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December 6, 2020–Second Sunday of Advent

We Come Together as God’s People

Prelude      Partita on ‘Creator of the Stars of Night’       arr. David M. Cherwien
(b. 1957)

Welcome Rev. Christopher A. Henry

* Call to Worship      Comfort, Comfort You My People      arr. Patrick L. Pauloski
Children’s Choir          (b. 1993)

Comfort, comfort you my people, Tell of peace, thus saith our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness bowed beneath oppression’s load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem of the peace that waits for them;
Tell them that their sins I cover, and their warfare now is over.

For the herald’s voice is crying in the desert far and near,
Bidding us to make repentance since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey! Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise in meeting and the hills bow down in greeting.

Comfort, comfort you my people, Tell of peace, thus saith our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness bowed beneath oppression’s load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem of the peace that waits for them;
Tell them that their sins I cover, and their warfare now is over.

—Text: Genevan Psalter, 1551/trans. Winkworth

                                                                  Rev. Karen L. Lang and Kelly D. Spencer

Leader One: “Comfort, comfort my people!” says your God.

Leader Two: Speak tenderly to God’s people, proclaiming that suffering is coming to an end.

Leader One: We light this candle as a symbol of the peace we find in the presence of God.
We wait and we work for days of peace in all the earth.
We await the birth of the Christ Child, the coming of God into our lives in a new way.

Leader Two: Come, Lord Jesus, come!

* Lighting of the Advent Candle

* Prayer of Adoration

* Opening Hymn #13       Prepare the Way           BEREDEN VÄG FÖR HERRAN

Call to Confession

Sung Call to Confession        O Come, O Come, Emmanuel           VENI EMMANUEL

Silent Confession

Prayer of Confession

In this season of stress, God of Peace, we confess how easy it is to slip off your path.
We can become so self-absorbed, we forget to reach out to share your peace with others.
We find ourselves strangely jealous over the gifts others receive,
yet have trouble accepting those gifts of serenity you freely give.
Forgive us, God of salvation.
By your mercy, we can once again be alert for the signs of your peace and hope in our midst.
Teach us your ways of forgiveness and reconciliation, that we may truly live as your disciples.
Hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

* Response of Praise                GLORIA

* Passing of the Peace

We Experience God’s Word

Time with Children

Prayer for Illumination               Elder Carl Snipes

First Scripture Lesson             Isaiah 40:1-3

Anthem           The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns          arr. Patrick L. Pauloski
Children’s Choir

The King shall come when morning dawns and light triumphant breaks,
When beauty gilds the eastern hills and life to joy awakes.

Not as of old a little child, to bear and fight and die,
But crowned with glory like the sun that lights the morning sky.

Oh, brighter than that glorious morn shall this fair morning be,
When Christ, our King, in beauty comes, and we His face shall see.

The King shall come when morning dawns and light and beauty brings.
Hail, Christ the Lord! Your people pray: come quickly, King of kings!

—Text: John Brownlie

Second Scripture Lesson             Luke 1:68-79

Sermon Rev. Christopher A. Henry

“Prince of Peace”
"By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
(Luke 1:78-79)

Moment of Silent Meditation

We Give Thanks to God

Affirmation of Faith by Rev. Rebecca F. Harrison            Kelly D. Spencer

We are an Advent people,
a people of hope.
For us, Advent is a time of waiting,
and so we wait.
We wait for the coming of the One
who is the fulfillment of God’s promise,
the fulfillment of hope,
the declaration that we have been redeemed.

Even so, we are not a naïve people.
We know that the world in which we live
will continue to be filled with pain and sorrow.
We know that hatred and violence will continue to exist.
We know that death and separation will continue to be a part of our lives.
But because we are an Advent people,
we know that none of these things will win in the end.

The Holy One is coming,
to make holy once again
all that was, is, and ever will be.
And in our waiting and our hoping,
we work and worship,
pray and play,
in all things hoping that peace, love and joy will reign
in our lives and in our world,
now and forever. Amen.

Invitation to Discipleship and Generosity

Offertory Großer Herr, o starker König (from Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248)       J.S. Bach
(1685-1750)

Großer Herr, o starker König,
Great Lord, o powerful king,

Liebster Heiland, o wie wenig
Dearest Savior, o how little

Achtest du der Erden Pracht!
You care about the glories of the earth!

Der die ganze Welt erhält,
He who sustains the entire world,

Ihre Pracht und Zier erschaffen,
Who created its magnificence and beauty,

Muß in harten Krippen schlafen.
Must sleep in a harsh manger.

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer            Rev. Gracie H. Payne

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

We Go Forth to Serve

* Closing Hymn #31      Hark! The Herald Angels Sing       MENDELSSOHN

* Charge and Benediction

Postlude      Toccata on ‘Creator of the Stars of Night’      David M. Cherwien