December 5, 2021
Second Sunday in Advent
Advent calls us to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. While we consider joining people all around us preparing for parties, dinners and presents, may we not lose our way amidst these distractions but rather be reminded of a voice crying from the margins: “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” May we make a straight path for the Prince of Peace.
The Second candle of Advent we light today is a sign of the peace Christ brings.
adapted from Webber’s Services of The Church Year.
led by maxeltoft
led by Dana
WELCOME, COMMUNITY LIFE, & GREETING
CALL TO WORSHIP & AS WE LIGHT
THE ADVENT CANDLES (based on Isaiah 9, 11)
Leader: The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light!
People: On those living in the land of the shadow of death, a new light has dawned!
L: A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from this root a Righteous Branch will bear fruit.
P: The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him –
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
L: In righteousness He will judge the needy, with justice He will decide for the poor of the earth.
P: In that day He will bring peace to the earth.
L: The wolf will live in peace with the lamb and the leopard will lie down in stillness with the goat.
P: No more will anyone harm or destroy another, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord!
LET ALL MORTAL FLESH KEEP SILENCE
(verses 1-3 only)
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in his Hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords in human vesture,
In the boy and the blood,
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heav’nly food.
Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the pow’rs of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.
Covenant Hymnal, page 127
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH & THE LORD’S PRAYER
We continue to pray for: the family of Kari Hutson, Ernesto Galaviz, Kristine Brandel’s friend Terrie, Nikolas Arden, Katie Collier, Chuck & Shirley Nicholas, Art & Rosa Hamilton, Esther Stoel, the Koeller family, Joyce Andrews, Brianna Randall, Mark Erickson’s sister Sue Kelly and family, Steve Hoden, Devencie Ervin and his family, Delores Staurseth, Tom Kelly, Brian Alnes, Tom Spriggs, Jane Auger, Mary McKirchy, and Brian Finnegan.
Ministries & Mission
Karl & Mary Noren, serving in Cameroon; Barb & Steve Swanson, serving in Sweden
THE LORD’S PRAYER:
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 sins as we forgive those who sin 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.
Children ages 3-5 are dismissed to the fellowship hall at this time for Children’s Church.
led by Mary and Cynthia
DOXOLOGY & PRAYER
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
OLD TESTAMENT LESSON
1The hand of the Lord came upon me, and He brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
Through the eyes of man it seems
There’s so much we have lost
As we look down the road
Where all the prodigals have walked
And one by one the enemy
Has whispered lies and led them off as slaves
But we know that You are God
Yours is the victory
We know there is more to come
That we may not yet see
So with the faith You’ve given us
We step into the valley unafraid
We call out to dry bones come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones come alive
God of endless mercy, God of unrelenting love
Rescue ev’ry daughter
Bring us back the wayward sons
And by Your spirit breathe upon them
Show the world that You alone can save
You alone can save
(So) breathe O breath of God
Now breathe O breath of God
Breathe O breath of God, now breathe (yeah oh)
CCLI Song # 6573588 CCLI License # 349090
Lauren Daigle | Michael Farren © 2012 CentricSongs
11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”
(Stand as you are able for the reading of the Gospel.)
25 Jesus said to [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
Leader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, Amen.
REFLECTING ON THE WORD
Coming Home & Re-Connecting
PREPARE A PLACE
Prepare a place while you’re waiting
Prepare a place for the coming One
Prepare a place and be patient
While you wait for the coming One
Prepare your heart while you’re waiting
Prepare your heart for the coming One
Set time aside and be quiet
While you wait for the coming One
Wait for the coming One
While you wait for the coming One
CCLI Song # 4431127 CCLI License # 349090
Christine Dente | Michael W. Smith © 2004 Smittyfly Music
CONFESSION OF SIN & PASSING OF PEACE
L: As we move towards the table let us remember the proof of God’s amazing love is this: while we were sinners Christ died for us. Because we have faith in Him, we dare to approach God with confidence. In humility and faith let us confess our sin to God:
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us confess our sins against God and neighbor.
All: Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in Your will, and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your Name. Amen.
PASSING THE PEACE
L: Since in Christ we are reconciled to God, so also we are reconciled to each other, the members of His body, the Church. May God’s peace extend throughout this congregation.
L: Peace of Christ be with you
P: And also with you.
L: Let us extend to each other signs of that peace.
(Extend greetings to those you’re with; comments online are welcome.)
It is now our sacred privilege to celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. All who humbly put their trust in Christ and desire His help that they may lead a holy life; all who are truly sorry for their sins and would be delivered from them; all who would walk in love with their neighbors and intend to live a new life, following the commandments of God and walking from now on in His holy ways, are invited to draw near with faith and to receive this holy sacrament.
A PRAYER FOR COMMUNION
Holy God, we praise You.
Let the heavens be joyful and the earth be glad.
We bless You for creating the whole world,
for Your promises to your people Israel,
and for Jesus Christ in whom Your fullness dwells.
Born of Mary, He shares our life.
Eating with sinners, He welcomes us.
Guiding his children, He leads us.
Visiting the sick, He heals us.
Dying on the cross, He saves us.
Risen from the dead, He gives new life.
Living with You, He prays for us.
The Lord Jesus, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “This is My body which is for you. Do this in remembering Me.”
In the same way He took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembering Me.”
With thanksgiving we take this bread and this cup and proclaim the death and resurrection of our Lord.
Receive our sacrifice of praise.
Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us
that this meal may be a communion in the body and blood or our Lord.
Make us one with Christ
and with all who share this feast.
Unite us in faith,
encourage us with hope,
inspire us to love that we may serve
As Your faithful disciples
Until we feast at Your table in glory.
We praise you, eternal God,
through Christ Your Word made flesh,
in the holy and life-giving Spirit now and forever. Amen.
SHARING IN COMMUNION
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Eternal God, heavenly father, You have graciously accepted us as living members of Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and You have fed us with spiritual food in the sacrament of His body and blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A SENDING FROM COMMUNION
What we have been about here is not separate from life. Rather these acts have been a reminder that we belong to Christ always and everywhere. We carry Christ’s Spirit into our homes, our daily activities, all our relationships. We are Christ’s people. By God’s grace let it be so. Amen.
COME, YOU PEOPLE OF THE PROMISE
Come, you people of the promise,
Sing for joy! The time is near!
God, the covenant fulfilling,
Soon among us will appear!
As proclaimed in prophet’s story,
Christ will come in humble glory
God with us, Emmanuel!
Long in darkness we have waited,
Through the shadows made our way,
Gloom and sorrow our companions
As we longed for signs of day
Great our need for hope and healing,
Some great light our God revealing,
God with us, Emmanuel!
God’s own Son shall dwell among us;
Shadows banish in that light.
Earth shall know his peace and justice:
Christ who comes shall rule in might.
Let our joy dispel all sadness:
He who comes turns tears to gladness
God with us, Emmanuel!
Covenant Hymnal, page 130
L: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
P: Thanks be to God
led by Cynthia
INVITATION & FINAL SLIDES
We’ll be back here next Sunday. We hope you can join us. Information on ravenscov.org.
Congregational business meeting
Ravenswood Covenant will hold a congregational meeting today, December 5, following worship. One of the items for discussion and action on the agenda will be the 2022 budget. Please make plans to attend this meeting if you are a member of RECC.
Covid restrictions for in-person worship
Chicago is now requiring the use of masks for indoor public gatherings, so Ravenswood Covenant has reinstated safety protocols for Sunday morning worship. This means that within the building masks are required at all times, regardless of vaccination status; seating is socially distant; and handshakes and hugs are avoided.
We are still observing precautions regarding children, specifically with regard to the cry room. As was the case before, if you and your family would like to worship in the cry room, please reserve it in advance by contacting Gregory Sager at email@example.com or 773-784-7091. One family may choose to use the cry room upon arrival if it hasn’t already been reserved. Children of all ages are always welcome to be in the sanctuary with their parents for the worship service!
Sankta Lucia festival
On Sunday, December 12 Ravenswood Covenant will have a shortened Lucia program upstairs in the sanctuary at the end of the worship service. If you would like your child to participate, please bring them to church during the Sunday School hour so that we can give them instructions. All kids will wear masks for the program, unless city guidelines change. Lucia buns and treats will be served afterwards in the gym. Please RSVP to Pastor Denise if you would like your child to participate in the Lucia parade/program.
We are also looking for bakers for the Lucia festival. If you are willing to bake something, please sign up with Carol or Janice Erickson this Sunday or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also let the church office know via email@example.com , and we will make sure to get your name to Carol or Janice.
Axiom Brass Quintet concert
One of our enduring Ravenswood Covenant holiday traditions, the annual concert in our sanctuary by the world-renowned Axiom Brass Quintet, will take place next Sunday, December 12 at 7 pm. Admission is free. Invite your friends and family to join us for this marvelous evening of music that is sure to be a highlight of our Christmas season.
Parenting ProGRESS Giving Tree and Holiday Party
Join us on Thursday, December 16 at 4 pm for the Parenting ProGRESS Holiday Party here at the church. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org The Giving Tree is up in the lobby by the glass doors. If you would like to participate in buying a gift for one of our children or families, take an ornament and sign your name on the clipboard.
Lake County Symphony Orchestra concert
Cynthia Arden invites you to the “Welcome Christmas” orchestral celebration of carols performed by the Lake County Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, December 18 at 7:30 pm at the Village Church of Gurnee, 1319 Hunt Club Rd. in Gurnee. Tickets are $20 presale, $25 at the door; kids 12 and under are admitted free.
Thursday evening adult Bible study to study Nativity texts
Our adult Bible study is studying the Nativity texts in the gospels of Matthew and Luke during Advent season. The adult Bible study meets on Thursday evenings at 7 pm.
We are now welcoming anybody to the lounge on Thursday evenings who wants to take part in the Bible study. Please wear a mask. If you would prefer to participate remotely, or if you are out of town, the Bible study will continue to provide Zoom access as well for online participants.
Join Zoom Meeting
The Zoom meeting ID for the Bible study: 972 871 4458
The Zoom passcode for the Bible study: 1qa3CD
Children’s Christmas program
The children will have a special time in the service on Sunday,
December 19. Please RSVP to Pastor Denise if you would like your child to participate in the program. There will be no rehearsals; just come early on the day of the program to get a costume to wear.
Join Us in Sponsoring a Student in the NPTS SRA Program
North Park’s School of Restorative Arts offers a MA in Christian Ministry and Restorative Arts, allowing free and incarcerated students to study together. This unique degree program is designed to prepare individuals for ministries of restoration in contexts susceptible to violence and includes courses in trauma, race relations, nonviolent communication, conflict transformation, restorative practices, and transformative justice, in addition to Bible, theology, and history. In partnership with the Illinois Department of Corrections, this four-year degree is currently offered at Stateville Correctional Center with 80 incarcerated men and a first cohort of 20 women at Logan Correctional Center.
We, Ravenswood Covenant Church, have partnered with North Park Theological Seminary by committing to sponsor a student in this program. To help us support an SRA student please send a check to church or give online and in the memo line write: “SRA Sponsorship.”
Free masks available
The church is offering free masks to anyone in the congregation who is in need of one. If you would like, you may make a donation to our benevolence fund when you come to the church building to pick yours up. Please contact the church office at email@example.com or 773-784-7091 for more information.
Scripture for next Sunday
Art Used in this Bulletin: Steve Erspamer, SM
Clip Art for Year A © 1992, Archdiocese of Chicago.
Our church exists to love and worship God, and love and care for others. By God’s grace, we commit to help people find and follow Jesus Christ through the guidance of His Spirit and His word.