Welcome to worship. Join in Zoom worship on Sunday at 9:30 am by Zoom (christoncapitolhill.com/worship) or watch here anytime. This is the Second Sunday in Advent and our theme this month is Where We Belong. Today, we are in the wilderness, “Where the Wild Things Are.” John calls people to repent, to clear the decks, to completely reorder their lives so that nothing gets in the way of the Lord’s coming. The reading from Isaiah gives the context for this radical call: the assurance of forgiveness that encourages us to repent; the promise that the coming one will be gentle with the little ones. Isaiah calls us all to be heralds with John, to lift up our voices fearlessly and say, “See, your God is coming!” We say it to one another in worship, in order to say it with our lives in a world in need of justice and peace.
Prelude – Savior of the Nations, Come
Welcome – Advent – Where We Belong
Where the Wild Things Are
Candle Lighting – Light One Candle, Worship 240
1 Light one candle to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
He shall bring salvation to Israel,
God fulfills the promise.
2 Light two candles to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
He shall feed the flock like a shepherd,
gently lead them homeward.
Text: Wayne L. Wold, b. 1954
Text © 1984 Fortress Press, admin. Augsburg Fortress.
Prayer of the Day
Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming strengthen us to serve you with purified lives; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
O Come O Come Emmanuel Worship 257 v. 3 & 4 Organ
3 O come, O come, O Lord of might,
as to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times you gave the law
in cloud, and majesty, and awe. Refrain
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
4 O come, O Branch of Jesse, free
your own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell your people save,
and give them vict’ry o’er the grave. Refrain
First Reading (Isaiah 40: 1-11)
A reading from Isaiah
1Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
2Speak 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.
3A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4Every 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.
5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
6A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
7The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
8The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
9Get 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!”
10See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11He 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.
Word of God, word of Life. Thanks be to God.
Children’s Time – Pastor Joy
Hallelujah from All Creation Sings 912
Gospel Mark 1:1-8
The gospel from Mark
1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’ ”
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And 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. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He 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. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Message – Pastor Joy
Song – Prepare the Royal Highway Worship 264
1 Prepare the royal highway;
the King of kings is near!
Let ev’ry hill and valley
a level road appear!
Then greet the King of glory,
foretold in sacred story:
Hosanna to the Lord,for he fulfills God’s word!
2 God’s people, see him coming:
your own eternal king!
Palm branches strew before him!
Spread garments! Shout and sing!
God’s promise will not fail you!
No more shall doubt assail you! Refrain
3 Then fling the gates wide open
to greet your promised king!
Your king, yet ev’ry nation
its tribute too may bring.
All lands will bow before him;
their voices join your singing: Refrain
4 His is no earthly kingdom;
it comes from heav’n above.
His rule is peace and freedom
and justice, truth, and love.
So let your praise be sounding
for kindness so abounding: Refrain
Text: Frans Mikael Franzén, 1772-1847; tr. Lutheran Book of Worship Text © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress.
Confession and Forgiveness
All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins.
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.
Silence is kept for reflection.
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, and you are free— free from all that holds you back and free to live in the peaceable realm of God. May you be strengthened in God’s love, ☩ comforted by Christ’s peace, and accompanied with the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayers of the People
God of power and might, comfort your people and come quickly to this weary world. Hear our prayers for everyone in need.
A brief silence.
Faithful God, you teach us to wait for you with faithfulness and patience. Sustain and support us in our doubts and questions. Nurture our faith as we discern and enact your mission. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Loving God, you set the stars in the sky and breathe life into the earth. Renew the face of creation where it is in need of your healing touch. Mend the wounds of environmental damage and restore balance to ecosystems so that all creation can declare your praise. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Steadfast God, you never tire of seeking justice. Where people suffer from discrimination, judgment, and injustice, speak words of truth and comfort. Lead us toward a world where faithfulness will sprout underfoot and righteousness rain down from above. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Leading God, you ask us to make uneven ground smooth. Make even the disparities between your people. Sustain and support people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Accompany disability advocates who work for a world accessible to all. Teach us to celebrate the great diversity in our midst. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Tender God, you know sorrow and joy alike. We pray for those in our families and congregation who are not joyful in this holiday season. Comfort those who grieve, be a companion to all who are lonely, tend those who are sick or struggling with depression, and especially those we name now………………………………………..
Gather all people in your healing embrace. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Eternal God, we give thanks for the saints who have prepared your way in the wilderness and taught us to continue their faithful work. Make their generous lives an example for all. 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.
Johm riab sua.
The peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.
Offering – My Lord, What a Morning Natalia Peterson
Generous God, you have created all that is, and you provide for us in every season. Bless all that we offer, that through these gifts the world will receive your blessing. In the name of Jesus, Emmanuel, we pray. Amen.
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.
It is indeed right that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to God who is the giver of all good things and who revealed this abundance again with feeding the multitudes, who loved to the point of death and who beyond death, was raised from the dead and appeared to many, breaking bread with them in their homes, so that we might believe.
Remember, beloved ones… how 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, Jesus 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.
O God of resurrection and new life: pour out your Holy Spirit on us and on the gifts of bread and cup. Bless this feast. Grace our tables with your presence. Reveal yourself to us in the sharing of the bread. Raise us up as the body of Christ for the world. Breathe new life into us. Send us forth, burning with justice, peace, and love.
With your holy ones in all times and places, we praise you, O God, blessed and holy Trinity, now and forever. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
Even as we watch and wait, Christ is here. Come, eat and drink.
Now, if you are gathered with others, when the music begins, please share with one another first the bread and then the cup with the words,
The body of Christ, given for you. The blood of Christ, poured out for you.
If you are by yourself, I offer this invitation…
Receive the body of Christ, given for you.
Receive the blood of Christ, poured out for you.
And if for any reason you will not receive Communion bread & cup today, a blessing for you…
May God fill you up with the Holy Spirit and give you all that you need.
Communion Song – He Came Down Worship 253
1 He came down that we may have love; he came down that we may have love; he came down that we may have love; hallelujah forevermore.
2 He came down that we may have light; he came down that we may have light; he came down that we may have light; hallelujah forevermore.
3 He came down that we may have peace; he came down that we may have peace; he came down that we may have peace; hallelujah forevermore.
4 He came down that we may have joy; he came down that we may have joy; he came down that we may have joy; hallelujah forevermore.
Text: Cameroon traditional
Prayer after Communion
Gracious and abundant God, you have done great things for us, and we rejoice. In this bread and cup you give us life forever. In your boundless mercy, strengthen us and open our hearts to the world’s needs, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Cambodian Lord’s Prayer
May the God of all creation, in whose image we are made, who claims us and calls us beloved, who strengthens us for service, give you reason to rejoice and be glad! The blessing of God, Sovereign, ☩ Savior, and Spirit, be with you today and always. Amen.
Sending Song – Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus Worship 254
1 Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us;
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art,
dear desire of ev’ry nation,
joy of ev’ry longing heart.
2 Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king;
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.
Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord. Thanks be to God