THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
NOVEMBER 29, 2020 | 10:00 AM
WELCOME TO ONLINE WORSHIP AT FIRST CHURCH!
Welcome to all who gather to worship online today! We hope you feel the warmth of God’s presence and welcome right where you’re at. If this if your first time joining us online, we are honored by your presence and hope to see you again soon! To stay informed, please subscribe to our weekly email.
First, we’re not just friendly, we’re friends! Our primary belief is that everyone (no exceptions!) is created in the loving image of God, who is love itself.
Second, in everything we do, we strive to live our mission: By the power of Christ, we are blessed to be a blessing!
WE GATHER TO WORSHIP
(the people’s words in bold print)
PRELUDE + CHIMING OF THE HOUR
“The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns”
(MUSIC: CONSOLATION; arr. John Behnke)
CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 80)
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim…
Stir up your might, and come to save us!
Restore us, O God; let your face shine,
that we may be saved.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
LIGHTING THE ADVENT CANDLE
HYMN OF PRAISE
“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
Holy God, we join with saints of all times and places who acclaim Christ as Lord of all! Add our praises to the chorus of the faithful, that we may enter your presence with thanksgiving and praise. In the name of Christ the King, who is one with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen!
CALL TO CONFESSION
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God-with-us, even in Advent we confess that you can seem far away. You are hidden when we need you near. In our hurt, doubt, and fear, we do not try to draw closer to you; instead we lash out against you, our neighbor, even those we love. Forgive us, we pray. Come to save us, and grant us peace in this weary world. (time for silent confession)
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
The grace of God, given to us in Jesus Christ, strengthens us to the end so that we may be blameless when Christ comes again. Brothers and sisters, this day and always, believe the Good News of the Gospel:
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God! Amen!
WE EXPERIENCE GOD’S WORD
SCRIPTURE READING - THE OLD TESTAMENT LESSON
1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
2 as 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!
3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4 From 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.
5 You 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.
6 We 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.
7 There 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.
8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,
and do not remember iniquity forever.
Now consider, we are all your people.
SCRIPTURE READING - THE EPISTLE LESSON
I Corinthians 1:3-9
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— 6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
“While We Are Waiting, Come”
(MUSIC: Don Cason)
SCRIPTURE READING - THE GOSPEL LESSON
The Coming of the Son of Man
24 “But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27 Then 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.
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
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. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
The Necessity for Watchfulness
32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It 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. 35 Therefore, 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, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
"The Holiness of Waiting"
Rev. Lisa Martin, Pastor
WE RESPOND TO GOD’S WORD
ADVENT DECLARATION OF FAITH (Adapted from the PC(USA) Study Catechism, Q 48)
What does it mean that Jesus “will come again to judge the living and the dead”?
Like everyone else, I too must stand in fear and trembling before the judgment seat of Christ. But the Judge is the one who submitted to judgment for my sake. Nothing will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord. All the sinful failures that cause me shame will perish as through fire, while any good I may have done will be received with gladness by God.
With trust in God, we declare our faith.
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE & THE 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 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 DEPART TO SERVE
“Wait for the Lord”
(WAIT FOR THE LORD)
“People, Look East”
(MUSIC: BESANCON; arr. Lloyd Larson)
GOD’S TITHES + OUR OFFERINGS
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First Presbyterian Church
810 Georgia Avenue
Lynn Haven, FL 32444.