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Restore your creation, Lord.  You give the earth opportunities for both sleep and awakening.   Thank you for the gift of restful seasons so new life grows according to your appointed time...

INVOCATION

In the name of the Holy Three,
Who was, who is, and who will be.
Amen.

PSALMODY

Psalm 89:1-4
I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
Your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
Your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah
Your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

LIGHTING THE THIRD ADVENT CANDLE

You are invited to light your Advent wreathe or candles where you are, as we sing three verses of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here until the son of God appear.
Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel, shall come to you, O Israel.

O Come O Wisdom from on high, embracing all things far and nigh,
In strength and beauty come and stay, teach us your will and guide our way.
Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel, shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer, our spirits by your advent here.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel, shall come to you, O Israel.

We thank you God, for this circle of light that marks our days of preparation for Christ’s advent. As we light the candles 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.

SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 1:5-14
to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you”?
Or again, “I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire.”
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
And, “In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like clothing;
like a cloak you will roll them up,
and like clothing[c] they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will never end.”
But to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
Are not all angels' spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

TIME FOR SILENT REFLECTION

An Advent Song from the LWF, a singing communion
“Macht hoch die Tür”, Evangelical Church in Central Germany
 

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Guided by the light of Christ, let us pray for the coming dawn of joy, healing and comfort for all God’s people.

A brief silence

God, your tender voice of love reaches all who sit in deepest gloom. Speak to all peoples throughout the world, lifting those who live among dark valleys of division and despair. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Restore your creation, Lord. You give the earth opportunities for both sleep and awakening. Thank you for the gift of restful seasons so new life grows according to your appointed time. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Your strong voice of assurance gives hope in the midst of the changes and chances of life. Guide your church, O God, as we seek to speak words of faith to a world seeking stability and comfort. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Comforting God, we pray with our sisters and brothers in China, Hong Kong, and Macau. We give thanks for the long and complex history of China, with its many artefacts, cultures and traditions that have developed over millennia. We are grateful for the determination of Chinese Christians to contextualize the church, and those who boldly live out their faith, challenging injustices even when they fear persecution. We are hopeful for the steps China is taking to counter huge environmental challenges. And we pray for those left behind and further marginalized by rising economic growth, especially women and peasants in rural areas. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
We pray for wisdom in the face of political and social tensions between the Mainland China and Hong Kong and the rest of the world. We pray for the prophetic witness of the Church in society. We pray for the many in Hong Kong, who grapple to understand what the future holds. God of history, grant them the assurance that You are the One who holds tomorrow. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Our thoughts rest a few moments with our friends in China, Hong Kong and Macau… And we pray that your love and compassion may sustain them always. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Stir up compassion in us for all who wait for you. Lift up the hearts of all whose courage falters, whose heads are bowed down in sickness or addiction. Be near to those whose lives are shaken, by the effects of COVID, loneliness, those who are experiencing loss,
those who long for healing and wholeness, and all who wait and watch today. We pause to remember them before you, either on our lips or in our hearts...
...Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
We raise our prayers to you, O God, in the name of the one who is, who was, and who is to come, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER (in our different languages)

BLESSING
(from the Advent liturgy, Celtic Daily Prayer, Northumbrian community)

SENDING
Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!