Lord, have mercy on all of humankind, who today are once again especially plagued, threatened and haunted by so much foolishness. Enlighten the thoughts of those in both the East and the West, the South and the North who are in power and who, as appears to be the case, are today in complete confusion and despair. Give the rulers and representatives of the people, the judges, teachers, and bureaucrats, give even the media the insight and sobriety that are necessary for their responsible work. Place the right, necessary and helpful words on the lips of those who have to preach during this Advent Season, and open then also the ears and hearts of those who hear them. Comfort and encourage those who are sick, both in body and spirit, in hospitals, as well as prisoners, and those who are distressed, abandoned or despairing. Help them with what alone can truly help them and all of us: the clarity of your Word and the quiet work of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
The number of COVID19 cases in our immediate area is such that we will continue to only offer worship online until it is reasonably safe for us to reopen.
Until that time, we will continue to offer mid-week prayers, live videos, and email devotionals.
Online giving can be made on our About page on the church website, cokesburyumc.church which will be linked in the video description for live worship as well as checks through the mail.
Christmas Eve Worship – Cokesbury will be hosting two Christmas Eve worship services on 12/24 – We will have a Drive-In Service of Word and Sacrament at 3pm and an online service at 7pm. In support of Featherstone Elementary, we will be collecting solar powered calculators and books at the 3pm drive-in service – more details will follow.
*Advent Candle Lighting
Hymn 249 – Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace.
Lord, open our hearts and minds by the power of your Holy Spirit, that, as the Scriptures are read and your Word proclaimed, we may hear with joy what you say to us today…
And as you taught us, so now we pray… 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 trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
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 cried 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 all 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.
Hymn 213 – Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates:
V1. Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates; behold the King of glory waits;
The King of kings is drawing near, the Savior of the world is here!
V2. Fling wide the portals of your heart; make it a temple set apart
From earthly use for heaven’s empty, adorned with prayer and love and joy.
V3. Redeemer, come, with us abide; out hearts to thee we open wide;
Let us thy inner presence feel; thy grace and love in us reveal.
V4. Thy Holy Spirit lead us on until our glorious goal is won;
Eternal praise, eternal fame be offered, Savior, to thy name!
Sermon: A New Hope
Lord, our God and Father, give to many, to all, and to us as well, that we may celebrate Advent like this: that in complete thankfulness, utter humility and then complete joy and confidence we may come to the One whom you have sent, and in whom you yourself have come to us. Clean out the many things in us that now that the hour has come have become impossible for us, can no longer belong to us, may, must, and will fall away from us, by virtue of your Son, our Lord and Savior, who enters in and makes something of our nothing.
Offering – Reminder for online giving, through the mail, or the drop slot at the church.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Blessing and Benediction