Advent -- Third Sunday of Advent: The One Who is To Come

Call to Worship after Isaiah 35: 1-10

Leave your exile behind; God is calling us home.
We'll follow the Way through the desert.
Enter the desert without fear; God's water will quench our thirst.
We'll walk the Highway of God's people.
Travel the Highway with joy; God is leading to life in abundance.
We'll strengthen weak hands, and support feeble knees;
We'll encourage the fearful and calm the anxious:
Rejoice! Be strong! God is with us!
Come, let us worship!

Invocation after Matthew 11: 3-5

O God, we come today echoing John the Baptist's question to your Beloved Child:
"Are you the one who is to come?"
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear the answer for ourselves:
In the work of justice: Christ!
In the practice of mercy: Christ!
In good news for the poor: Christ!
In the vision of peace: Christ!
Make us ready, with open hearts and joyful spirits, to follow in Christ's Way. Amen.

Call to Confession after James 5: 7-10

Oh God, you call us to patience and diligence
in the painstaking work of your Reign,
But we get discouraged and give up too soon.
Lord, Have mercy.
Oh God, you call us to collaborate in community in the painstaking work of your Reign,
But we neither trust nor honor the gifts of others.
Christ, have mercy.
Oh God, you call us to be full of joyful confidence
In the painstaking work of your Reign,
But we burden ourselves with anxiety and fear.
Lord, have mercy.

(a moment of silent prayer)
Forgive us, O God, and lead us in the ways of patience, community and joy.

Assurance of Pardon

Hear the good news: Jesus, savior from sin, is present with us
in the painstaking work of the Reign of God
forgiving our weakness,
rebuilding our relationships,
restoring our joy.
Let us celebrate this great grace by offering to one another a sign of Christ's peace.

Passing the Peace

Call to Offering

The day of rejoicing is coming, the prophet Isaiah says, and we await it together; our gifts today in this season of waiting and hope help us to strengthen one another and to offer hope to the world as we look forward to that great day of everlasting joy.

Let us gather our gifts together and present them as an offering to God.

Prayer of Dedication

With these gifts, dear God, accept the praise and thanksgiving of our hearts, which rejoice in your goodness and love.

Let these gifts point to your presence in the world, and further your hope for the world through Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us. Amen.

Benediction

Let us go forth with eyes to see and ears to hear and voices to proclaim:
In the work of justice: Christ!
In the practice of mercy: Christ!
In good news for the poor: Christ!
In the vision of peace: Christ!
Amen! Thanks be to God!

Third Sunday of Advent: The One Who is to Come was written by the Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation, Worship and Education Team of Local Church Ministries.

©2007 Local Church Ministries, Worship and Education Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org

Rev. Scott A. Ressman
Minister for Worship, Music and Liturgical Arts
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3870
ressmans@ucc.org