As we head towards for Christmas, Advent prepares us in repentance and hope for Christ’s return. The regular psalm cycle reflects this, building to the ‘Songs of Ascent’ in the run-up to Christmas Day. The gospel readings are focused on the Sermon on the Mount, the Old Testament readings relate entirely to the book of Proverbs while the New Testament readings anticipate the second coming as we read through the book of Revelation.
CALL TO WORSHIP
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings! Interlude
For you have heard my vows, O God.
You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.
Add many years to the life of the king!
May his years span the generations!
May he reign under God’s protection forever.
May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him.
Then I will sing praises to your name forever
as I fulfill my vows each day.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)
OLD TESTAMENT READING
Listen to Wisdom
Wisdom calls to you like someone shouting;
understanding raises her voice.
On the hilltops along the road
and at the crossroads, she stands calling.
Beside the city gates,
at the entrances into the city, she calls out:
“Listen, everyone, I’m calling out to you;
I am shouting to all people.
You who are uneducated, seek wisdom.
You who are foolish, get understanding.
Listen, because I have important things to say,
and what I tell you is right.
What I say is true,
I refuse to speak evil.
Everything I say is honest;
nothing I say is crooked or false.
People with good sense know what I say is true;
and those with knowledge know my words are right.
Choose my teachings instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than the finest gold.
Wisdom is more precious than rubies.
Nothing you could want is equal to it.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Pause for Reflection…
(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)
Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. Amen
Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen
Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved
All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.