloved, it is an honor to announce that today, we will receive James as a member of Payette United Methodist Church.
The privileges and blessings that we have in community together in the Church of Jesus Christ are sacred and precious. There is in it such hallowed fellowship, care, and counsel as cannot otherwise be known apart from the family of God.
There is the care of pastors, with the teachings of the Word and the administration of the sacraments. And there is communal cooperation in service, accomplishing that which cannot otherwise be done.
As we prepare to receive James as a member of our congregation, let us confess our faith through the words of the Apostles’ Creed:
Many: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
We 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 again to judge the living and the dead.
We 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.
One: James, do you believe the truths that we have confessed as a congregation? If so, answer, “I do.”
James responds: I do.
One: Desiring to unite with the Church, do you commit to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, life, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself? Do you commit to the missional, redemptive work of God as expressed in the doctrine, fellowship, and work of the Church? Will you support the teachings of the United Methodist Church and strive, with God’s help, to grow in your understanding and practice of the same in a way that enhances the witness of the church? Will you endeavor in every way to glorify God, by a humble walk, godly conversation, and holy service; by devotedly giving of your resources; and by faithfully participating in the means of grace? Will you follow Jesus Christ all the days of your life, abstain from all evil, and seek earnestly to perfect holiness of heart and life in the fear of the Lord? If so, answer, “I will.”
James responds: I will.
One: On behalf of this congregation, I welcome you into the United Methodist Church and the fellowship of this local congregation with its benefits and responsibilities. May the Lord bless and keep you, and enable you to be faithful in all good works, that your life and witness may be effective in care for the poor and oppressed and in leading others to Christ.
Let us pray.
Almighty God, look with favor upon James, who has now reaffirmed his commitment to follow Christ and to serve in Christ’s name. Give him courage, patience, and vision; and strengthen all of us in our vocation of witness to the world, and of service to others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. And all the people said:
Gathering Hymn: Family of God
Calling Song: Come Thou Almighty King (UMH #61, v. 1 & 3)
Responsive Reading: Psalm 146:5-10 (CEB)
One: The person whose help is the God of Jacob—the person whose hope rests on the Lord their God—is truly happy!
Many: God: the maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them. God, who is faithful forever,
One: who gives justice to people who are oppressed, who gives bread to people who are starving! The Lord: who frees prisoners.
Many: The Lord: who makes the blind see. The Lord: who straightens up those who are bent low. The Lord: who loves justice.
One: The Lord: who protects immigrants, who helps orphans and widows, but who makes the way of the wicked twist and turn!
Many: The Lord will rule forever! Zion, your God will rule from one generation to the next! Praise the Lord!
One: This is our prayer.
Many: Lord, hear our prayer.
Opening Prayer (in unison)
We proclaim the greatness of the Lord, and our spirits rejoice in God our Savior! For you, Lord, have looked with favor on your lowly servants. You, the Almighty, have done great things for us and holy is your name. You have mercy on those who fear you from generation to generation. You have shown strength with your arm and scattered the proud in their conceit, casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly. You have filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. You have come to the aid of your people, to remember the promise of mercy, the promise made to our forebears, to Abraham and Sarah and their children for ever. Amen.
Sing together: Gloria Patri (UMH #70)
Before reading, the reader prays the following words:
One: God, open our hearts and minds by the power of the Holy Spirit, that as the scriptures are read and your Word proclaimed, we may hear with joy what you say to us today.
Lord Jesus Christ, in your resurrection you appeared as the Morning Star that knows no setting: Dawn upon the pallid human heart so that the deathly orders of this world may be overcome and your whole creation made new; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. And all the people said:
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 35:1-10 (CEB)
The desert and the dry land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus. They will burst into bloom, and rejoice with joy and singing. They will receive the glory of Lebanon, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the Lord’s glory, the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands, and support the unsteady knees. Say to those who are panicking: “Be strong! Don’t fear! Here’s your God, coming with vengeance; with divine retribution God will come to save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be cleared. Then the lame will leap like the deer, and the tongue of the speechless will sing. Waters will spring up in the desert, and streams in the wilderness. The burning sand will become a pool, and the thirsty ground, fountains of water. The jackals’ habitat, a pasture; grass will become reeds and rushes. A highway will be there. It will be called The Holy Way. The unclean won’t travel on it, but it will be for those walking on that way. Even fools won’t get lost on it; no lion will be there, and no predator will go up on it. None of these will be there; only the redeemed will walk on it. The Lord’s ransomed ones will return and enter Zion with singing, with everlasting joy upon their heads. Happiness and joy will overwhelm them; grief and groaning will flee away.
One: The story of God for the people of God!
Many: Thanks be to God!
New Testament Reading: James 5:7-10 (CEB)
Therefore, brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the coming of the Lord. Consider the farmer who waits patiently for the coming of rain in the fall and spring, looking forward to the precious fruit of the earth. You also must wait patiently, strengthening your resolve, because the coming of the Lord is near. Don’t complain about each other, brothers and sisters, so that you won’t be judged. Look! The judge is standing at the door!
Brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as an example of patient resolve and steadfastness.
One: The story of God for the people of God.
Many: Thanks be to God!
Advent Candle Lighting
One: As we light this sixth Advent candle, we remember that in Christ and through Christ, the light has broken into the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. As we light this candle, our prayer is that we may be for the world the light of Christ, breaking into the darkness, that all whom we encounter may know the hope and joy of Christ. And all the people said:
Sing together: O Come, O Come Emmanuel Verse
O come, Thou Dayspring come and cheer
our spirits by thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Praise Song: Song of Hope
Prayers of the People
One: God of hope, you call us home from the exile of selfish oppression to the freedom of justice, the balm of healing, and the joy of sharing. Make us strong to join you in your holy work, as friends of strangers and victims, companions of those whom others shun, and as the happiness of those whose hearts are broken.
Brothers and sisters, as we joyfully await the glorious coming of the Christ, let us pray for the needs of the church, our community, and the world.
Are there any requests?
(The congregation is invited to speak their requests. After each request is spoken, we all respond in unison, “Lord, hear us.”)
One: In joyful expectation of his coming to our aid we pray to Jesus.
O Morning Star of Righteousness, Dayspring from on high - your light shines brightly in the shadows. Come to us and enable us to see you in your creation, in the rising sun and the shining moon - come and cause us to care for your good creation.
God of joy and exultation, you strengthen what is weak; you enrich the poor and give hope to those who live in fear. Look upon our needs this day. Make us grateful for the good news of salvation and keep us faithful in your service until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives for ever and ever. Amen.
And now, because we often fail to love, because we acknowledge that we are sinners living in sinful systems, and because we acknowledge that we are all in need of God’s mercy and grace, let us confess our sins.
Many: God of the living and the dead,
We confess that we have sinned against you by what we have done and by what we have not done,
We remember our broken promises and missed opportunities;
The gifts we have taken for granted;
The love we have not shown or returned;
Forgive us, comfort and heal us, lift our guilt from us,
That we may walk in freedom and grace to the glory of your name.
One: May God who is both power and love forgive us and free us from our sins; heal and strength us by the power of the Holy Spirit; and bring us to new life through Christ our Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, we are a forgiven people!
Many: Thanks be to God!
Sing together: Doxology (UMH #94)
Prayer song: Emmanuel, Emmanuel (UMH #204, 2x)
Sermon Text: Matthew 11:2-11 (CEB)
One: This is the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
Many: Glory to you, Lord Christ!
One: Now when John heard in prison about the things the Christ was doing, he sent word by his disciples to Jesus, asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
Jesus responded, “Go, report to John what you hear and see. Those who were blind are able to see. Those who were crippled are walking. People with skin diseases are cleansed. Those who were deaf now hear. Those who were dead are raised up. The poor have good news proclaimed to them. Happy are those who don’t stumble and fall because of me.”
When John’s disciples had gone, Jesus spoke to the crowds about John: “What did you go out to the wilderness to see? A stalk blowing in the wind? What did you go out to see? A man dressed up in refined clothes? Look, those who wear refined clothes are in royal palaces. What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. He is the one of whom it is written: Look, I’m sending my messenger before you, who will prepare your way before you.
“I assure you that no one who has ever been born is greater than John the Baptist. Yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
This is the Gospel of our Lord.
Many: Praise to you, Lord Christ!
Sing together: O Come Divine Messiah
One: The Lord be with you!
Many: And also with you!
One: Lift up your hearts!
Many: We lift them up to the Lord!
One: Let us give thanks!
Many: It is just and right to give thanks!
One: It is just and right and a good and joyful thing always and everywhere to give our thanks and praise to God.
So let us pray:
O God of Isaiah and John the Baptist, through all such faithful ones you proclaim the unfolding of future joy and renewed life. Strengthen our hearts to believe your advent promise that one day sorrow and sighing will be no more; that the journey of God’s people will be joy; that we will walk in the holy way of Christ, who by your Spirit was anointed to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, set at liberty those who are oppressed. Christ healed the sick, fed the hungry, ate with sinners, and established the new covenant for forgiveness of sins. We live in the hope of His coming again.
We remember that on the night that our Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed, he took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it and he gave it to his disciples and said, “This is my body, given for you. Take and eat - all of you - in remembrance of me.”
Likewise, after the supper, he took the cup, and after giving thanks, he said, “This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for the forgiveness of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.”
And so, Lord God, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in our Lord Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves to you in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with the sacrifice of Christ for us, as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:
Many: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
One: Because we all partake of the one bread and the one cup, we, though we are many, are one. So let us join in together in praying the prayer that the Lord taught all of the disciples to pray. Let us be so bold as to say:
Many: Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors,
Save us from the time of trial,
And deliver us from evil.
For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.
One: God of salvation, pour out your Holy Spirit on us and on these your gifts. Make them by the power of your Spirit to be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the Body of Christ, redeemed by His blood.
By your Spirit make us one in Christ, one with each other, and one in the ministry of Christ to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And all God’s people said:
One: (Give instructions for coming forward to receive) The Table is prepared. All who are hungry and thirsty are invited to come forward to receive these gifts of grace. May Christ be fully formed in you. Come forward as you’re ready.
Closing Hymn: Savior of the Nations, Come (UMH #214, v. 1-3)
One: God of love, we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of our savior Jesus the Messiah; and for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of Christ.
May God bless you and keep you; may God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; may God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace, from this day forth and forevermore.
Many: And now, God, send us out to do the work that you have given us to do; to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. To Christ, to you, and to the Holy Spirit be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.
Thank you for worshiping with us today!
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