ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, The light no darkness can overcome.
Let your light scatter the darkness, and shine on your people.
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.
We praise you, O God, as we prepare for Christ’s advent.
As we light the candle on this wreath, kindle within us the fire of your Spirit,
that we may be light shining in the darkness.
Enlighten us with your grace, that we may welcome others as you have welcomed us.
Grant this through Christ our Lord, whose coming is certain and whose day draws near. Amen
CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Rejoicing in the good news that God and sinners are reconciled in Christ, let us confess our need for forgiveness.
Silence for reflection and self-examination.
God of everlasting love,
we confess that by our actions and by our neglect,
we have resisted your good and gracious will.
Free us from anxiety and distraction;
cast out our sin, and enter in;
give us a new birth of hope as we welcome the child born to save,
Christ the Lord. Amen
"You are my children; I am your Savior" says our God, who has redeemed you, who lifts you up and carries you all your days.
In mercy and lovingkindness God forgives you all your sins for the sake of Jesus, who delights to call us sisters and brothers. Amen
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray. Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming give to all the people of the world knowledge of your salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
THE FIRST LESSON: Zephaniah 3:14-20
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors at that time.
And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord.
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
THE SECOND LESSON: Philippians 4:4–7
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
THE GOSPEL FOR THE DAY: Luke 3:7-18
John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.
SERMON “To Scold or Not to Scold?" Pastor Phil Wold