Call to Worship
During the past 2 weeks we have contemplated
God’s unstoppable purpose of salvation for us.
On the first Sunday the scriptures
invited us to see
that God’s unstoppable purpose
surprizes us as we hope and wait.
God reveals himself in surprizing ways
as we keep our trust in him.
On the second Sunday in Advent
the words of the prophets invited us
contemplate God’s faithfulness and love.
Even during a time of bondage and despair
God’s faithful covenant love
holds us close to the heart of God.
Today, on the 3rd Advent,
we come into God’s presence with laughter and joy.
We rejoice in the great things
that God has done and keeps on doing.
We are reminded,
that we are a people that laugh with Abraham & Sara
and Zecharia & Elisabeth
because God restores an old and frail body
to bear the child of promise.
We rejoice today
because God, who is infinetely involved
in all our human despair and disappointment,
our suffering and grief,
is also the God who restores us.
Today, as we worship God,
let us ask ourselves:
What kinds of repair and restoration does God desire
in our homes,
in our relationships with each other in the church,
in our neighborhoods,
at work, and school, and play?
How does God want us to be a part of the solution
rather than adding to the problems of the world?
What is my place and your place
in God’s unstoppable purpose
to fix the world
and restore it to a right relationship with him?
Let us pray…
Faithful and loving God,
we are renewed and restored
because of your favour toward us in Jesus, your Son.
We offer you our lives for your holy work of salvation
and making things right in the world.
We lift up our joyful praise to you,
for you have restored us
and called us your own.
As a people restored unto you,
let us be a part of your work of restoration
in the world. Amen
As we go from here restored and rejoicing
let us go with the blessing of Isaiah 42,
affirmed in our calling as Servant of the Lord:
1 "Here is my servant, [you are my servant] whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on [you]
and [you] will bring justice to the nations.
2 [You] will not shout or cry out,
or raise [your] voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed [you] will not break,
and a smoldering wick [you] will not snuff out.
In faithfulness [you] will bring forth justice;
4 [you] will not falter or be discouraged
till [God] establishes justice on earth.
In his law the islands will put their hope."
5 This is what God the LORD says—
he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
Friends, go rejoicing,
for God’s purpose of restoration will surely come to pass.
Go and rejoice,
for you are a child of God!