#Advent 2 RCL

Isaiah 11 Advent 2 assumes we are broken and withered,

No one is healthy and whole

We are the remnant in need

and need care, the shoot comes from the stump

And glorious rest is promised at the end

That is The Emmanuel

Advent promises

Give everyone sick leave

medical care


And mental health care

Art by Katy Stenta on Canva, feel free to use

Love, A Prayer for Such a Time as This

I know what it is
to love
And have nothing else.

I know what it is to be sick
for a week, a month,
a year
and pray and hope for treatment
And be stuck with nothing but waiting
And illnesses wash over you–and you are stuck with surviving
at such a time as this

I know what it is to see your beloved stuck in the throes of psychosis
Screaming for you to help them
And you are right there
But they can’t hear or see your love
at such a time as this

I know what it is to be the one talking to estranged family members
hearing both sides of the story
Knowing that both sides are right in their own way
seeing the irony of how similar they
and bearing the sadness of their loneliness and hurt during the holidays
at such a time as this

I know what it is to worry about your kids getting sick
And the dangers of gun violence that seem to be around every corner
but that society has deemed that the economy is important, so you send them
To school, to the theater, to the shopping center, to activities
at such a time as this

I know what it is to act in love
To make the best choice one can
When there is not right choice
Only the best choice at hand-
After years of “once in lifetimes” wars, violences, protests, recessions and pandemics, until we learn the truth God
at such a time as this

We are in an apocalyptic times: a great revealing of truths.
In such a time as this
I keep learning the authentic sacrifices of love:
communication, doing one’s best, forgiveness, boundaries
God, you don’t have to be Queen Esther to live in this advent world
at such a time as this

We are all holding each other’s hands
And walking each other home
In such a time as this–
God, I know you understand too
I’m hanging onto that with both hands
this advent, as I’m waiting
at such a time as this

Let’s light a candle of love,
especially at such a time as this,
light this candle with us I pray

Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Full Advent Resources

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Advent 2 Full of Purpose Narrative Lectionary Year 4

Full Bulletin by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl

Isaiah 55:1-13

John 4:13-14

Call to Worship:

God we are thirsty for you.

Come Holy Spirit, fill us up.

God we long for peace

Come Christ, we long for your Peace.

God we are ready.

Come let us spend some time with God today.

Jesus we are here longing for you

Prayer of Confession: God we are thirsty for your presence, because we know when we get it our purpose will become clear, and our need to pursue and accumulate anything and everything will disappear, and we will finally, finally be at peace. But God, we confess, we are not at peace yet, we continue to thirst for more, we continue long for all that we do not yet possess. Forgive us, and help us to see the feast you set before us and to be satisfied, we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Christ’s mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, we are already forgiven. Let us glory in the good news; In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication/Day: God you are enough. Let us remember and dedicate ourselves to you today and everyday we pray. Amen.

Hymns: See Advent Candle Suggestions


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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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY

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 

https://youtu.be/NQpj4TSe-Ec (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. http://www.freshworship.org/

3 From https://spaciousfaith.com/2017/12/01/offertory-prayers-for-advent/

Narrative Lectionary Advent 2: Isaiah 40:1-11 (December 8, 2019)

Image by Jan Richardson; copyrighted and available for $15 or if you buy a membership. Go to


This one is less mature/developed than some I have done, but there is a lot out there since this is also RCL.

Advent Hymns to Christmas Carol Tunes

Narrative Lectionary Advent Liturgy



As if it were designed for a prophetic summary of the New Testament, it begins with that which begins the gospels, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness” (ch. xl. 3), and concludes with that which concludes the book of the Revelation, “The new heavens and the new earth,” (ch. lxvi. 22).


Speak to the heart of Jerusalem (v. 2); speak that which will revive her heart, and be a cordial to her and to all that belong to her and wish her well. Do not whisper it, but cry unto her: cry aloud, to show saints their comforts as well as to show sinners their transgressions; make her hear it:”


We must get into such a frame of spirit as will dispose us to receive Christ and his gospel: “Prepare you the way of the Lord; prepare yourselves for him, and let all that be suppressed which would be an obstruction to his entrance. Make room for Christ: Make straight a highway for him.



(RCL context) Images, juxtapositions and sudden, surprising comfort


http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2254 (RCL context) Three proclamations build on the imperative to comfort God’s people in verse 1: highway in the desert; the Words; heralding good tidings.


http://www.textweek.com/prophets/isaiah40a.htm “Voices Crying Out: Comfort and Transformation in an Age of Mass Incarceration,”

“How might Christians raise awareness of different forms of exile in our nation and world?”


https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1099 (NL context)

Double imperative: Comfort! Comfort! The people of Jerusalem are not “deserving” of comfort according to the norms of retributive justice, but God insists — no, commands — that they be comforted.



Two minute Youtube video on “The people are like grass.”


See complete list of Isaiah 40:1-11 Working Preacher commentaries at https://www.workingpreacher.org/search/Default.aspx?cx=001947499050786061073:fplx-aun2rq&q=Isaiah%2040&cof=FORID:10&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&search_domain=WWW


Preaching and Worship resources from Calvin College’s curated resources





Jewish Bible translation



Word study




speaking comfortably



bringing good tidings







Advent candlelighting; opening prayer; call to worship; rite of confession; hymns; offering prayer; and a confession of faith. Please note **/*** at the end indicating sources and give appropriate credit. If not **/*** then from Barb Hedges-Goettl, please give credit if using/adapting these as well. Thank you.




Call to worship



Opening liturgy



More from worship.blogspot.com at


Scroll down to see the Isaiah 40 links


In the context of Blue Christmas/Longest Night; if you’re not doing a separate service, you could provide for folks in need of this kind of a service this week. See








Handel’s “Messiah”










Note: these are copyrighted and available for a fee or if you pay to be a member.