A digital version of this week’s worship bulletin and sermon.

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONFESSION and FORGIVENESS

GATHERING SONG                                    “Fling Wide the Door”                             red book # 259

GREETING

WREATH LIGHTING HYMN     “Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah”    red book # 240, vrs 1-4

CANTICLE of PRAISE

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

MICAH 5:2–5a

LUKE 1:46b-55

HEBREWS 10:5–10

LUKE 1:39–55

SERMON                                                                                                              Pastor Chris Halverson

Awaiting Christmas we are restless

We are restless as we get so close to Christmas that we can see it breaking before us like the dawn from on high.

We are restless as that first candle of Advent burns down to a blue nub.

We are, strangely, made restless by Advent hope

because hope seen would not be hope

yet still we squint ahead, wearing out our eyes, trying to see it

Peering into the darkness, at pin pricks of candles in the night

Awaiting Christmas, we are restless

Prayer

Awaiting Christmas, we are restless

Restless for the end—the coming of the Son of Man

Restless for the one who is mightier than I whose sandal I cannot hope to untie

Restless for repentance and forgiveness

We are as restless as young Mary and the ancient Elizabeth

Restless with sore feet and swollen breasts

Restless with extra weight and water waiting to break

With pregnant travel and leaping womb

Megaphone voices and songs sung to this very day

We are made restless with preparation

Preparation of the way before us and before God

Preparation for the perfect holiday

Preparation to meet the in-laws

Preparation for the death of a loved one

And yes even the preparation of our own hospice here on earth

We are restless.

We are restless in our national life

Restless recovering from Sandy.

We are made restless, by the massacre of elementary school students and state troopers.

We are made restless, by disaster fatigue.

Restless by calendars we don’t want to control

Restless by obsession over a Mayan apocalypses we know won’t come and a fiscal cliffs we pretend won’t come

Restless

Like Mary, we are restless for the coming inside-out Kingdom of God.

Restless, as we wonder when God in His vast mercy will help his people, and keep his promise.

Restless, as we wonder when God will fill the hungry with good things and send the rich away empty.

Restless, as we wonder when God will tear down the tyrants from their thrones and uplift the lowly ones.

Restless, as we wonder when God will take the thoughts of the proud and scatter them.

Restless, as we wonder when God will act with strength and with might.

We are worn down by waiting.

Waiting and wondering

Waiting and wearied

Waiting and working through

Waiting, even one more day.

We are restless.

We are restless, until we rest in Him.

In the Christ Child.

Until we find our Advent at an end, and our hope fulfilled in the birth of that babe in the manger.

When the birth pangs subside and all that came before is forgotten—a culmination of Joy.

Until we sing Mary’s song—our song—singing fulfillment.

Singing the future of God into the present of our life.

Until we realize in our very song—our very words, there is a power sung by God.

A power preaching to our deepest selves.

Singing that His mercy IS

And that he HAS

That our strivings,

our restlessness,

comes from doing what will never be done

But our rest,

Our rest comes from believing—for it is already done.

HYMN of the DAY                                  “Candles of Advent”

BLESSING OF DEACONS

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY ANTHEM                          “Air For Advent”

GREAT THANKSGIVING

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS

      Also, “Let There Be Peace On Earth”, red book #253, red book #254 

Sending

BLESSING

SENDING SONG                           “My Soul Proclaims Your Greatness”                       red book # 251

ANNOUNCEMENTS

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

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