Saint Alban's Anglican Church

Committed to sharing Christ's Commandments: To love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves, through worship, education and outreach.



First Sunday of Advent: Hope

12/02/2012 - Advent Service


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FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT: HOPE


THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT: HOPE

Celebrant - Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Hope.

First Voice - Our hope is in God, and in his son Jesus Christ. He is the one appointed by God to be judge of all things. He is the one through whom God has promised to save and redeem his people.

Second Voice - Why do we light the candle?

Third Voice - We light this candle today to remind us that he is our hope and the hope of the world. We thank God for the promises he has made to us and for the light he has brought into the world.

Light the First Purple Candle

Together - Let us pray: O God of Hope, Emmanuel, God with Us we pray you to send your light into our hearts at this time. Help us to be ready for the day and the hour of Christ's final appearing. Live in us and help us to live in you. By the power of the Holy Spirit, transform us so that our worship, our celebration, our time of preparation, may be pleasing unto you - both now - and forevermore. Amen.

Old Testament Lesson


Zechariah 14:4-9
14:4 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that half of the Mount shall withdraw northwards, and the other half southwards. 5 And you shall flee by the valley of the LORD''s mountain, for the valley between the mountains shall reach to Azal; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

6 On that day there shall not be either cold or frost. 7 And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the LORD), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light.

8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter.

9 And the LORD will become king over all the earth; on that day the LORD will be one and his name one.


Psalm 50


Psalm 50
1The LORD, the God of gods, has spoken; *
he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to
    its setting.
2Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *
God reveals himself in glory.
3Our God will come and will not keep silence; *
before him there is a consuming flame,
    and round about him a raging storm.
4He calls the heavens and the earth from above *
to witness the judgment of his people.
5""Gather before me my loyal followers, *
those who have made a covenant with me
    and sealed it with sacrifice.""
6Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; *
for God himself is judge.
7Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
    ""O Israel, I will bear witness against you; *
for I am God, your God.
8I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices; *
your offerings are always before me.
9I will take no bull calf from your stalls, *
nor he goats out of your pens;
10For all the beasts of the forest are mine, *
the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
11I know every bird in the sky, *
and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
12If I were hungry, I would not tell you, *
for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.
13Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls, *
or drink the blood of goats?
14Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and make good your vows to the Most High.
15Call upon me in the day of trouble; *
I will deliver you, and you shall honor me.""
16But to the wicked God says: *
""Why do you recite my statutes,
     and take my covenant upon your lips;
17Since you refuse discipline, *
and toss my words behind your back?
18When you see a thief, you make him your friend, *
and you cast in your lot with adulterers.
19You have loosed your lips for evil, *
and harnessed your tongue to a lie.
20You are always speaking evil of your brother *
and slandering your own mother''s son.
21These things you have done, and I kept still, *
and you thought that I am like you.""
22AI have made my accusation; *
I have put my case in order before your eyes.
23Consider this well, you who forget God, *
lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
24Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving
    honors me; *
but to those who keep in my way will I show
    the salvation of God.""

New Testament Lesson


1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
3:9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13 And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.


Gospel


Luke 21:25-31
21:25 ''There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see ""the Son of Man coming in a cloud"" with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.''

29 Then he told them a parable:''Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

Sermon



New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of Ameria. Used by permission. All rights reserved.