Welcome to ICYMI Worship! ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It; our ICYMI series gives a brief snapshot of worship each week so that you can worship in your home, on the road, or wherever life takes you.
At Cross of Christ, our basic worship order is based on worship patterns from Hebrew traditions and biblical accounts of the earliest Christians:
We GATHER with songs and prayer,
We HEAR God’s word,
We SHARE a meal of bread and wine,
We are SENT into the world to love and serve.
Let us know how this format works for you.
TODAY IS THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Advent is about the “coming days.” God’s people have always lived in great expectation, but that expectation finds specific, repeated enunciation in the texts appointed for these four weeks. The ancients anticipated a “righteous Branch to spring up for David.” The Thessalonians awaited “the coming of our Lord Jesus with all the saints.” Our Lord’s contemporaries hoped for the time “to stand before the Son of Man.” With them we eagerly await the coming days: another Christmas celebration, a second coming, and the advent of our Lord in word and supper.
“Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Heavenly Father, you sent your Son from heaven to earth that he might open the way for us to come home to you. Open our hearts, our minds, our ears, and our souls, that the Incarnate Word might dwell in us as we prepare to celebrate again his first Advent, and as we look forward with eyes of faith for him to come again. This we pray in the name of Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
THIS WEEK’S READINGS
Jeremiah 33:14-16 In the Old Testament, “righteousness” often has to do with being faithful in relationship. God acts righteously both in punishing Israel for its sin and in having mercy. In today’s reading, Jerusalem’s future name—“The Lord is our righteousness”—proclaims that the Lord is even now working salvation for Israel.
Psalm 25:1-10 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (Ps. 25:1)
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 Upon Timothy’s report from the congregation at Thessalonica, Paul is exuberant with gratitude for them. In this passage from his letter, Paul voices overflowing thanks, joy, and blessings for the people of this growing church.
THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL
Luke 21:25-36 God will fulfill God’s purposes and, already, hidden signs of that fulfillment abound. On that great day there will be dismay, perplexity, confusion, and terror, but God’s people shall be given strength to stand boldly and receive God’s promised redemption.
PASTOR DAVE’S SERMON SNAPSHOT: “Down Home”
During Advent, we are reminded that God made the remarkable choice to come “down home” to be with us. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God made his home with us humans. So as we light our candles, and as we sing Advent hymns, and as we worship with special litanies and liturgies, and as we share with our neighbors, and as we enjoy the fellowship and food of our Advent Smorgasbord, and yes, as we open Advent calendars, let us commit ourselves to staying alert, and staying focused, on the One who came to be “down home” with us, and who is coming again one day to take us to our forever home, where we truly belong.
SONG OF THE DAY
“When Our Song Says Peace”
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Let us pray for the Church, the world, and for all in need. During Advent this year, each petition will end “Merciful Father,” to which the congregational response is “Hear our prayer.”
Lord of Love, you sent your Son into the world to show us the way home to you. This Advent season, help us center our hearts on him. By your Spirit, stir us to be alert and engaged, sharing and serving, watching and waiting. Merciful Father,
Hear our prayer.
Lord of Creation, help us to treasure the good gifts of water, land and air. Inspire us to be good stewards of limited recourses for our use and for future generations. Guide us to fulfil our calling to be caretakers of fragile places and endangered species. Stir us to counter any human activities that threaten life on this beautiful planet. Merciful Father,
Hear our prayer.
Lord of Life, we pray for all people according to their needs. Soothe the afflicted, comfort the distressed, and heal the sick, especially our members and their loved ones who have asked for public prayers: Sterling Bentsen, Anna Bero, former member John Boyd, Linda Ernst, Phyllis Hahn, Ruth Huehnerhoff, Eileen Johnson, Priscilla Kanestrom, Wanda Nelson’s daughter Nyra, Marlys Paulson, John Paulson, and Marilyn Van Brero. Merciful Father,
Hear our prayer.
Lord of Hope, comfort all who mourn; our nation at the death of former President George H.W. Bush; Lila and all who mourn the passing of Jim McMillan; Pastor Dave and Barbara and all the family and friends of Barbara’s sister, Dixie Morris, mourning her recent passing; and Faye and all who stand with her at the death of her husband, Rev. Winston Bone, whose Memorial Service will be held here on Saturday. Merciful Father,
Hear our prayer.
Hear our prayers, spoken and silent, that we commend to you this day, trusting in your abundant mercy, through Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.
“Wait for the Lord”
On the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me. Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
All are welcome to receive Christ’s Body and Blood in the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist.
WELCOME TO WORSHIP – on this first Sunday in Advent, the first Sunday of a new church year! The first signs of the season have appeared – both our indoor and outdoor Advent Wreaths, the Advent banners, new colors for our altar candles, the kneeling rails – and there are more to come as Advent advances and Christmas draws nearer. We pray that this and all our Advent worship experiences help you draw nearer to the Christ we worship and whose first advent we prepare to celebrate. Welcome all!
ADVENT SMORGASBORD – Join us for a festive and delicious Cross of Christ tradition – our Annual Smorgasbord luncheon – immediately following our combined service today. There’s plenty of room for all.
YOUNG CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ARE INVITED TO THE “PRAY-GROUND” – This special space in the Sanctuary is designed for our youngest worshippers and their families. Children age 8 and under are welcome to color, play games, enjoy age-appropriate books, and just have their own space in the back of the transept – the southeast corner of the Sanctuary. We LOVE having children in worship! We hope this special place helps make them and their families feel both welcome and comfortable.
ADULT FAITH FORMATION & CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL ON BREAK – for today’s Advent Smorgasbord. Both return next Sunday between services.
HOPELINK GIVING TREE – is in the Narthex. Gifts need to be retuned by next Sunday, December 9. Your generosity has brightened Christmas for countless girls and boys over the years. Thank you in advance for considering this important ministry.
RETURN TO REGULAR SCHEDULE NEXT SUNDAY – For the next three Sundays, we’ll be following our normal two-service schedule, with Traditional worship at 9 am, our casual Mosaic worship at 11, and Education Time between. The final Sunday in December is a Fifth Sunday, so we’ll combine for one Reunion Sunday service at 10 am on December 30. Stay tuned for more details!
BLUE CHRISTMAS WORSHIP – also next Sunday, at 2 pm, this meaningful service is offered for those who might be experiencing a challenging holiday season this year. The loss of a loved one, a serious medical challenge, a change in work status, or just the holiday blues can make us feel like we’re the only ones not having a “holy, jolly” Christmas. We can feel alone, even among other people. We can feel like God is distant. Our Blue Christmas service is a safe, sacred space to be honest with these feelings, and to hear words of hope, that Immanuel – God with Us – is the promise that the Lord will never abandon us. This service will use music and liturgy from Holden Evening Prayers with new Psalms added for the Advent season. This service will use music and liturgy from Holden Evening Prayers with new Psalms added for the Advent season. We welcome all who might feel a bit blue this year, and those willing to stand with them, to this quiet, peaceful, powerful 45-minute service, using the lovely “Holden Evening Prayer” setting with new Advent Psalm tones.
WELCA BIBLE STUDY LEADERS MEET THURSDAY – with Pastor Dave as they prepare to lead their Circles. Bring your Bible, this month’s edition of “Gather” magazine, and whatever notetaking supplies you need. You don’t have to be a Circle leader – all women are welcome to join. Thursday, 10-11:15 am, in the Conference Room.
MEMORIAL FOR REV. WINSTON BONE – will be held at Cross of Christ this Saturday at 11 am, in the Sanctuary, followed by a luncheon reception in the Fellowship Hall. Rev. Bone was an ELCA pastor for more than 50 years. He was father to member Alma Constable, wife of Brian. If you are able to help with the reception or provide cookies please contact Gale Hill.
ADVENT READERS & CANDLE LIGHTERS – One very meaningful tradition for Sundays in Advent is the lighting of the candles on the Advent Wreath. This year, an original Advent-themed liturgy – “Home Coming” – has been created for this special part of our worship. Readers and candle lighters are still needed for Mosaic worship next Sunday and December 23. Please sign up this week online at http://www.crossofchristbellevue.org/volunteer-sign-up / or connect with Pastor Dave.
BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION – Pastor Judy is collecting box tops for the PTA of her children’s school throughout the year. They can be found on various boxes, like Cheerios, Kleenex, etc. Just clip them out and stick them in her mailbox. Thanks!
LAST CALL FOR LOST & FOUND – It’s that time of year again when we clean out the Lost & Found drawer in Information Desk in the Narthex. There are lots of “misplaced” items there – water bottles, sunglasses, a mitten, a necklace, toys, and other treasures we hope find their way back to their rightful owner before the end of the year, when all remaining items are donated or recycled. Thank you.
THANK YOU SHELTER HOSTS & HELPERS – for all you did to welcome the women of The Sophia Way emergency shelter in October and November. You went above and beyond in sharing Christian hospitality to our neighbors in need. Thanks to you, more than 30 women (and often 40 plus) had a warm welcome, a warm meal, and a warm place to sleep each night. Well done to Dorinda Otto, volunteer coordinator, and so many who did so much in the name of our welcoming Lord.
PRAYERS FOR HOMEBOUND MEMBERS – Ed and Phyllis Hahn, Doris Lundquist, Bill and Betty McConnell, Mary Moen, Marlys Paulson, Jane Pittenger, Norman Stromer, and Marilyn Van Brero,
CORN AND RICE BAGS FOR SALE – Pastor Judy and volunteers have been making these lovely bags that can either be heated in the microwave or kept in the freezer for warm or cold therapy. Some are designated for homebound and other members in need. But others will be for sale over the next few weeks for a suggested donation of $5. Proceeds will go toward purchasing new embroidered Cross of Christ aprons for our kitchen and volunteering opportunities. These handmade bags would make great holiday gifts or stocking stuffers! Thanks to those who have already picked some up. Contact Pastor Judy to learn more.
“People, Look East”
By God’s grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to
Grow in Faith
Share the Gospel
Serve others, and
Thanks be to God!