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Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30

Lectionary Worship Workbook
Series IV, Cycle A
O God, Our Help In Ages Past (CBH328, NCH25, UM117, LBW320, PH210)
Lord Of Our Growing Years (CBH479, PH279)
On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand (CBH610, NCH598, UM724, PH10)
Un Mandamiento Nuevo/Jesus A New Commandment (NCH389)
O Jesus Christ, May Grateful Hymns (NCH212, CBH404, PH424)
Spirit Of God, Descend Upon My Heart (NCH290, CBH502, UM500, LBW486, PH326)
Eternal God, Whose Power Upholds (PH412)
Come My Way, My Truth, My Life (LBW513, NCH331, UM164, CBH587)

Precious Lord, Take My Hand, Roy Ringwald, Shawnee, SATB
O God, Our Help In Ages Past, Alan Hovhaness, C. F. Peters, SATB
I Will Love The Lord, Michael Bedford, CGA, Unison/2--part
To The Glory Of Our King, Robert Leaf, CGA, Unison

Call to Worship
Leader:Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Men:Before the mountains were brought forth
Women:Or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
People:From everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Leader:Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
People:And prosper for us the work of our hands,
All:O prosper the work of our hands! Amen.

Call to Confession
God knows who we are and what we do even before we know it ourselves. And yet we need to stand before God as God's people and confess our sins together, knowing that we cannot be perfect people. Let us pray together, asking for forgiveness.

Prayer of Confession
Oh Lord, how long? Your people have been asking this question forever. The ancient Israelites asked it as Moses led them across the desert. The psalmists wrote of both personal and corporate sufferings. The early Christians asked it on a daily basis, and still there are people suffering. We ask it, God. How long must we be sick or have loved ones who are ill? How long must we grieve? How long must we send our young men and women to war? How long must there be people sleeping on the street, children starving, and men and women dying from fatal diseases? We know much of the world's suffering comes from people, O God. We turn our backs on others, thinking too much of ourselves. We waste resources and plunder the earth. We don't love each other as you would have us love. Forgive us, God. Help us to look around, see the injustices, and work toward peace in your world. How long, O Lord, will we need to be forgiven? Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness
Jesus was asked, "How many times should we forgive another?" and he replied seventy times seven. God forgives us every time we sin if we repent and turn to Jesus for strength. Jesus was born for us, died for us, rose again for us. Alleluia! Our sins have been forgiven.

Scripture Readings
Psalm 90:1--6, 13--17: The Pslam can be read in addition to either the Deuteronomy text or the Matthew text. Have the choral speaking choir read the Psalm; they should stand in a straight line across the chancel.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

All Voices: Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.

Voices 1--3: Before the mountains were brought forth,

Voices 4--6: Or ever you had formed the earth and the world,

Voices 7--9: From everlasting to everlasting

All: You are God.

Voices 1--5: You turn us back to dust, and say,

Voices 6--9: Turn back, you mortals.

All: For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.

Voices 1--5: You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning;

Voices 6--9: In the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

All: Turn, O Lord! How long? Have compassion on your servants!

Voices 1--3: Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Voices 4--6: Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.

Voices 7--9: Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.

All: Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands - O prosper the work of our hands!

Matthew 22:34--46: This passage has the Pharisees testing Jesus. It could be done by the choral speaking choir acting as the Pharisees, gathered in a semicircle around Jesus, like this:
4 5
3 6
2 7
1 8

All Voices: When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together,

Voice 1: And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him,

Voice 8: Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?

Voice 2: Jesus said to him,

Jesus: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Voice 7: Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question:

Jesus: What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?

Voice 3: They said to him,

All Voices: The son of David.

Voice 6: He said to them,

Jesus: How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet' "? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?

Voices 4 and 5: No one was able to give him an answer,

All Voices: Nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Leader: Share the gospel of Jesus Christ in all you do and say; share yourselves with those whom you meet. Don't let fear of the unknown overtake you. Be brave and loving in all circumstances, and know that God is with you always. Amen.

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20 – Sermons
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Advent 2, C
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John Jamison
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (vv. 1-2)

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
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Thomas Willadsen
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George Reed
Dean Feldmeyer
For December 5, 2021:
  • Advent Roadwork by Chris Keating — Our repentance clears the ground so that the foundations of grace and reconciliation can be set. These are the first steps to be undertaken before the massive rebuilding can occur.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
We knew it all along, but it takes good messengers if we are to hear it again.

Baruch 5:1-9
Mark Ellingsen
Bonnie Bates
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Baruch 5:1-9
Referring to this lesson, the ancient theologian Irenaeus wrote:

... the prophet has pointed out, that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left upon earth, should both be under the rule of the saints to minister to this Jerusalem.  (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol.1, p.565)

The text is about the fresh start God affords us in Christ.  The coming son is like a bridge to this new reality.  About Christ’s role in this way, the medieval mystic Catherine of Siena once wrote:


Frank Ramirez
John E. Sumwalt
“The Real Messanger” by Frank Ramirez
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The Real Messanger
by Frank Ramirez
Malachi 3:1-4

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me…. (Malachi 3:1)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Roly lay down with his head on his paws and felt lonely. But he wasn't lonely for long, for lots of people came to the entrance to the maze and petted him and patted him and stroked him and spoke to him. Roly perked up, and wondered for the hundredth time what went on in a maze. Still, the family had told him very firmly to stay at the entrance in case he got lost in the maze, or worse, because he was so small, tripped people up by darting between their legs.


Alex A. Gondola, Jr.
Have you ever noticed that many people seem to feel they either have "too much" Christmas or "not enough" Christmas? Television commentator Andy Rooney is one who thinks he has had "too much" Christmas. Andy Rooney, in fact, has proposed a "Christmas Holidays Limitations Act." These are some of the provisions of that Act:

1. Capital punishment would be mandatory for anyone caught selling Christmas ornaments before Thanksgiving.
Cynthia E. Cowen
Every Sunday, a church broadcasts a one-hour service over the waves of 1450 WMIQ, the local radio station. It begins with this announcement, "From the shores of beautiful Crystal Lake, we bring you Our Saviour's morning service."

One Advent season, the pastor had selected an "in the sandals" sermon series. The first biblical character to be heard from was John the Baptist. As John entered clothed in the prophet's clothing, a reader announced: "Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight" (Luke 3:4b).
J. Will Ormond
The setting and shape of this sermon are obvious. It was preached at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the founding of that congregation.

The church was officially organized on January 30, 1949. I was the first pastor. I remained pastor until May, 1964.
Robert S. Jarboe
Second Sunday In Advent

For Luke 1:68-79

(Distribute this sheet to the readers.)

Reader A:
Reader B:

(As the introit is being sung, Readers A and B come forward and stand by the Advent wreath until the music is finished.)

Reader A:
Please turn to the Advent litany in your bulletins.
(Pause as they do so.)
If we keep our minds steadfast and trust in God,
we will be kept in perfect peace.

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