November 28, 2021

Organ PreludeThou Didst Leave Thy Throne  (FWS 2100)  setting by Robert Graham

Call to Worship                    Abingdon
L: Our promised salvation is at hand.
P: A righteous branch has sprung forth, bringing hope to our world.
L: Our eyes have beheld the goodness and mercy of the Lord.
P: A Son has been given to us, bringing justice and virtue to our land.
L: Our hearts have felt the stirrings of God’s Presence.
P: The Spirit of truth is here to heal us, teaching transgressors God’s ways.
L: Let us worship the God of our salvation.

Opening Prayer         Abingdon                    Larry Kitterman
Righteous One, your glory shines brighter than the sun. We remember your compassion and your faithful love, as we come to worship this day. Lift up our souls to meet the challenges we face, as we seek to bear the fruit of your salvation. May your righteous branch grow within our hearts, that our lives may abound in mercy and steadfast love. And may we be found ready and waiting when the one drawing near comes with power and glory to bring us to you. Amen.

Prayers of Confessions                     WSL 5                          Rev. Mark Moore
Merciful God, always with us, always coming we confess that we do know how to prepare for your advent. We have forgotten how to hope in miracles. We have ignored the promise of your kingdom. We get distracted by all the busyness of this season. Forgive us, God. Grant us the simple wonder of the shepherds, the intelligent courage of the magi, and the patient faith of Mary and Joseph, that we may journey with them to Bethlehem and find the good news of a child born for us. Now, in the quiet of our hearts, we ask you to make us ready for his coming. Amen.

Hymn             I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light           UMH   206
1. I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus. God set the stars to give light to the world. The star of my life is Jesus. In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

2. I want to see the brightness of God. I want to look at Jesus. Clear Sun of Righteousness, shine on my path, and show me the way to the Father. In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

3. I’m looking for the coming of Christ. I want to be with Jesus. When we have run with patience the race, we shall know the joy of Jesus. In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

Advent Reading
Lector: We have endured these past few years and know that there is more to face before us. We don’t know if we have the strength to withstand what might be around the next corner. And we wonder who will stand with us, who will have our back, who will occupy our corner.

Pastor: Who is with us? That is what we begin to wonder these days. Who will light our way and chart our course? Who is on our side, who will welcome us home again?

Lector: Home. The prophet Jeremiah speaks of a branch that will be raised. Jesus spoke of a Son of Man that will descend. Both point to a hope. A hope that calls us home. Our true home, where we’re welcomed and loved and included. Where there is justice and equality and peace. It’s time, this Advent season, time to go home.

Pastor: We light this candle, as a sign of our hope, our strong hope that there is a way to go home. To the home in Christ, and it starts with us, and it starts here, and it starts now. It’s time to go home.

First Reading – Luke 21:25-36                         Larry Kitterman
25“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 29Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 34“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, 35like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Choir Offertory:  Creation Will Be At Peace, Anna Laura Page

Offertory Prayer       WSL 124         
Gracious God, you provide us with hope in a world often plagued by despair. Receive these gifts that will be transformed into messages and acts of hope to people in out community and across the world. Thank you, God, for this opportunity to be your stewards of hope. In the name of Jesus, the bearer of good news, we pray. Amen.

Prayers of the People  Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Second Reading – Jeremiah 33:14-16
14The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

Message               Kingdom Helpers                Rev. Mark Moore

Hymn             People Look East                                UMH  202
1. People, look east. The time is near of the crowning of the year. Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table. People, look east and sing today (People, look east; People, look east): Love, the Guest, is on the way.

2. Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare, one more seed is planted there. Give up your strength the seed to nourish, that in course the flower may flourish. People, look east and sing today (People, look east; People, look east): Love, the Rose, is on the way.

3. Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim, one more light the bowl shall brim, shining beyond the frosty weather, bright as sun and moon together. People, look east and sing today (People, look east; People, look east): Love, the Star, is on the way.

4. Angels announce with shouts of mirth him who brings new life to earth. Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming. People, look east and sing today (People, look east; People, look east): Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Benediction     

Organ Postlude:  Marche Religieuse, Guilmant/Handel, Whitford

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.