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Jesus Is Coming! (Advent)

A short weekday or chapel service for the season of Advent

As we look forward to Christmas, we wait for the coming of Christ. We remember his first coming as a baby in Bethlehem, and we anticipate his second coming.  

Let us praise our Lord Jesus Christ.
Alleluia! Jesus is coming!
At Christmas Jesus Christ came as a baby.
Alleluia! Jesus is coming!
He came to be like us because he loves us.
Alleluia! Jesus is coming!
He came to save us from our sin.
Alleluia! Jesus is coming!
He died, rose from the dead, and lives in heaven.  
He will come again because he loves us.
Alleluia! Jesus is coming!
We praise Jesus, who came as a baby
and will come again at the end of time.
Alleluia! Jesus is coming! (TWS D.1.2.13)

As we anticipate the coming of Christ, we come before him in prayers of longing and of confession.

[If a printed order of worship is provided, this section can proceed without announcement. If not, it will be helpful to begin this section of the service with the following comment or something similar: “We will begin this prayer with the first verse of Psalter Hymnal 328 “O Come, O Come Immanuel,” have a spoken prayer, continue with verse 6 of “O Come, O Come Immanuel,” have another spoken prayer, and conclude with verse 7 of “O Come, O Come Immanuel.”]

       PsH 328 O Come, O Come Immanuel vs. 1

       Lord Jesus Christ, your world awaits you.
       In the longing of the persecuted for justice;
       in the longing of the poor for prosperity;
       in the longing of the privileged for riches greater than wealth;
       in the longing of our hearts for a better life;
       and in the song of your Church, expectation is ever present.
       O come, Lord, desire behind our greatest needs.
       O come, Lord, liberator of humanity.
       O come, Lord, O come, Immanuel. Amen. (SNC 99)

       PsH 328 O Come, O Come Immanuel vs. 6

       Lord Jesus Christ, we see the darkness in our world.
       For our part in the persecution of the weak,
       for our part in the oppression of the poor,
       for our part in the starvation of the hungry,
       for our part in the loneliness of our neighbors,
       and for our part in the sin of the world, we are sorry.
       Come, Lord Jesus, and free us from our sin.
       Come, Lord Jesus, make us free to live as one.
       O come, o come, Immanuel. Amen.

       PsH 328 O Come, O Come Immanuel vs. 7

       The same Lord Jesus Christ, whose coming we await,
       died for our sins while we were still sinners
       so that we are no longer condemned but are new creations in him.
       Praise God for his indescribable grace!

[Once again, with a printed order of worship the chorus can be sung unannounced. Otherwise, consider using these words: Let us rejoice with the chorus of Psalter Hymnal 328 “O Come, O Come Immanuel.”]

       PsH 328 O Come, O Come Immanuel (chorus only, sung twice)

Our scripture readings reflect aspects of the coming Savior. Let us pray for God's guidance as we hear his word.

       Immanuel, as we wait for your return,
       help us see your glory and love
       through the reading of your word.
       We pray in your name. Amen.         

The word of the Lord from Psalm 72 tells us how the coming King will help the poor and needy.

       Psalm 72:1-7, 12-14, 17

       PsH 335 Hark, the Glad Sound! The Savior Comes

The word of the Lord from the prophet Micah tells us how the coming Lord will bring peace.

       Micah 5:2-5a

       PsH 329 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

The word of the Lord from the gospel of Luke tells us how the Lord came.

       Luke 2:1-12

       PsH 345 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

The word of the Lord from Mark and second Peter tells us how he will return and how we are to wait for him.

       Mark 13:24-27 and 2 Peter 3:10-13

       SNC 90 View the Present Through the Promise

In response to the words we have just heard and sung, let us join in prayer…

       In the psalms of David,
       in the words of the prophets,
       your promise is spoken, eternal God,
       and takes flesh at last
       in the womb of the Virgin.
       May Immanuel find welcome in our hearts,
       take flesh in our lives, and be for all people
       the welcome advent of redemption and grace.
       We ask this through him whose coming is certain,
       whose day draws near;
       your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
       who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
       one God, forever and ever. Amen. (from TWS D.1.4.14)

Hear these words of blessing as you go into your day. [This last phrase may also be “go into the world,” “go to class,” or anything else that may be appropriate to the situation.]

       God the Father, who loved the world
       so much that he sent his only Son,
       gives us grace to prepare for eternal life.
       God, the Son, who comes to us as Redeemer and Judge,
       reveals to us the path from darkness to light.
       God the Holy Spirit, by whose working the virgin Mary conceived Christ,
       helps us live as unified people of God. (TWS D.9.2.4)

       Go in peace to love and serve our coming Lord.

Leadership Notes

1. The italic words are meant to be spoken transitions, not included in a written order of worship. Additional notes in brackets provide additional options or suggestions but are not intended to be read in worship.

2. If you have a printed order of worship, project the songs on a screen, or include the songs on a handout, feel free to shorten or adapt the transitions (ie. Remove the book and number of the song title if it is provided in other places.)

3. If you choose not to provide a written order of worship, the opening litany should be adapted. It can either be read by one voice, or it may be introduced with instructions to respond with “Jesus is coming!” after every “Alleluia!”

4. This service uses a variety of music. If it is unfamiliar to the group, it may be helpful to play an entire verse of a song before it is sung. Another way to introduce an unfamiliar song is to play it as people are gathering for worship.

5. Although it is possible to have one person lead the whole service, consider having four different voices read the scripture passages. Each of these readers could introduce the passage he or she is reading, or one person could read the transition lines while a second voice reads the scripture passages (This option would emphasize the movement between the passages). If a printed order of worship is not provided, these readers should introduce the song following their reading. These readers can also be involved in leading the prayers throughout the service.