1 Advent '23

GATHERING SONG “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”       # 257


In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

As we await the fullness of Christ's coming, let us acknowledge our sins and failures before God.

Silence for reflection and self-examination.

Our impatience for your coming,

    we confess to you, Lord.

Our desire to control time and seasons,

     we confess to you, Lord.

Our failure to be alert to signs of your presence in our midst,

     we confess to you, Lord.

Our lack of concern for those who come after us,

     we confess to you, Lord.

Our injustices toward all the people you came to save,

     we confess to you, Lord.

In the mercy of almighty God, I declare to you the forgiveness of your sins, and the grace to know joy in the Savior's coming.  Amen


Christ comes to lighten our darkness.  Come, Lord Jesus.

May the light of God's glory be with you always.  And also with you.

Blessed are you, God of our salvation; you promised to raise up a righteous branch, One who would bring justice and righteousness to the land, so that we might live in safety. As we light this candle, kindle in us the fire of your justice and righteousness, and make us blameless before you at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all the saints; let your face shine on us and bless us that we may be saved. Amen.


Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection awaken us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and keep us blameless until the coming of your new day, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


First Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9

 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,

  so that the mountains would quake at your presence—

 as when fire kindles brushwood

  and the fire causes water to boil—

 to make your name known to your adversaries,

  so that the nations might tremble at your presence!

 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,

  you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

 From ages past no one has heard,

  no ear has perceived,

 no eye has seen any God besides you,

  who works for those who wait for him.

 You meet those who gladly do right,

  those who remember you in your ways.

 But you were angry, and we sinned;

  because you hid yourself we transgressed.

 We have all become like one who is unclean,

  and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.

 We all fade like a leaf,

  and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

 There is no one who calls on your name,

  or attempts to take hold of you;

 for you have hidden your face from us,

  and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.

 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;

  we are the clay, and you are our potter;

  we are all the work of your hand.

 Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,

  and do not remember iniquity forever.

  Now consider, we are all your people.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind—just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you—so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

GOSPEL: Mark 13:24-37

[Jesus said:] “In those days, after that suffering,

 the sun will be darkened,

  and the moon will not give its light,

and the stars will be falling from heaven,

  and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

We were not able to post the sermon today...

HYMN OF THE DAY  “Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn” #242


We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven,

was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary

and became truly human.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Let us pray. God of all creation, all you have made is good, and your love endures forever. You bring forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine. Nourish us with these gifts, that we might be for the world signs of your gracious presence in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


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 and ever. AMEN


  The peace of Christ be with you always. And also with you.




SENDING SONG            “Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers  #2


 Go in peace. Welcome the stranger. Thanks be to God.

From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2023 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.