04A – Advent 4A

03A - Advent 3A05A - Christmas Eve
See also my posts from 2013, 2016, 2019, 2022

PSALM 80:1-7,17-19
O Shepherd of Israel,
leading Joseph like a flock, listen;
seated upon the Cherubim, shine forth,
before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.
Stir up your strength
and come for our salvation.
O God, restore the life we once knew,
let your face shine that we may be saved.
O LORD, God of hosts,
how long will you fume at your people’s prayers?
You have fed us tears for bread,
and given us tears to drink by the flagon.
You have made us a disgrace among our neighbours,
and our enemies ridicule us among themselves.
O God, restore the life we once knew,
let your face shine that we may be saved.

Let your hand be on the one at your right,
upon the person you strengthened for yourself;
then we will never turn away from you.
Give us life, and we will call upon your name!
O LORD, God of hosts, restore the life we once knew,
let your face shine that we may be saved.

How long, Gracious God;
how long, Shepherd of your flock?
When will you restore the life we once knew;
when will you let your face shine that we may be saved?
Let your hand be on those whose food has been their tears
those drunk with grief and loneliness and pain.
Strengthen for yourself those ridiculed by oppression and helplessness;
give life to those we have named on our lips and in our hearts,
give life to those we cannot name so that they may call uponyour name
and never turn away from you;
in Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen

For the Fourth Sunday in Advent – Year A
We journey through Advent,
with our expectations and hopes;
our reasonable and ordered lives
conforming to the social boundaries
set layer by layer around us.
You confront us, O God,
with events and circumstances
which are not what they seem,
and we are disturbed
by the prospect of embarrassment,
of public disgrace.
Yet in this shame,
is wrapped your hope for the world,
God with us,
in an unexpected way.

Faithful God,
strengthen us by your spirit of mercy
that through the offerings of our hearts and our hands.
we might execute your justice for the oppressed
and feed the hungry;
in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

For use in worship, with acknowledgement. © Jeff Shrowder 1999, 2013.

A CREATIVE MOMENT – Matthew 1:18-25
(a) A reminder of the themes of the gospel readings of past weeks, the blue cloth this week symbolises Mary, birth, and the presence/intervention of the Holy Spirit. A lit candle might also symbolise Joseph’s vision/dream, and a light or insight for the way ahead.

(b) Click here for some ideas for worship in Advent and Christmas gleaned from the pages of “On the Move” (now out of print) originally published by the Joint Board of Christian Education, Melbourne, Australia.

(A prayer to gather the spoken and silent concerns/joys/thanks expressed by the congregation and lead into a more structured Intercession with connection to the lections for the day. Sometimes this prayer borrows lightly from other sources e.g. Uniting in Worship 2 or publications of the Iona Community.)

Compassionate mystery we name God,
by the warmth of your Spirit
set the prisoner free,
open the eyes of the blind,
lift up those who are bowed down,
comfort those whom we name
on our lips and in our silence…
those who love and care for them…
those who troubles are known only to you…
those who have no-one…
By the light of your Word
strengthen us
in our following the way of Jesus,
in whose name we pray.
         (The Prayers of the People continue)

Looking for contemporary music and song resources? Try David MacGregor’s Together to Celebrate
Or metrical psalms? Try Dale A. Schoening’s Sing the Psalms >

Hail to the Lord’s annointed TIS 275
Hark the glad sound! The Saviour comes TIS 269
The advent of our God TIS 271
The Lord’s is the earth and all its fullness TIS 13
You gates lift up your heads TIS 12
Isaiah 7:10-16
O come! O come, Emmanuel TIS 265
Put all your trust in God TIS 555
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
God is my strong salvation TIS 15
My heart is full of Christ, and longs TIS 214
O Shepherd of Israel hear us TIS 42
Your hand, O God, has guided TIS 456
Romans 1:1-7
Join all the glorious names of wisdom,love TIS 205
O come, all ye faithful TIS 304
We have a gospel to proclaim TIS 245
Matthew 1:18-25
Angels from the realms of glory TIS 309
Coldly the night winds winging TIS 321
Come, thou long expected Jesus TIS 272
Come, your hearts and voices raising TIS 297
Give me the wings of faith to rise TIS 438
He who by a mother’s love TIS 277
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds TIS 223
Join all the glorious names of wisdom,love TIS 205
Joseph, your love of life brought an engagement TIS 328
Let earth and heaven combine TIS 305
Lft up your heads, you mighty gates TIS 267
Lift high the cross TIS 351
O come! O come, Emmanuel TIS 265
Of the Father’s love begotten ere the worlds TIS 290
On Christmas night all Christians sing TIS 300
Saviour of the nations, come TIS 295
The angel Gabriel from heaven came TIS 302
The King of Glory comes TIS 279
The Virgin Mary had a baby boy TIS 307

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