Sunday morning December 13

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Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
Reveal among us the light of your presence
that we may behold your power and glory.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God of all,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In your tender compassion
the dawn from on high is breaking upon us
to dispel the lingering shadows of night.
As we look for your coming among us this day,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Light of Those Whose Dreary Dwelling

Charles Wesley
Light of those whose dreary dwelling
Borders on the shades of death,
Come, and by thy love's revealing
Dissipate the clouds beneath.

The new heaven and earth's Creator,
In our deepest darkness rise,
Scattering all the night of nature,
Pouring eyesight on our eyes.

Still we wait for thine appearing;
Life and joy thy beams impart,
Chasing all our fears, and cheering
Every poor benighted heart.

Come, and manifest the favor
God hath for our ransomed race;
Come, thou universal Savior,
Come, and bring the gospel grace.

Save us in thy great compassion,
O thou mild, pacific Prince;
Give the knowledge of salvation,
Give the pardon of our sins.

By thine all restoring merit
Every burdened soul release;
Every weary, wandering spirit
Guide into thy perfect peace.

Confession of sin

Seek the Lord when he can still be found;
call him while he is yet near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways
and the sinful their schemes.
Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them,
to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness.

cf Isaiah 55

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have committed evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your faithful love.
Wash us completely clean of our guilt; purify us from our sin.
Put a new, faithful spirit deep inside us,
and return the joy of your salvation to us
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Psalm 51

May the Father of all mercies
cleanse us from our sins,
and restore us in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bless the Lord,
because he has listened to our request for mercy.
Therefore our hearts will rejoice
and we will thank him with our song.

cf Psalm 28:7,9

The Word of God

Psalm 12

You, Lord, will keep us, protecting us from this generation forever.

Help, Lord, because the godly are all gone;
    the faithful have completely disappeared
    from the human race!
Everyone tells lies to everyone else;
    they talk with slick speech and divided hearts.
Let the Lord cut off all slick-talking lips
    and every tongue that brags and brags,
    that says, “We’re unbeatable with our tongues!
    Who could get the best of us with lips like ours?”
But the Lord says,
    “Because the poor are oppressed,
    because of the groans of the needy,
    I’m now standing up.
    I will provide the help they are gasping for.”
The Lord’s promises are pure,
    like silver that’s been refined in an oven,
    purified seven times over!
You, Lord, will keep us,
    protecting us from this generation forever.
The wicked roam all over the place,
    while depravity is praised by human beings.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

You, Lord, will keep us, protecting us from this generation forever.

Psalm prayer

Lord, when faith is faint
and speech veils our intentions,
restore us by your word of power and purity,
both now and forever.

Psalm 14

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.

Fools say in their hearts, There is no God.
    They are corrupt and do evil things;
    not one of them does anything good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humans
    to see if anyone is wise,
    to see if anyone seeks God,
        but all of them have turned bad.
        Everyone is corrupt.
        No one does good—
        not even one person!
Are they dumb, all these evildoers,
    devouring my people
    like they are eating bread
        but never calling on the Lord?
Count on it: they will be in utter panic
    because God is with the righteous generation.
You evildoers may humiliate
    the plans of those who suffer,
        but the Lord is their refuge.
Let Israel’s salvation come out of Zion!
        When the Lord changes
        his people’s circumstances for the better,
        Jacob will rejoice;
        Israel will celebrate!

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.

Psalm prayer

God of heaven,
look with mercy on all who are consumed
by ignorance and greed,
and let the children of earth know
that you are God forever.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 25:1-9

Lord, you are my God.
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
    for you have done wonderful things,
        planned long ago, faithful and sure.
You have turned the city into rubble,
    the fortified town into a ruin,
    the fortress of foreigners into a city no more,
    never to be rebuilt.
Therefore, strong people will glorify you;
    the towns of tyrant nations will fear you.
You have been a refuge for the poor,
    a refuge for the needy in distress,
    a hiding place from the storm,
    a shade from the heat.
When the breath of tyrants is like a winter storm
    or like heat in the desert,
    you subdue the roar of foreigners.
Like heat shaded by a cloud,
    the tyrants’ song falls silent.
On this mountain,
    the Lord of heavenly forces will prepare for all peoples
        a rich feast, a feast of choice wines,
        of select foods rich in flavor,
        of choice wines well refined.
He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples,
    the shroud enshrouding all nations.
He will swallow up death forever.
The Lord God will wipe tears from every face;
    he will remove his people’s disgrace from off the whole earth,
        for the Lord has spoken.
They will say on that day,
“Look! This is our God,
    for whom we have waited—
    and he has saved us!
This is the Lord, for whom we have waited;
    let’s be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
1 Corinthians 4:1-5

So a person should think about us this way—as servants of Christ and managers of God’s secrets. In this kind of situation, what is expected of a manager is that they prove to be faithful. I couldn’t care less if I’m judged by you or by any human court; I don’t even judge myself. I’m not aware of anything against me, but that doesn’t make me innocent, because the Lord is the one who judges me. So don’t judge anything before the right time—wait until the Lord comes. He will bring things that are hidden in the dark to light, and he will make people’s motivations public. Then there will be recognition for each person from God.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from God.

Bless the Lord God of Israel
because he has come to help and has delivered his people.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house,
just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.
He has brought salvation from our enemies
and from the power of all those who hate us.
He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and remembered his holy covenant,
the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham.
He has granted that we would be rescued
from the power of our enemies
so that we could serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes,
for as long as we live.
You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
You will tell his people how to be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s deep compassion,
the dawn from heaven will break upon us,
to give light to those who are sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide us on the path of peace.”

Luke 1:68-79

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from God.

Brief silence.

The Apostle’s Creed

Let us unite in this historic confession of the Christian faith: 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


Intercession and thanksgiving

Prayers are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life


Father, hear our prayer,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare your way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.   

The Lord’s Prayer

Awaiting his coming in glory,
as our Savior taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.


May the Lord, when he comes,
find us watching and waiting.