Community of Christ

Advent Ideas

Advent Gifts

This service requires four gift boxes containing a dove, a candle, a Bible, and a wreath.


Prelude

*Musical Call to Worship: "O Come, All Ye Faithful" CCS 431 OR “God Almighty We Are Waiting  CCS 409
*Opening Prayer
*Response

Carol: "Go, Tell It on the Mountain”  CCS 409

Scripture: Genesis 8:1–12

A Gift

Presider picks up the first box containing a dove.

Today we will take some time to reflect on a few of the spiritual gifts we all receive. Here’s a gift for us. Open the box and take out the dove. This dove represents the gift of peace. We can all receive this gift for the asking. When we are sad or troubled or impatient, we ask for and receive the gift of God’s peace. Shalom is another word for peace—the kind of peace that transforms our hearts and give us peace with our brothers and sisters. God’s love for us and our love for all people create a very special shalom. This is truly a wonderful gift.

Scripture: Ephesians 2:13–20

Here is the Advent gift: Christ is our peace. Place the dove in the worship setting.

Carol: "Silent Night! Holy Night!” CCS 421 OR “Peace Child”  CCS 402

A Gift

Presider picks up the second box containing a candle.

Here’s another gift for us. Open the box and take out the candle. This candle represents the gift of Jesus Christ who is the light of the world. Jesus came to light the darkness for all people.

Scripture: John 1:1–9

This is God’s gift. There is nothing we can do to earn it; we only need to accept the light. We live in the light of God’s love because that love pierced the darkness of the world. Light candle. This is a glorious, marvelous gift, and we accept it with humble, thankful hearts.

Carol: "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing"  CCS 423 OR “Blessed Be the God Of Israel”   CCS 396

A Gift

Presider picks up the third box containing the Bible.

Here is another gift for us. Open the box and take out the Bible. Scripture tells us that from God we receive wisdom and knowledge and understanding.

Scripture: Proverbs 2:6–10

Surely this gift of wisdom is very important—to have God’s wisdom and knowledge and the kind of understanding that comes from studying this precious gift. It’s a guide for our lives, comfort in our sorrow, and hope for our future. We cherish this gift and eagerly accept it. Place the open Bible in the worship setting.

Carol: "God’s Love Made Visible”   CCS 411  

A Gift

Presider picks up the fourth box containing the wreath.

This is our final gift. This gift represents an eternal circle. Open the box and take out the wreath. God’s love for us is like that. It is complete and never-ending. Scripture gives us hope and a promise that Jesus Christ will come again, and we know that like the circle of this wreath, God’s love is endless and eternal. Place the wreath in the worship setting.

Scripture: Revelation 21:5–7

What a precious gift it is! We can live in peace and love with God now, not just sit and wait or carry a burden of sorrow. God’s love is eternal and with us now and forever. We accept this marvelous gift with our whole heart.

Carol: "The First Noel"  CCS 424 OR “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”   CCS 400

Summary Statement

These gifts are ours to cherish. We are grateful for all the gifts we have received and pray that we might be good stewards over them. During this Advent season, we give grateful thanks to God for the most precious gift of Jesus Christ—our peace, our light, our never-ending source of wisdom and love.

Pastoral Prayer

*Carol: "Joy to the World!  CCS 408

*Postlude

—Adapted from Margaret Lange in Worship for All Seasons II, pages 21–22. Used with permission.

Psalms and Singing

Advent Service of Psalms and Singing

Prelude

Meditation Thoughts

Advent is both a beginning and an end, an alpha and omega of the church’s year of grace. Too often considered merely a season of preparation for the annual commemoration of Christ’s birth, this rich and many-layered season is actually designed to prepare us for the glorious possibilities of God’s kingdom on earth. It is a season of longing expectation: “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Welcome

*Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”  CCS 394  OR “People Look East” CCS 395

*Invocation

*Response

 

The First Lesson

Psalm 122:1–2, 6–9

Spoken Response

Lift your eyes, Jerusalem, and see the power of your ruler. Look to a Savior who will break your bonds.

 

Sung Response: “All Earth Is Hopeful”  CCS 392

 

The Second Lesson

Psalm 80:4–7

Sung Response: “Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus”    CCS 400

 

The Third Lesson

Psalm 25:1, 4–7, 16–18

 

Sung Response: “I Need Thee Every Hour”  CCS 188

 

The Fourth Lesson

Psalm 72:18–19

 

Sung Response: “Blest Be The God of Israel”  CCS 396 OR Wait for the Lord” CCS 399

 

The Fifth Lesson

Psalm 85:1–7

Prayer of Confession

Lord, When Did We See You?

I was hungry and starving

and you were full;

Thirsty

and you were watering your garden;

With no road to follow, and without hope,

and you called the police

and were happy that they took me prisoner;

Barefoot and with ragged clothing,

and you were saying: “I have nothing to wear,
tomorrow I will buy something new.”

Sick

and you asked, “Is it infectious?”

Prisoner,

and you said: “That is where all those of your class should be.”

[pause]

Lord, have mercy!

—author unknown, accessed at www.ottawainnercityministries.ca

Psalm 85:8–13

 

Sung Response: “View the Present Through the Promise”  CCS 401

 

The Sixth Lesson

Psalm 146

Sung Choral Prayer: “Prayer of the Children,” Kurt Bestor, arr. Andrea S. Klouse (The Pinnacle Group/Warner Bros., CH96165)
OR Sung Response: “Now Sing to Our God”  CCS 108

 

The Seventh Lesson

Psalm 126:5–6

 

Sung Choral Response: “Joy in the Morning,” Natalie Sleeth (Hope Publishing, 1977)

OR Sung Response: “I Will Sing, I Will Sing”  CCS 112

The Eighth Lesson

Psalm 89:1–5, 13–16

 

Hymn: “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing”  CCS 423

 

Parting Words

We always live in Advent. We are always waiting for the Messiah to come. The Messiah has come but is not yet fully manifest. The Messiah is not fully manifest in each of our lives, not fully manifest in humankind as a whole; just as Christ was born according to the flesh in Bethlehem of Judah, so must he be born according to the Spirit in each of our souls.

*Parting Blessing

 

*Parting Hymn: “Joy to the World!”  CCS 408

*Postlude

Christmas Story

This service, which tells the entire Christmas story, is led by the organist rather than a presider up front. It is very effective to have the readers read from the back of the congregation as pictures are projected that are reflective of the readings. The words to the songs can be projected on the screen.


Prelude: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

Hymn of Christmas: “Lovely Child, Holy Child” CCS 428

Welcome and Invitation

Incorporate in the welcome a request to follow the instructions in the bulletin or on the screen and the leadership of the organ.

Hymn of Praise "O Come, All Ye Faithful"   CCS 431

Prayer

Read "Come Now, O Prince of Peace"   CCS 225

Prophecy and Hope

Reading (adapted from Isaiah 11)

Listen, O people, to the voice of the Lord. The Messiah will come from Israel and he shall be great like King David. He shall come as a branch from the great tree that grows out of the roots of greatness. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and fear and delight in God....

He shall come with justice and with righteousness and will stand with the meek of the earth. When he comes he will establish his kingdom and it shall be a peaceable one. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them...

People will no longer hurt or destroy on God's holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Listen, O people, to the voice of the Lord.

Hymn: “Comfort, Comfort Now My People”  CCS 407OR “All Earth is Hopeful”   CCS 392

The Annunciation

Reading (adapted from Luke 1)

...the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David...And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you...Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive...and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."

Hymn: "Canticle of the Turning”  CCS 404 OR “People, Look East” CCS 395

The Birth

Reading (begin the organ meditation on the last line of the reading)

Angel voices in the heavens
Joyfully proclaim thy birth,
Singing of a promised kingdom,
Reign of righteousness and worth--
Songs of prophecy and promise,
Peace, goodwill have come to earth.

Organ Meditation: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"

Hymn "Silent Night! Holy Night!"  CCS 421

  1. Organ only
  2. Men
  3. All

Hymn "Away in a Manger"  CCS 426

  1. Children and youth
  2. All

Ministry of Music: "Mary, Did You Know"

Hymn: "Joseph, Kind Joseph"  CCS 414

  1. Men
  2. Women
  3. All

The Shepherds

Reading

This is God's Christmas greeting.
In the beautiful story of Jesus' birth,
it was sung by a chorus of angelic voices.
Heard at first only by Judean shepherds outside the town of Bethlehem,
nevertheless, it is a message that the whole world should hear.
On each Christmas Day,
God repeats His greeting.
                 -Anonymous

Hymn: "Angels We Have Heard on High"   CCS 427

  1. Men
  2. Women
  3. All

Hymn: "Jesus, Our Brother Kind and Good”   CCS 412

The Magi

Reading: ”Wise Men Came Journeying”  (stanzas 1 and 3 only)    CCS 445

Accepting the Offering

"As with Gladness" - organ

Hymn: "We Three Kings, of Orient Are”  CCS 438

  1. All
  2. Left Men
  3. Right Men
  4. All Men
  5. All

Our Challenge and Hope

Reading: "Some Children See Him," found in Hymns for the Family of God 181 (organ playing softly underneath the reading)

Hymn: "I Wonder as I Wander” CCS 435

  1. Organ
  2. All
  3. All
  4. All

Reading: "If There Is No Cross in the Manger" by Ann Weems, found in Reaching for Rainbows or Kneeling in Bethlehem

Hymn: "Look at This Man" CCS 26

Hymn: "Joy to the World!" CCS 408

Reading: "Christmas Comes Every Time We See God in Other Persons" by Ann Weems, found in Kneeling in Bethlehem

Postlude: "Go Tell It on the Mountain" - organ

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