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EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

OF THE HOLY TRINITY

502 Main Street, Irwin, PA  15642    724-863-7350

EDITED Bulletin for Sunday NOVEMBER 29th ADVENT 1

 

Introduction to the day

Stir up your power, and come! The psalmist’s plea in Psalm 80:2 has become familiar to us in the Advent prayers. Isaiah wants God to rip the heavens open. Both cry out for an apparently distant, angry God to show up, to save, to restore. When we hear Jesus describing the coming of the Son of Man with stars falling from heaven, it can sound dire and horrible, not like anything we would ever hope for. But when we really look at the suffering of people God loves, we can share the hope that God would tear open the heavens and come.

 

Confession and Forgiveness 

Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, whose forgiveness is sure and whose steadfast love endures forever.

Amen.

 

Together let us honestly and humbly confess that we have not lived as God desires. Loving and forgiving God, we confess that we are held captive by sin.  In spite of our best efforts, we have gone astray.  We have not welcomed the stranger; we have not loved our neighbor; we have not been Christ to one another.  Restore us, O God.  Wake us up and turn us from our sin.  Renew us each day in the light of Christ.   Amen.

 

People of God, hear this glad news: by God’s endless grace your sins are forgiven.  May you be strengthened in God’s love, comforted by Christ’s peace, and accompanied with the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Greeting

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,  and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  And also with you.

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

We are a people of hope. Our hearts are full of anticipation for the coming of our beloved Christ Child.  For God is to be among us. We will see a great light in the midst of our night.

 

Prayer of the Day 

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection awaken us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and keep us blameless until the coming of your new day, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9

This lament comes from a people who have had their hopes shattered. The visions of a rebuilt Jerusalem and a renewed people of God, spoken of in Isaiah 40–55, have not been realized. Instead, the people experience ruin, conflict, and famine. This lament calls God to account—to be the God who has brought deliverance in the past.

1O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— 2as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!  3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 4From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.  5You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways.  But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. 6We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. 8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever.  Now consider, we are all your people.

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

THE CANDLES OF ADVENT - THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT: HOPE

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the Sunday in which we recall the hope we have in Christ. The prophets of Israel all spoke of the coming of Christ, of how a savior would be born, a king in the line of David.  They spoke of how he would rule the  world wisely and bless all nations. On Christmas day the Christ of our hope was born.  On Good Friday the Christ of our hope died.  On Easter day the Christ of our hope rose from the dead.  He then ascended into heaven.  On the last day, the Christ of our hope will come again to establish his kingdom over all things on earth. As the follower of Christ, we await his return.  We light this candle to remember that as he came to us as humbly in the manger at Bethlehem and gave light to the world, so he is coming again in power to deliver his people.

We light this candle to remind us to be alert and to watch for his return.

 

Loving God, we thank you for the hope you give us.  Help us prepare our hearts for the Lord's coming.  Bless our worship.  Help us live holy and righteous lives.  We ask it in the name of the one born in

Bethlehem.  Amen.

 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

As the Christians in Corinth await the advent of Jesus, Paul reminds them how the Lord has already enriched them through spiritual gifts and will continue to strengthen them until the coming day of the Lord.

3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind—6just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you—7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel:  Matthew 25:31-46

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus compares himself to a king who moves among his subjects to see how he is treated: what is done for the least of those who belong to his family is truly done for him.

Gospel: Mark 13:24-37

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus encourages his followers to look forward to the day when he returns in power and glory to end all suffering.

[Jesus said:] 24“In those days, after that suffering,  the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.” The gospel of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his 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 to judge the living and the dead.

I 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.

 

Prayers of Intercession

God of power and might, tear open the heavens and come quickly to this weary world. Hear our prayers for everyone in need.

We pray for the ministry we share in Christ’s name. Open our hearts to your call for justice, peace, and healing. Attune us to the needs of the world as you draw near. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

 

We pray for this planet in need of restoration: for devastated habitats, polluted waters, thawing ice, blazing fires, swelling floods, and long-lasting droughts. Renew the face of the earth and our relationship to it. Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

 

We pray for all people who care for others in our community and around the world. Fill them with compassion and the power to respond with justice for those who are oppressed, with welcome for those who are excluded, and with relief for those who suffer. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

 

We pray for people who are in crisis as the seasons change: for

those without homes facing severe weather, for those who are unemployed or underemployed, and for those in poverty or facing food insecurity. Relieve their burdens, sustain their bodies, and ease their minds. Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

 

We pray for the people in our families and congregation who live with depression, anxiety, chronic pain, addiction, and other invisible illnesses (especially). Ease their suffering and support them when they struggle. Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

 

We give thanks for the lives and witness of those who died while waiting for justice, peace, or healing, those whose names we know and those whose names are known only to you. Sustain all who still yearn for the completion of your redeeming work. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

 

Draw near to us, O God, and receive our prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.  And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.  We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

 

Thanksgiving at the Table 

Holy One, the beginning and the end, the giver of life: Blessed are you for the birth of creation.

Blessed are you in the darkness and in the light.

Blessed are you for your promise to your people.

Blessed are you in the prophets’ hopes and dreams.

Blessed are you for Mary’s openness to your will.

Blessed are you for your Son Jesus, the Word made flesh.

 

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

 

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me. Let us proclaim the mystery of faith: Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.

 

With this bread and cup we remember your Word dwelling among us,

full of grace and truth. We remember our new birth in his death and resurrection. We look with hope for his coming. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our

trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

 

Blessing 

The Creator of the stars bless your Advent waiting, the long-expected Savior fill you with love, the unexpected Spirit guide your journey,

now and forever. Amen.