A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

Prayer of Preparation

Come, Lord Jesus, come. Come into our midst. Come into our hearts. Come into our homes and our community, into our schools and workplaces. May we welcome you everywhere, making room for you, preparing for you, anticipating your arrival with joy and reverence. We commit this season of Advent to becoming ready. Shine your light in those nooks and crannies we keep in the shadows. Sweep the cobwebs from our long-hidden doubt and fear. Repair our torn and wounded places. We long for your arrival. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.


Call to Worship

One: You who are poor, why have you come?  

All: To hear good news.  

One: You who are brokenhearted, why have you come?

All: To heal our hearts.  

One: You who are captive, why have you come?  

All: To hear words of freedom.  

One: You who are prisoners, why have you come?

All: To be released from what binds us.  

One: You who mourn, why have you come?

All: To receive comfort.  

One: Then you are welcome here in this place, at this table, where Jesus offers blessing for all.


Prayer of Confession

One: Lord God,   we praise you for sending light into this world. We confess that we live as though the light had never defeated darkness. We confess that we ignore the Savior you sent to be among us and to live in us. We’ve kept the birth of your Son confined to the Christmas season  and do not yearn for his coming each moment in our waiting hearts.

All: Forgive us for not opening our eyes to Jesus. Prepare us for His return.   Help us rejoice in the light,  so that your grace can illuminate the darkened places of our hearts. Amen.


Call and Response






Silence

Assurance of our Forgiveness

Friends, know and believe, that as we wait for the birth of the baby Jesus — and the return of our Savior — we are already forgiven. Thanks be to God! Amen.



Response Hymn #95





Lighting of the First Candle of Advent

One: As the season of Advent begins we celebrate hope.

All: We know that through the birth of a tiny and helpless child, God is coming to save the world.

One: While we watch and wait for Jesus to arrive, we join in God’s mission by bringing grace and mercy to those who need it most.

All: We engage the poor and the poor in spirit, letting Christ’s light shine through us.

One: We speak words of comfort and love to a world in need of healing as we share our stories of God’s transforming Spirit.

All: Together, we are a sign of God’s hope for the world. (The candle is lit)

One: Let us pray:

All: God of surprising grace, when we least expect it you bring fresh new life; and where we feel that all is lost, you bring restoration. Give us courage as we share all you have done, all you are doing, and all you will accomplish through Jesus Christ. Amen.


Preparation for the Word - Hymn #88


December 3, 2017

First Sunday of Advent ~ Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Robin Crawford

"Tantrum!"

Lord, have mercy (Lord, have mercy)

Christ, have mercy (Christ, have mercy)

Lord, have mercy  (Lord, have mercy)

Prepare the way of the Lord

Prepare the way of the Lord

And all people shall see the salvation of our Lord

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lowly exile here until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel

Scripture  

Mark 10:46-52

Prayer of Preparation

God in this season suspended between hope and fulfillment, let us never forget what you have done.  May we be overwhelmed by your mercy, which flows in wave after wave.  May we be honest about the darkness within us, and perceptive of the light around us.  May we make straight the path for the Lord, that together we may see God’s glory revealed.  Amen.


Call to Worship

One: In the lonely places

The wilderness

Where we stand forlorn

Windswept and alone

Your voice calls out

All: Prepare a way for the Lord.

One: In the dark places  

The shadows

Where we hide our fears

Embrace our tears

Your voice calls out

All: Prepare a way for the Lord.


Advent Prayer

Holy God, we long for your peace, and trust in your promise; we hear your call to turn toward you, to change our lives and welcome you in.  Meet us here and fill our minds with your wisdom

and our hearts with your peace, that our worship together may open us to the challenge of your dream of wholeness for all. In the Name of the One who is coming, we pray. Amen!


Call and Response




Silence


Response Hymn #90



Preparation for the Word Hymn #95




Lighting of the Second Candle of Advent

One: In this season of Advent, we celebrate God’s peace.

All: Jesus Christ, whose birth we await, calls our community to justice and leads us in the way of peace.

One: Our community is forgiving. We call one another to honesty and humility and respond to each other with abundant grace.

All: Our community values relationships. We live in harmony with one another even when we disagree, and strive to glorify God in everything we do.

One: Our community longs for unity. We work together with other organizations, and live out God’s reconciling love for all the world to see.

All: Together, we are a sign of God’s peace in the world. (The candle is lit)

One: Let us pray:

All: God of all people and all nations, you break through the cynicism of our world and offer a vision of the lion and lamb lying down together. Open our eyes to see the signs of your coming kingdom and inspire us to participate in all you are doing in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Preparation for the Word - Hymn #88


December 10, 2017

Second Sunday in Advent

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Expecting Something New"

Lord, have mercy (Lord, have mercy)

Christ, have mercy (Christ, have mercy)

Lord, have mercy  (Lord, have mercy)

Prepare the way of the Lord

Prepare the way of the Lord

And all people shall see the salvation of our Lord

O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily:

to us the path of knowledge show; and teach us in her ways to go

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel

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Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, take heart!