Up to Restoration

An Advent Song of Ascents

First Sunday of Advent, Year A

It’s Advent! Surely the season speaks for itself; no need for notes from us, right? Well, there are always some questions that we ask this time of year. How soon should the Christmas decorations go up? When can we start singing Christmas carols? All those are the usual questions the worship leaders struggle with year after year.


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Opening Prayer

(Inspired by Psalm 122)

Heavenly Father, we rejoice that we can come into Your house today and worship You with those who love You, too. Thank You for inspiring and leading Your people to establish Your house here in this place.

We pray that all who worship here might experience Your love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

We pray for Your people all the world over, and we pray that they might prosper along with us as we serve You and others.

May everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior find and experience peace with God, others, and themselves. Through Your only begotten Son, we pray, “Our Father. . .”

Written by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. (© 2007), and posted on A Psalm and a Prayer. https://www.ouosu.com/APsalmandAPrayer/psalm122.htm. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/10/call-to-worship-and-prayer-psalm-122.html.

Swords into Ploughshares

(Inspired by Isaiah 2:1-5)

In the last days
they will beat their swords into ploughshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.

So, in these days,
we will turn around the camera
of our self-centered selfies
to take a long, loving look
at the face of Christ in others.

So, in these days,
we will upturn the podium
of our calculated competitiveness
and elevate the least among us.

So, in these days,
we will dismantle the walls of our fear,
which keep at arm’s length the refugees,
the foreigners, the homeless,
and build them homes
with those same bricks and these same arms...

Written by Angela Bryan and Sam Hargreaves. To use this prayer (or part of this prayer) in worship, please use the following attribution: copyright © Angela Bryan, Sam Hargreaves/engageworship.org. (See https://engageworship.org/ideas/swords-into-ploughshares-prayer.) Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2016/11/advent-prayer-swords-into-ploughshares.html.

Prayer of Confession

Lord of all times, we come into your presence asking your forgiveness. We have failed to live as people of the present. We have wasted our moments, wanting the future now, seeing our dreams as the answer to today’s problems. Rather than seeing your blessing in each day, we have looked backward to glory days that seem glorious only in their passing. Open our eyes to our mission at hand. Open our ears to your message to us today, that we might share in bringing the good news of your salvation to the world. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Christ has paid the price for your sin because he sought your presence in the house of God. When we confess our sin, we no longer have to fear the throne of judgment. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!

Kitty Cooper Holtzclaw, The Abingdon Women’s Preaching Annual, Series 2, Year A, Compiled and edited by Lenora Tubbs Tisdale (Abingdon, 2001), 17.

Pastoral Prayer

(Inspired by Psalm 122)

God of love and mercy,
thank you for your great gift of your Child, Jesus Christ,
who fills us with all that we need.

Merciful God,
we are fully aware that not all your children
are able to bask in joy or peace during this season.

We pray for peace within all walls:
walls within our own homes,
walls that surround each city and town.

We pray that during this season of Advent
we may usher your promise of salvation into our lives
and that we may share the Good News of our Savior with others.

We pray that the promise of your birth
may be the promise that we live in and share at home,
at work and at school.

May we be moved to compassion and action in your name.

We pray this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ
who taught us all to pray, saying...

By Rev. Elizabeth Aguilar, in First Sunday of Advent: Peace Within All Walls. Posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website. https://www.ucc.org/what-we-do/justice-local-church-ministries/local-church/worship-resources/worship-ways-2. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/10/pastoral-prayer-psalm-122.html.

Closing Commission

(Inspired by Isaiah 2:1-5)

Go forth and walk the path of the Lord.
Go forth and live as one instructed in the ways of the Lord.
Take the weapons of your life
and turn them into instruments of peace and justice.
Praise be to our God who shows us the way!

Written by Randy S. Clay, in The Journal of Worship Resources, Vol. 18, No. 1.Reposted:

In This Series...

First Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes


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In This Series...

First Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes