SALUTATION AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
* PASSING OF THE PEACE
* SANCTUS (pew card)
* CALL TO WORSHIP/CANDLE LIGHTING, Sarah, Bob & Annabelle White
Leader: Prepare the way of the Lord.
People: During Advent, we prepare for the coming of God’s kingdom.
Leader: O God, open the doors to our hearts, that this year we may have room for the birth of Jesus.
People: We gather to watch for the coming of the good news into our world and into our lives.
Leader: In anticipation we gather. With expectation we wait.
People: We wait to see the fullness of God’s vision.
Leader: We light this first candle as a sign of our waiting and hope for the light of Christ.
People: Let us walk in the light of the Lord.
* HYMN No. 133: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
* PRAYER OF CONFESSION (unison)
Merciful Lord, we sadly confess having done so little with so much. Forgive us Lord, for not bending the knee, for not hoping in your Word, for not searching our hearts, for not facing our sins, for not caring for the poor and for not waiting for your coming. Forgive us and make us new in your light. Amen.
* KYRIE (pew card)
* ASSURANCE OF PARDON
* SUMMARY OF THE LAW
Leader: Herein is wisdom.
People: Glory be to God.
* Gloria Patri(pew card)
ANTHEM: Springs in the Desert, Arthur B. Jennings
Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not; behold,your God will come and save you.
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams flow in the desert, and the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.
A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the redeemed shall walk there: and the ransomed of the Lord shall return with songs and everlasting joy: and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Lord’s Prayer (pew card)
Prayer response, Johann Wolfgang Frank
O Jesus, with Thy advent quiet my restless soul and anxious mind. In true humility I welcome Thee, Jesus Christ, my Joy divine. My thought, desires, and all my longings I dedicate, O Christ, to Thee. O come, Thou precious Sun most radiant, Thy beams illumine my heart and soul.
* HYMN No. 132: Comfort, Comfort Now My People
2 Kings 22:1-13, 18-20; 23:1-3, Pew Bible, page 310
Josiah Reigns over Judah
Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; he reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.
Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law
In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying,‘Go up to the high priest Hilkiah, and have him count the entire sum of the money that has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people; let it be given into the hand of the workers who have the oversight of the house of the Lord; let them give it to the workers who are at the house of the Lord, repairing the house, that is, to the carpenters, to the builders, to the masons; and let them use it to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But no account shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.’
The high priest Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, ‘I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.’ When Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, he read it. Then Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, ‘Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workers who have oversight of the house of the Lord.’ Shaphan the secretary informed the king, ‘The priest Hilkiah has given me a book.’ Shaphan then read it aloud to the king.
When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. Then the king commanded the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary, and the king’s servant Asaiah, saying, ‘Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our ancestors did not obey the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.’ But as to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard how I spoke against this place, and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says the Lord.Therefore, I will gather you to your ancestors, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring on this place.’ They took the message back to the king.
Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.
Matthew 23:23-31, Pew Bible, page 805
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practised without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
SERMON: While We Wait, Rev. Blaine Crawford
* CONFESSION OF FAITH: The Apostles’ Creed (pew card)
OFFERING OURSELVES AND OUR GIFTS
Offertory: E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come, Paul Manz
Peace be to you and grace from him who freed us from our sins, who loved us all and shed his blood that we might saved be. Sing holy, holy to our Lord, the Lord, Almighty God, who was and is and is to come; sing holy, holy, Lord! Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell therein, rejoice on earth, ye saints below, for Christ is coming, is coming soon! E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come, and night shall be no more; they need no light nor lamp nor sun, for Christ will be their All!
* The Doxology(pew card)
* Prayer of Dedication
* HYMN No. 135: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Response: Alleluia, Amen!, Charles Villiers Stanford
POSTLUDE: From Heaven Above to Earth I Come, J. S. Bach
OUR APPRECIATION FOR TODAY’S VOLUNTEERS:
Van Drivers: Gary LiBert (AM), Buck Kellaway (PM)
Coffee Hour Hosts: Angela Edward, Judi Hunt, Judie Kellaway, Yoon Ryo
Greeters: Linda Diez, Angela Edward
HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE PARSONAGE
December 12, 3-6 PM: All are invited to a holiday party at the home of Blaine and Brittnee. Snacks and drinks will be provided. The party is a drop-in affair; come and go as you wish!
DEVOTIONAL BOOKLETS – Our Daily Bread devotional booklets can be found on a table at the back of the sanctuary. You are invited to take a copy for use in your personal meditations.
AUCTION 2016 is scheduled for Saturday, January 9, 2016 in Gessner Hall. If you have small, easily transportable items to donate, WE WILL PICK UP YOUR DONATIONS. We do not take very heavy items or large furniture. Call the Church Office or Ray Durney (718) 461-1947.
COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Please pick a date on the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in Gessner Hall or speak with Rhoda Jabbour.
PRAYER REQUESTS: Jorel Andaluz, Grace Attanasio, Carolyn Brunjes, Donald Calfa, Allegra DeMelo, Ed Diercks, Dombrowski Family, Edythe Durney, Rob Gessner, Jenny Hampton, Richard Holm, Robert Keller, Karen Krieg, Fritz Kunisch, Sandra Lauterbach, Ann McCaffrey-Amalfitano, Rev. John H. Meyer, John Molino, Denise Moran, Michael Patras, Keith Pearson, Dorothy Rama, Dorothy Reid, Josephine Rivera, Isabelita Rueda, Matthew Schulman, Peter Schumacher, Janice Serra, Carmela Stocchia, Lynne Sullivan, Emily Testut