Order of Worship
Third Sunday of Advent/ Joy
December 13, 2020

Organ Prelude
Call to Worship 
One:   God’s spirit is upon us.
All:     God has anointed each of us to be bringers of comfort and good news.
One:   Some of us are discouraged, others are broken-hearted.
All:     Some of us are joyful and filled with laughter;
                        others of us long for better circumstances.
One:   Restore us to each other and you, O God.
All:     As we comfort one another and celebrate the good news, we remember God is with us and for us.
One:   Come, let us worship.

Opening Prayer
God who loves justice and truth,
we remember your enduring covenant that promises good news to the poor, the broken-hearted, and the captives.
You promise comfort to all who mourn and a mantle of praise in place of discouragement.
Refocus us on our restoration in you.
We are a people blessed, and we rejoice and praise you, O God.
Grow righteousness and praise within us this day, we pray. Amen.

Advent Candle and Time of Reflection  -lighting the first Advent candle – Joy – followed by Brian’s Advent Meditation on “Away in a Manger”
Sharing of Scripture                                 Psalm 126

Message in Music

El cant dels ocells” (Catalan “The Song of the Birds”) is a traditional Catalan Christmas song and lullaby. It tells of nature’s joy at learning of the birth of Jesus Christ in a stable in Bethlehem. The song was made famous outside Catalonia by Pau Casals‘ instrumental version on the cello.  After his exile in 1939, he would begin each of his concerts by playing this song. For this reason, it is often considered a symbol of Catalonia.

Kate Weisman, cello
Jackie Oakes, piano

Storytelling – shared stories of memorable Christmases

Message                  Refocus, Restore, Rejoice            Rev. Laura McLeod

Prayer of dedication
The prayers we offer,
the gifts we give and the deeds we do,
are like seeds sown in trust
that God’s love will water these seeds
and bring new life, hope, and joy to those who weep.
Hope be within you.

A Time of Prayer
Preparation for Prayer
Silent Prayer
Pastoral Prayer Based on Isaiah 61 and Lord’s Prayer
God of comfort and promise,
we pray for the brokenness of the world.
For the hungry and the hurting, the disappointed and the            angry,
we pray for your healing and restoration.
Help us be involved in creating communities that actively care for the broken.
We pray for those who mourn and live with grief.
May we be a presence and solace.
We lift to you those discouragements we have experienced this week.
Discouragements in our families, our friendships, our jobs, even discouragement in ourselves.
We lift to you, O God, the different things that drag us down.

Restore our faith in you, O God.
Restore our faith in ourselves and each other.
We have different hurts, worries, fears.
We name them in our hearts and ask for help to trust you with them.
Bring us comfort; plant the good news deep within our hearts.
Help us to see your restoration of the world when we welcome a shy or unsure young child,
when we listen to the doting story and share the joy of a grandparent.
Help us to see your promise of healing in the crusty exterior of someone genuinely trying to be kind.
As we grow in faith, we pray for the ability to rejoice always and to pray continually.
We trust that the one who calls is faithful.
Now and always.  We pray this in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray saying, Our Father…Amen.

Comfort be among you.
Love be around you.
Go out into the world
Refocused on God’s grace
Restored in heart and mind,
And Rejoicing at God’s anointing of each and every one us to share Good News.

Organ Postlude

Sharing of Scripture                                 Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.

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