THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
DECEMBER 6, 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
“Comfort, Comfort Now My People”
(MUSIC: GENEVAN 42; arr. Brad Thoreson)
CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 85)
Let us hear what God will speak to the faithful,
to those who love the Lord.
Surely the Lord’s salvation is near!
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss!
Righteousness will make a path
for the steps of God. Let us worship!
LIGHTING THE ADVENT CANDLE
HYMN OF PRAISE
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
Loving God, you sent your prophet John to prepare your way among us, to call us to repentance and make our pathways straight. Strengthen us to live in steadfast love and faith-fulness as we await Christ’s return, that all may see your reign of peace and hope through our actions. Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Faithful God, we confess that we have not lived lives of holiness. We suffer from impatience, apathy, and greed; we have not been at peace. We repent of these offenses and turn to you in love. Forgive us and pardon our sins, that we may walk in righteousness to the glory of your holy name. (time for silent confession)
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
Salvation is near for all who turn to God.
Brothers and sisters, 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
1Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
9 Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.
“In the Bleak Midwinter”
(MUSIC: Gustav Holst)
SCRIPTURE READING - THE EPISTLE LESSON
2 Peter 3:8-15a
8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
SCRIPTURE READING - THE GOSPEL LESSON
1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
"Forerunners in the Faith"
Rev. Lisa Martin, Pastor
WE RESPOND TO GOD’S WORD
ADVENT DECLARATION OF FAITH (Adapted from the PC(USA) Study Catechism, Q 21)
What does it mean to say that Jesus Christ is the image of God?
Despite our turning from God, God did not turn from us, but instead sent Jesus Christ in the fullness of time to restore our broken humanity. Jesus lived completely for God, by giving himself completely for us, even to the point of dying for us. By living so completely for others, he manifested what he was — the perfect image of God. Thanks be to God!
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE & THE LORD’S PRAYER
“While We Are Waiting, Come”
… 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)
“Come! Live in the Light”
(MUSIC: David Haas; arr. B. Thoreson)
GOD’S TITHES + OUR OFFERINGS
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First Presbyterian Church
810 Georgia Avenue
Lynn Haven, FL 32444.