Narrative Lectionary Advent 2 Bulletin by Rev. Dr Barb Hedges-Goettl

Prelude Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates Gramophone Ghana Chorus 

Opening Prayer1

The coming of our Lord is near, And we wait in joyful expectation,
Draw close, Lord Jesus Christ,
Shed your light on all that is filled with darkness.
The coming of our Lord is near, And we wait with hope filled hearts,
Draw close, God’s beloved son,
Teach us the wonder of your all-embracing love. Amen.

Call to Worship and Advent Candle-lighting2

O God, in this season of waiting, of longing, of looking for you                            to come into our world. We are seeking light

In our own lives We are seeking light

In our neighborhoods We are seeking light

In our families We are seeking light

In our work and in our homes We are seeking light

In Grace We are seeking light

In our nation We are seeking light

In our world We are seeking light

We seek, Lord, that we may find

We knock, Lord, that you will open the door

We ask, Lord, that it may be given

Light of the world, lighten our darkness. Amen

Hymn Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus  

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. (interlude)

by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.

Call to Confession  (Joel 12:13-14, The Message)

 God’s personal Message is that it is not too late.
“Come back to me and really mean it!
    Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!”

13-14 Change your life, not just your clothes.
    Come back to God, your God.

Prayer of Confession

Spirit, you are alive in me.

And sometimes I’m afraid.

Spirit, you nudge me. You whisper in my ear.
You blow around me, Urging me to action.

And sometimes I’m afraid.

Spirit, you are alive in me. And you are always here.
Always moving, always calling. And I am unaware.

And sometimes I’m afraid. 

Afraid of the task. Afraid of caring.
Afraid of responsibility. Afraid of myself.

(Silent Confession)

Assurance of Pardon 

The Spirit will lead you. You will hear the Spirit call.
You will journey with the Spirit, even when you are afraid.

The Spirit is alive in you, and you are alive in the Spirit.

Thanks be to God for the Good News:  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father 

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)

Hymn of Dedication  O Little Town of Bethlehem Kaleb Brassee

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above
While mortals sleep the angels keep their watch of wondering love
Oh morning stars together, proclaim thy holy birth.
And praises sing to God the king, and peace to all on earth.

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by (pause)
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Doxology (Blue, #592)   Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

Prayer of Dedication 3

Holy One, this Advent season we wait in hope.
And we give in hope: Hope for your coming reign,

Hope because of your presence with us even now.
Receive and use these gifts and our very lives for your work 

of healing and hope in our world. Amen.  

Prayer for Illumination  Break Thou the Bread of Life (no intro)

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word!

Old Testament Reading  Joel 2:1-3,12-13, 28-29 (NRSV) 

1Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
    for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near—
a day of darkness and gloom,
    a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread upon the mountains
    a great and powerful army comes;
their like has never been from of old,
    nor will be again after them
    in ages to come.

Fire devours in front of them,
    and behind them a flame burns.
Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,
    but after them a desolate wilderness,
    and nothing escapes them.

12   Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13     rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,   and relents from punishing.

28 Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female slaves, 

in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

New Testament Reading   Luke 11:5-13

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks fora fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spiritto those who ask him!”


Affirmation of Faith   (John 1, NRSV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 

and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 

All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, 

and the life was the light of all people. The light shines 

in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 

10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him;  yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own,     and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children             of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh             or of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh                  and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory                          as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

Closing Hymn  It Came Upon a Midnight Clear 

It came upon the midnight clear That glorious song of old
From angels bending near the earth To touch their harps of gold
Peace on the earth, good will to men From heaven’s all gracious king
The world in solemn stillness lay To hear the angels sing

Still through the cloven skies they come With peaceful wings unfurled 

And still their heavenly music floats O’er all the weary world
Above its sad and lowly plains They bend on hovering wing
And ever o’er its Babel sounds The blessed angels sing

All ye, beneath life’s crushing load Whose forms are bending low
Who toil along the climbing way With painful steps and slow
Look, now for glad and golden hours Come swiftly on the wing
O rest beside the weary road And hear the angels sing

Charge and Benediction

Postlude It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Josh Groban

1 Prayer by Christine Sine (2012), posted on GodSpace.

2   From the website of Grace Church in Ealing, London.

3 From

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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