Watchword for the Week
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather his lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom.
(Moravian Daily Texts 2017)
WELCOME and CALL to WORSHIP
(Verses from Psalm 85 – New English Bible)
LORD, thou hast been gracious to thy land
and turned the tide of Jacob’s fortunes.
Thou hast forgiven the guilt of thy people
and put away all their sins.
Let me hear the words of the LORD:
are they not words of peace,
peace to his people and his loyal servants
and all who turn and trust in him?
Love and fidelity have come together;
justice and peace join hands.
Fidelity springs up from the earth
and justice looks down from heaven.
The LORD will add prosperity,
and our land shall yield its harvest.
Justice shall go in front of him
and the path before his feet shall be peace.
Hymn 274 * Comfort, comfort now my people
People’s Choice Hymns are marked with an asterisk (*)
(Two Advent candles are carried into church lit)
PRAYER of APPROACH
We gather in your presence, God, in our need,
and bringing with us the needs of the world.
We come to you, for you come to us in Jesus,
and you know by experience
what human life is like.
We come with our faith and with our doubts;
we come with our hopes and with our fears.
We come as we are, because you invite us; and
you have promised never to turn us away.
Loving God, you gather us here today,
here, where many have come before us
seeking your healing, strength and love.
You know us, God: you understand who we are.
You know what troubles and puzzles us,
what makes us smile and what makes us sad.
You listen to our questions and our prayers.
You know the people we love, God,
and the people we struggle with.
Sometimes we hurt others;
sometimes we hurt ourselves.
So, we bring our own hurt
asking for your healing;
and we bring the hurt we have caused others,
asking for forgiveness.
Hymn 527 * Lord, make us servants
As we sing this hymn, you are invited to write
prayer requests on the insert page and place
them in the basket at the altar steps at any time
you wish. If you prefer, you may put your prayer
requests in the offering basket later.
DECLARATION of FORGIVENESS
Listen to these words of Jesus, words that we
can trust: “Don’t be afraid.” “I love you.” “Your
sins are forgiven.” “I will always be with you.”
Write these words in our hearts, loving God,
let them take root in our living. Amen.
Hymn 282 v. 1+2 Christmas is coming!
(Hymn of the Month, December 2017)
SHARING GOD’S PEACE
(Children may join the Kids’ Church programme)
Isaiah 40:1-11 OT p. 702 (701)
St. Mark 1:1-8 NT p. 45
People may stand for the Gospel reading.
The word of God: Thanks be to God!
Hymn 334 On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
SERMON Rev. James Brown
Hymn 279 * Make way for Christ the King
(Offerings are gathered and brought forward)
If you wish, you may also now put your
prayer requests in the offering basket.
DEDICATION PRAYER (in unison)
May the gifts we offer and the talents we
have been given help to smooth the way for
those who struggle, rebuild the lives of those
who have fallen, and bring grace and
comfort to all your people, loving God.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
NOTICES and PRAYERS for OTHERS
Hear our prayer, and let your Kingdom come.
The LORD’S PRAYER
(Please pray in your own preferred language / version.)
English words at: Hymn 652, Second Form (b)
INVITATION and PRAYER
God our Maker, you call us to be your presence
in the world. Here, through our hands and
prayers, bring healing, hope and peace. Amen.
Come, bring your burdens to God, (3 x)
for Jesus will never say no.
Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas, Deus ibi est.
(Where there is charity and love, God is there.)
As we sing, those who wish prayer for themselves
or others can move forward to the altar space to
form a circle of prayer standing there.
PRAYER for the LAYING-ON of HANDS
Spirit of the living God, present with us now,
enter you, body, mind, and spirit,
and heal you of all that harms you,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hymn 266 * God the Omnipotent!
BLESSING and Threefold Amen (No. 819)