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 SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Forerunners and messengers advance the advent of our God. While John the baptizer’s voice in the wilderness may be the principal focus of the day, Malachi’s prophecy could as easily herald the coming Lord Jesus as forerunner of the Lord of hosts. Finally all the baptized are called to participate in the sharing of the gospel. In so doing we prepare the way for the coming of the Lord and assist all flesh in capturing a vision of the “salvation of God.”
ADVENT WREATH CANDLE LIGHTING
Second Candle: “Make Your Heart a Home for Healing”
This second Sunday in Advent, the prophet Micah tells of a messenger to come.
He is to be a forerunner and a herald,
Calling people to prepare.
To make themselves ready.
To straighten up crooked things and systems.
To raise up lowly places and people.
To level out the uneven, and to plane the rough.
For the One who is coming is a refiner.
He will bring salvation.
He will bring healing.
He is the hope of all who are least and lost and little.
Home is meant to be a place of health and well-being.
A place where the sick are tended to with gentleness,
But where anything that is harmful and unhealthy is dealt with as a fuller uses soap:
To remove impurities.
To make useful.
As we light the second candle of Advent – representing healing – let us commit ourselves to purity for the sake of the health of ourselves, our families, and our world.
O God, make our hearts a home for healing. Amen.
“Prepare the Royal Highway”
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
Malachi 3:1-4 The Lord announces a covenant with Israel. A messenger like Malachi (his name means “my messenger”) shall prepare the way for the coming of the Lord by purifying and refining God’s people, as silver and gold are refined.
Luke 1:68-79 In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us. (Lk. 1:78)
Philippians 1:3-11 The apostle Paul was the pastor of many new churches. He writes in this letter about his joy to be in partnership with the Christians of Philippi. Listen to how tender-hearted Paul, sometimes a stern preacher, is with his friends as he encourages them to grow in love and knowledge.
THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL
Luke 3:1-6 John the Baptist is a herald of the saving Lord, whose way is prepared by “repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” As we hear the careful record of human leaders, we sense the spectrum of political and religious authority that will be challenged by this coming Lord.
PASTOR DAVE’S SERMON SNAPSHOT: “Home Remedy”
One day – maybe in this life, maybe in the life to come – all that ails us, all that binds us, all that is out of sorts with us, all that is out of line with us – will be set straight.
But even more, even today, even right now, the One whose saving work was prophesied about by Malachi and Isaiah, the One for whom who John was called to prepare the way, brings healing and liberation and wholeness, brings salvation, to all those who will welcome him, open themselves up to him, trust in him.
SONG OF THE DAY
“Comfort, Comfort Now My People”
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.”
God our hope, you sent your Son into the world to show us the way home to you. This Advent season, help us to open our hearts to him. By your Spirit, show us the rough places in our lives that we need to confess to you. Prepare in us the way of the Lord. Merciful Father,
Hear our prayer.
God our home, as we think about the connection of the Advent and Christmas holidays to the concept of home, remind us the truth of your world, that ultimately this world is not our home. Help us to live in anticipation of our return home, sharing and serving in this life as we await the life to come. Merciful Father,
Hear our prayer.
God our healer, 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, Fred Corwin, 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.
God our heart, comfort all who mourn; Lila and all who mourn the passing of Jim McMillan, whose Memorial Service will be held here Thursday; Faye and all who stand with her at the death of her husband, Rev. Winston Bone, whose Memorial Service was held here yesterday, and all who turn to you in their grief. Bless our Blue Christmas service this afternoon. May it be an experience of comfort and joy for all who attend. 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.
“Lost in the Night”
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.
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 RESUMES – today as our study of the action-packed book of Acts enters Chapter 2, where we read about the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, allowing them to proclaim the Good News in languages they did not speak. Join us for this exciting series between services, beginning at 10:15 am and ending at 10:55 am, in the Library.
CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL IS BACK – from a one-week break, with fun learning experiences for kids ages 4-10. Meet Miss Kristie in the the Youth Room between service.
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. 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.
ANNUAL ARK BASKET FUNDRAISER BEGINS TODAY – Check out this year’s cool gift baskets – perfect for your Christmas shopping! There are baskets for crafters, hikers, game players, children, wine lovers, chocloholics and more. Baskets will be on sale by Ark staff members between services. All proceeds support the Ark Early Learning Center Scholarship Fund.
LAST DAY FOR HOPELINK GIVING TREE – Please bring your gifts today! Your generosity has brightened Christmas for countless girls and boys in our community.
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!
PRAYERS FOR HOMEBOUND MEMBERS – Ed and Phyllis Hahn, Doris Lundquist, Bill and Betty McConnell, Mary Moen, John and Marlys Paulson, Jane Pittenger, Norman Stromer, and Marilyn Van Brero,
CAROLERS NEEDED FOR HOMEBOUND VISITS – Help spread some Christmas cheer and joy this season as we sing carols and seasonal hymns for members unable to come to worship. Information about places, dates, and times, and a signup (or should we say sing-up!) sheet are at the Information Desk in the Narthex. Contact Pastor Judy with questions at 502-415-5883.
CHRISTMAS FLOWER DEDICATIONS – If you would like to make a Christmas flower dedication, forms are available at the Information Desk. Thank you for helping us share the beauty of Christmas this year.
THANKS FOR YOUR KINDNESS – Pastor Dave and wife Barbara wish to thank their Cross of Christ family for your many acts of kindness on the passing of Barbara’s sister Dixie Morris. They appreciate the cards, flowers, prayers and thoughtful words very much. A memorial service is planned for January in their hometown of Springfield, Missouri, with Pastor Dave officiating. Your continued prayers are valued.
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.
UMBRELLA DONATIONS NEEDED – It’s rainy season again, and over the years some of the umbrellas we keep in the Narthex as “loaners” have gone missing, and others have been damaged. Do you have a golf-style, larger canopy umbrella to donate, or might you be willing to purchase one for Cross of Christ? You may have also noticed our old umbrella stand finally fell apart. A new one has been ordered and is scheduled to arrive this week. Will you help us fill it? Thanks!
“O Come O Come Emmanuel”
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!