Community Joys & Concerns
Prelude – acolyte lights candles on altar
*Call to Worship
One: According to the story, Mary and Joseph listened to all the prophecies about their child. They let lowly shepherds draw near, they received blessings and praise from pious Simeon and faithful Anna, they accepted gifts of the foreign magi. They didn’t judge those who came near to worship or appreciate this child who had interrupted their lives.
All: We come to worship the one true God who brings together all who have need of the divine presence.
“We Three Kings” UMH 254
Confession and Pardon
Holy and awesome God, we stand in your presence filled with regret for our many sins and failings. Though there is greatness in us, and a deep longing for goodness, we have often denied our better selves and refused to hear your voice calling us to rise to the full height of our humanity. In the pride of our hearts, and our unwillingness to repent, we have turned away from the cross of Christ, and have grieved the Holy Spirit.
All offer prayers of confession in silence.
The Lord God is merciful and gracious, endlessly patient, loving, and true, showing mercy to thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and granting pardon. Amen.
God of flaming skies, we set out on a journey to worship you. We know that along the way we will encounter you in the face of strangers and in the depths of despair. We know we will find you in our pain and in our rising joy. Meet us at the beginning, meet us at the end, and walk with us in between. Amen.
Proclamation of the Word
Prayer for Illumination (liturgist only)
Holy God, your reign weds justice and love, grace and truth, wisdom and compassion. Help us to listen for your voice that claims us within your reign. From such grace of belonging, launch us to bear witness to your realm with the whole of our lives. Amen.
Reading of the Gospel
Matthew 2:1-23 NT p. 2
Message Darkness & Light
Isaiah 60:1-6 OT p. 690
Response to the Word
*Hymn of Response
“The Summons” TFWS 2130
*The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. The third day he arose from the dead, he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Prayers of the People
Invitation to the Table UMH p. 12
Confession and Pardon UMH p. 12
*Doxology & Prayer
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise God, all creatures here below: Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise God, the source of all our gifts! Praise Jesus Christ whose power uplifts! Praise the Spirit, Holy Spirit! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
The Great Thanksgiving UMH p. 13
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.
Receiving the bread and cup
“O Little Town of Bethlehem” UMH 230
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.
UMH – United Methodist Hymnal found in your pew rack
NT – New Testament, toward the back of the Bible
OT – Old Testament, toward the beginning of the Bible
*Please stand as able
Nursery available for children 3 and under.