New Covenant Community Church

Sermons

Isaiah’s Advent Poetry: Peace – 12/4/22

by | Dec 5, 2022 | Sermons

WELCOME

PRELUDE                                  The First Noel                               – Berry

CALL TO WORSHIP AND
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE                     Susie Stevenor and John Sezna
   Reader 1:      On this Second Sunday of Advent, the poets and the prophets turn our attention to
                         peace, inviting us to embrace the vision of all people drawn into one community
                         around the will of God.
   Reader 2:     These poets and prophets articulate a new reality that transcends the worldly
                         threats from war or weapons, from assault or suffering, from violence or viruses,
                         from poverty or oppression.
   Reader 1:      Let us listen to the prophet’s lyrical language that speaks of the One who walks
                         in the pathway of peace: And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of
                         the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
   Reader 2:      And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth, and
                         he shall be the one of peace. (Micah 5:4-5)
   Reader 1:     During Advent, we pray that the candles we light will shine amid the darkness of
                        conflict to bring peace where there is enmity, and engender harmony among all the
                        warring elements of our existence.
   Reader 2:    May these small candles guide our steps in the way of peace as we wait for the One
                       who summons us to create a more caring and inclusive community. Let us pray:
    All:             God of grace and Lord of all, in Your infinite wisdom You desire to fashion a
                       world where wolves and lambs will live together, and leopards will lie down with
                       goats. Through the light of Advent, forge us into Your peacemakers, so that we
                       may work for the day when no one will hurt or destroy anywhere on this good
                       earth that You have created, for we ask these things in the name of the One who
                       is to come, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

*HYMN                                                 People, Look East                                         Glory to God, #105

PRAYERS OF CONFESSION      (Unison)
    God of the prophets,
        although You call us to a journey of faithful discipleship,
            we often stray from Your path.
    Because we have turned away from You,
        we have ignored Your justice and righteousness;
        we are reluctant to work for peace;
        and we have neglected to obey Your word.
    Forgive us, Lord, and wash away the sin from our unclean lives.
        Just as You fashion swords into plowshares,
            reshape us into the people who follow You in courage and commitment,
                so that Your truth would guide us and Your light would lead us in the way of Jesus
                Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray.
                                                               (Silent)

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS (adapted from 2 Peter 3:9, 14)
    Leader: The Lord is not slow about His promise, but is patient with us, not wanting any to perish,
                  but all to come to repentance.
    People: Let us strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, and let us regard the
                  patience of our Lord as salvation.
    Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
    People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE                         No Wind at the Window                         Glory to God, #101
    [During the interlude, you are invited to reflect on where you might have missed God this
     week, or where you might have turned against another human being. You can also turn
      to this hymn which offers a retelling of Gabriel’s announcement to Mary of Jesus’ birth.]

MINUTE FOR MISSION                                                       Akron Interfaith Immigration Advocates

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                               Psalm 85:8-13
  8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people,
     to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
  9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 The LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE               Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn            Glory to God, #107
     [During the interlude, you are invited to consider what God may be saying to you
       in these passages of Scripture. You are also encouraged to read the hymn’s
        Scriptural allusions and the Biblical material that are used in this selection.]

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                                       Isaiah 2:1-5
   1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 In days to come the
mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be
raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. 3 Many peoples shall come and say, “Come,
let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us
his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word
of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many
peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation
shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

MEDITATION                                                                                          Isaiah’s Advent Poetry: Peace

ANTHEM                                            The Huron Carol                                                         – Hayes

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH                                                                           adapted from SALT Project
As Christians, we believe in a God who creates all things —
    people, religions, languages, beauty, and every color in the rainbow.
As Christians, we believe in a God who becomes flesh, is born in a stable, a refugee with nowhere
    to lay his head.
As Christians, we believe in a God who fills us with the courage to serve our fellow human
    beings, to feed the hungry, and to love the foreigner because we are descendants of the
    Israelites who were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
This is who we are as Christians:
    people created to love,
    to welcome the stranger,
    and to walk, hand-in-hand with all God’s people,
        through God’s starry night and into the dawn.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE LORD’S PRAYER
    . . . Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will
    be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our
    debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
    evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

INVITATION TO GIVE

MUSICAL INTERLUDE                         People, Look East                       Glory to God, #105
     [During the interlude, recall two or three things that happened this week for which you are
       grateful. Cherish them, and then thank God for these gifts. You are also invited to turn
         to this hymn and notice the lyrical way in which the Lord’s coming influences all creation]

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

*HYMN                           My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout            Glory to God, #100

*BENEDICTION

*CHORAL RESPONSE Surely, the Presence of the Lord – see screens

POSTLUDE Go, Tell It on the Mountain – Hayes

************************

ANNOUNCEMENTS

During this time of uncertainty, New Covenant Community Church will be faithful
in trusting and abiding in God’s guidance,
and continue to be welcoming, inclusive, and steadfast
in our mission, ministry, and hospitality.
We will be open to new pastoral leadership and the new things God is doing among us.

This morning we welcome Mary Brooks, the president of Akron Interfaith Immigration
Advocates. She will share a Minute for Mission with us in regard to the work of AIIA and our
collection drive.

The Worship Committee will meet tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Eastminster Presbyter will hold its Stated Meeting on Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom. At this
meeting, the presbytery’s search committee will present its candidate for the General Presbyter
and Stated Clerk.

The Mission Committee would like to announce that we will once again be distributing
“Christmas baskets” in the form of Acme Gift Cards (valued at $50), which will be sent to 30
families. Please consider contributing by mailing or placing your check in the offering plates and
marking them “Christmas gift cards or Christmas baskets.”

Next week, we will have the pleasure of welcoming Rev. Phil Tom to our church. Phil currently
serves a dual ministry as Executive Director for the International Council of Community
Churches, and as a consultant for The Riverside Church in New York City. He has served as a
pastor for 26 years in Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, and New York City.

As we move through this holiday season, we can continue to contribute to a Christmas Collection
for our sisters and brothers in Akron’s immigrant community. The Akron Interfaith Immigration
Advocates is inviting to share gifts of . . .
     detergent
     hand soap
     cleaning supplies
     dish soap
     toilet paper
     2-pound bags of black beans or pinto beans
     cooking oil
     paper towels
     5-pound bags of rice
     $10 gift cards from Walmart, Target, or Dollar General

Announcements for 1/22/23

Learn how to help the family of a pregnant mom, killed two days before Christmas, in this week’s announcements.

Who in the World Cares?

Rev. Ulrich shows how much God cares, through the story of Jonah.

From Obstacle to Opportunity

Rev. Tom Ulrich teaches how God can take an obstacle and turn it into an opportunity.

More Than A Meal

Read how an upcoming event will be more than a meal in this week’s announcements.

Upcoming Events at NCCC

This week’s announcements have information about several upcoming events.