New Covenant Community Church

Sermons

Where is God? – 12/6/20

by | Dec 6, 2020 | Sermons, All Posts

WELCOME
CALL TO WORSHIP AND THE LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE
Leader: At Advent, we await the Messiah whose light shines in the darkness and fills the world with peace.
People: As we look forward to the One who is to come, we light the candle of peace on this Second Sunday of Advent, trusting that even now God is working to restore all of creation to its intended harmony.
Leader: This light shines to guide our feet in the ways of peace and to illumine the path to reconciliation.
People: This light shines to enlighten us with the peace that passes all understanding.
Leader: This light shines to remind us that God is always present and leading us to that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and no one will learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:4).
People: Through the symbolism of this candle, may we be inspired to share the peace that transforms the world, as we earnestly pray, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.”

HYMN              Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus         Ken Heischman
Come, Thou long expected Jesus Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver, Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever, Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit, Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

PRAYERS OF CONFESSION (Unison)
God of grace, Savior of the sinful, Light for the lost,
     although Your prophetic messengers have called us to join them in
preparing Your way,
we confess that we have not been faithful in sharing
the good news.
          Rather than comforting Your people, we have sought our own comfort.
          Rather than following Your word, we have pursued our own way.
          Rather than living in grace, we have too frequently engaged in
aggression.

Forgive us, Lord, and strengthen us to follow in Your steps.
     Redeem us from our sin,
         and fill us with steadfast love and faithfulness,
            so that we may embody, promote, and reveal the fullness of life
               that You share with the world,
                   through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Silent)

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS             (adapted from 2 Peter 3:9)
Leader: The Lord is not slow about His promise, but is patient with us.
People: God does not want any to perish; instead God desires all to come to repentance.
Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

HYMN              He Came Down             Ken Heischman
He came down that we may have love;
He came down that we may have love;
He came down that we may have love,
Hallelujah forevermore.
He came down that we may have peace;
He came down that we may have peace;
He came down that we may have peace,
Hallelujah forevermore.
He came down that we may have joy;
He came down that we may have joy;
He came down that we may have joy,
Hallelujah forevermore.

SCRIPTURE Isaiah 40:1-11
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

MEDITATION          “Where is God?”

HYMN Lord Christ,    When First You Came to Earth     Ken Heischman
Lord Christ, when first You came to earth, Upon a cross they bound You,
And mocked Your saving kingship then By thorns with which they crowned You;
And still our wrongs may weave You now New thorns to pierce that steady brow,
And robe of sorrow round You.
O wondrous love, which found no room In life, where sin denied You,
And, doomed to death, must bring to doom The power which crucified You,
Till not a stone was left on stone, And all a nation’s pride, o’erthrown,
Went down to dust beside You.
New advent of the love of Christ, Shall we again refuse You,
Till in the night of hate and war We perish as we lose You?
From old unfaith our souls release To seek the kingdom of Your peace,
By which alone we choose You.
O wounded hands of Jesus, build In us Your new creation;
Our pride is dust, our vaunt is stilled, We wait Your revelation.
O Love that triumphs over loss, We bring our hearts before Your cross;
Come, finish Your salvation.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
CALL FOR THE OFFERING
BENEDICTION

 

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