4 Advent: Love in Action “True, Honorable Love” Philippians 4:8-9, Holy Communion & 4 Advent Candle Art to Color

Photo: Fourth Candle of Advent – Father Joseph. Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021. Worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

4 Advent Candle Art to Color BELOW — enjoy!

BCCC Worship Schedule

In-person worship services: 11am 1st and 2nd Sundays; ZOOM worship services: 2pm the other Sundays of the month; In-person Christmas Eve worship service: 2pm Dec 24th, Holy Communion

We Gather

“Character is what you are in the dark.” -Dwight Lyman Moody

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey – you are welcome this 4th Sunday of Advent. Our Advent theme is “Love in Action.” Committed to right action, we honor the Lisjan-Ohlone peoples upon whose unceded land we live and practice ministry.

Advent Wreath Invocation (Advent Wreath household)

This week, St Paul reminds us to fix our minds on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, of excellence, and worthy of praise. Such focus leads us to uplifting Love in Action.

We light the Fourth Candle of Advent in tribute to Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, a man who daily modeled the noblest virtues. May St Joseph’s example inspire us to be our best selves for the well-being of all beings. Amen.

Light the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Advent Candles (Advent Wreath household)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) Offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

*Song: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” Words: Phillip Brooks, 1868; Music: Lewis H Redner, 1868. Chalice Hymnal #144.

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence) Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

Beloved Ones, even when we have forgotten we are made in the image of God, God has not forgotten our original nature. We are designed to be noble creatures, caring and insightful. We are meant to dwell with each other giving comfort and aid, assurance and companionship. Rest in the grace of our Original Blessing. God is good. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Philippians 4:8-9 (NRSV)

(Concluding his letter to the young church in Philippi, St Paul invites them to root in what is truly good.)

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Sermon “Love in Action: True, Honorable Love” (pastor) God’s love is forever good, forever worthy and fruitful. We recall Jesus’s earthly father and St Paul’s invitation to be our best.

Special Music: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” Words: 12th century Latin hymn with 19th and 20th century verses. Music: 15th century French melody. Chalice Hymnal #119.

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Eternal Source of Hope and Integrity, this last Sunday of Advent we set our minds on You and Your beautiful vision of life on earth. We have been disappointed, soiled, wounded and harmed; we have fallen away from Your vision. Call us back into hope. Lure us to the Eternally Good that we might nurture what is worthy and truly redemptive. We ask this, Parent of All, not for ourselves, but for our children and their descendants. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

Invitation to Holy Communion

Come youthful laborers and wizened elders!

Come refugees and persons born of this land!

Come friend and foe, stranger and kin!

Come one and all to this Holy Table!

This blessed meal is offered to everyone who wishes to partake – residents of earth or heaven. Let us speak the names of those who are not physically present with whom we wish to be spiritually gathered. (Say names out loud.)

Prayer of Preparation (followed by silence for confession)

In the way of St Joseph, father of Jesus, we approach this ritual with humility and eagerness to be changed by God. We come seeking to be the best we can be, relying upon God’s help.

Let us pray:

Holy God, receive us now as we present our silent offerings of confession and regret. Please transform our misdeeds and transgressions and bless us with Your sweet, holy forgiveness. Amen.

Silence

God’s Grace 

Before we named it, God knew it. Before we asked for forgiveness, God forgave us. Beloved Ones, we are tenderly and fiercely loved by the Source of All That Is. Receive the grace of forgiveness and the wonder of renewal, again. Amen.

Consecration of Elements

Place hands on the cup and the bread in your household.

Let us pray:

May our earnest hands behold these simple and wondrous items – a cup of juice, a piece of bread. In touching these, O God, may we also know we touch eternity. May they be for us symbols of the Living Christ who always was, is, and will always be. Amen.

Sharing the Elements

Jesus lifted up the loaf, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” With gratitude, let us receive.  (eat bread)

After supper, Jesus lifted up the cup, gave thanks to God, and offered it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” With gratitude, let us receive. (drink from cup)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Let us pray:

As we near the rebirth of the Living Christ, most Holy God, we pray that this meal will strengthen our character and expand our compassion. May we love a bit more as You love. For all we know that You have done for us, as well as all You have done that is still a mystery to us, we give thanks. Amen.

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements (pastor)

*Christmas Eve: In-person worship at BCCC, Friday 12/24 2pm. Holy Communion and outside caroling!

*Next Sunday: 1st Sunday of Christmas 2pm ZOOM. Wear something colorful for a service of singing and sharing!

*Song: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” Words: Phillip Brooks, 1868; Music: Lewis H Redner, 1868. Chalice Hymnal #144.

Benediction (pastor)

God has designed our souls to crave what is fundamentally good. Our deepest selves seek the solace of what is triumphantly worthy, for this is the way of peace. May the Peace of God be everyone. Amen.

The service is concluded.

4th Advent Candle: Father Joseph ~ Love in Action: True, Honorable Love

Candle Artwork: Jesus’ earthly father was an experienced carpenter. Jewish spiritual law (Torah) was his moral plumbline. Jesus learned from Joseph, the builder and righteous person, essential lessons reverberating with earthly (wooden design behind plumb) and heavenly (the larger, repeated design) qualities. The seven Stars of David represent the original Hebrew tribes, Jesus’ ancestors.

Color image below. Cut paper. Wrap art onto glass devotional candle (8” tall, 2.25” diameter). Tape.

Reading: This week, St Paul reminds us to fix our minds on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, of excellence, and worthy of praise. Such focus leads us to uplifting Love in Action. We light the Fourth Candle of Advent in tribute to Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, a man who daily modeled the noblest virtues. May St Joseph’s example inspire us to be our best selves for the well-being of all beings. Amen.  

Light the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Advent Candles.

Reflect: Whose “True, Honorable Love in Action” inspires you?

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: December 14, 2021.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s