Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Advent 2 -- December 6, 2015

Advent 2   

And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.      --Philippians 1:9-11 (NRSV)

MEDITATIVE READING                                      Gospel of Thomas 88 (ANNT)
Jesus said: "The messengers and the prophets will come to you. They will give you what is yours and you will give them what you have. You will say to yourselves: 'When will they come and take what is theirs?'"

CALL TO WORSHIP Odes of Solomon 21:1-3 (ANNT)
Leader: Let us lift up our arms to the height.
People: To the compassion of the Lord.
Leader: Because God cast off our chains from us.
People: And our helper lifted us up according to the Divine compassion and redemption.
Leader: Let us strip off the darkness and put on light.
People: Let us worship God!

Gracious God, we come together today as your baptized people to recommit ourselves to changing our hearts and lives and once more experience the forgiveness of our sins. We echo the words of Isaiah the prophet,
A voice crying out in the wilderness:
    “Prepare the way for the Lord;
        make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled,
    and every mountain and hill will be leveled.
The crooked will be made straight
    and the rough places made smooth.
All humanity will see God’s salvation.”
(silent prayer)
Leader: Lord, let your servants rest in peace according to your word,
ALL: Because our eyes have seen your salvation, prepared in the presence of all peoples, the perfect expression of your light and love . Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace, goodwill among people! Amen.

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION (adapted from Luke 3:1-2)
Today in the seventh year of the presidency of Barack Obama, while Andrew Cuomo is governor of New York, and Rob Astorino is executive of Westchester, and Jonathan Mark is mayor of Scarsdale, during the General Assembly moderatorship of Ruling Elder Heath K. Rada, let us listen for the word of God addressed to us in the wilderness of our lives.

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH                  The Acts of Paul and Thecla 5:1-6:7 (ANNT)
 Leader: When Paul entered into Onesiphorus’s house, there was great joy and kneeling and breaking of bread, and the word of God concerning self-control and resurrection.As Paul said,
ALL: “Blessed are the clear of heart, for they will see God.
            Blessed are those who observe purity in flesh, for they will become a temple of God.
            Blessed are the self-possessed, for God will speak to them.
            Blessed are those who set themselves apart from this world, for they will please God.
            Blessed are those who have wives as if they do not, for they will be heirs of God.
            Blessed are those in awe of God for they will become messengers of God.
            Blessed are the ones who tremble at God’s words, for they will be called.
            Blessed are the ones who receive the wisdom of Jesus Christ, for they will be called children of the Highest.
            Blessed are the ones who keep their baptism, for they will rest with the Father and the Son.
            Blessed are those on the journey to uniting with Jesus Christ, for they will be in the light.
            Blessed are the ones who have departed the form of the world through God’s love, for they will judge angels and, at the right hand of the Father, they will be praised.
            Blessed are the compassionate, for they will receive compassion and will not see the day of grievous judgment.
            Blessed are the bodies of maidens, for they will have favor with God and will not lose the reward for their holiness; for the Father’s word will be a work of salvation for them until the day of his Child, and they will have rest forever.”

Additional Music:
"Love Divine, All Loves Excelling"

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