Lord, are we yet alive? We feel pain and sorrow and happiness and joy. We cry, wail, laugh, and dance. Are these signs that we are alive? Or are they hints of death while masquerading as signs of life? We find it hard to believe, Lord, that we come to life through being baptized into your Son’s death. Yet, you have made us your baptized people, giving us life abundant, life that make our pain, sorrow, happiness, and joy real. Life that makes our crying, wailing, laughing, and dance service to one another. Raise us then from our watery graves shouting, “Jesus Christ is Lord!” so that the world may see your liveliness, your love.
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 61.1-4, 8-11:
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion – to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the plant of the Lord, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with garland, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
Hymn 202 – People, Look East:
V1. People, look east. The time is near of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today: Love, the Guest, is on the way.
V2. Furrow, be glad. Though earth is bare, one more seed is planted there.
Give up your strength the seed to nourish, that in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today: Lord, the Rose, is on the way.
V3. Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim, one more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty death, bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today: Love, the Star, is on the way.
V4. Angels announce with shouts of mirth him who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today: Love, the Lord, is on the way.
Sermon: Advent(ure) Time
Lord, you are the God of time, the end of all our beginnings, and you have made time for us a gift. Therefore, Lord, remind us that we are creatures with a beginning. We confess we often forget we are your tuneful creatures. We fear the forgetfulness our death beckons. We are drive frantically to work, thinking we can ensure we will not be forgotten, marking our place in time. How silly we must look to you. Help us, then, to take joy and rest in your time, a time redeemed through Jesus’ resurrection, that we can rest easy even in our dying for you have given us all the time in the world – o that we would take pleasure in it. Amen.
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