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Prepare the Way of the Lord

Description

Here are some Advent worship resources which focus on the ministry of John the Baptist.

Scripture

Isaiah 40:3-5
Matthew 3:1-6
Mark 1:2-8
Luke 3:3-6

Prayers

Prayers of the People

Gracious God help us to meet you as you come to us.
Help us to prepare your way in our lives,
and to announce your coming in love to others.
Take, O God, what we give and transform it, to your glory.
Take, O God, what we do and transform it to your acting.
Take, O God, what we say and transform it to your singing.
Take, O God, what we live and transform it to your creating.
Lord, hear our prayer....

Lord, hear too our prayer for those rough places in our lives
and in the lives of others that we name before you.
Fill the valleys with your light,
level the uneven paths with your grace,
and grant that your Spirit might so move us and others,
that your saving presence might be visible to all.
Lord, hear our prayer....

Lord, on this Sunday of preparation,
this Sunday which celebrates your peace,
help there to be peace in our lives and peace in our churches,
and peace in our world.
Where we have sinned, move us to repentance,
and help us confess to those we have grieved and seek their forgiveness;
and where others have sinned against us
help us to trust in your vindication
and grant that those who have hurt us
might see your light and be made new in Christ.
Lord hear our prayer....

(Other prayers may be offered….)

We ask all these things in the name of the one John pointed to—
Christ Jesus your living Word.

Amen.

~ copyright © Rev. Richard J. Fairchild. Posted on the Kir-Shalom website.
http://www.rockies.net/

Opening Prayer for Advent

Shepherding God,
guide us through this season of anticipation and hope.
Comfort our troubled minds, and strengthen our tired bodies.
Restore the hope this season offers,
that we might lift our voices with strength and joy!
Straighten the crooked paths,
that we might walk in your ways.
Level the rocky ground,
that we might prepare for your arrival in our world.
In Christ's name, we pray.

Amen.

~ posted on the Ministry Matters website of the United Methodist Publishing House.
http://www.ministrymatters.com/

Prayer of Invocation

Loving God,
be to us as a bulldozer of the spirit.
Clear your road in us;
clear a path through the detritus of possessions and obsessions.
Thrust aside our divided aims and devious games.
Topple the ramparts of pride and the doubts that deride.
Make a highway on which Christ may come
and take possession of the whole territory of our being.
To the glory of your name we pray.

Amen!

~ written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page.
http://www.bruceprewer.com/

Spoken Resources

Call to Worship: Prepare the Way

A voice cries out:
“Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road straight and smooth, a highway fit for our God.
Fill in the valleys, level off the hills.
Smooth out the ruts, and clear out the rocks.
For our God is coming!

Benediction

Go in peace.
Love and care for one another in the name of Christ.
And may the power of the Holy Spirit make the rough places in your life smooth;
may the dark valleys of your hearts be filled and the rugged mountains leveled
and the way of the Lord be made ready in you;
and may He come to you and bless you
and shine forth from you both now and forevermore.  Amen.

~ copyright © Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, and posted on the Kir-Shalom website.
http://www.rockies.net/

Songs

Traditional Hymn: Prepare the Way, O Zion

Prepare the way, O Zion, your Christ is drawing near!
Let every hill and valley a level way appear.
Greet One who comes in glory, foretold in sacred story.
Oh, blest is Christ that came
in God's most holy name.

Christ brings God's rule, O Zion; he comes from heaven above.
His rule is peace and freedom, and justice, truth, and love.
Lift high your praise resounding, for grace and joy abounding.

[Refrain]

Fling wide your gates, O Zion; your Savior's rule embrace.
And tidings of salvation proclaim in every place.
All lands will bow before him, their voices will adore him. [Refrain]

~ Frans Mikael Franzen (1772-1847)

Tune suggestion:
BEREDEN VAG FOR HERRAN  (“Rejoice, rejoice O Christian”)

See music and listen to it here: http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/WAR2003/152?media=score

Contemporary Hymn: Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice

Worship Together #271

Wild and lone the prophet's voice
Echoes through the desert still,
Calling us to make a choice,
Bidding us to do God's will:
"Turn from sin and be baptized;
Cleanse your heart and mind and soul.
Quitting all the sins you prized,
Yield your life to God's control.

"Bear the fruit repentance sows:
Lives of justice, truth, and love.
Trust no other claim than those;
Set your heart on things above.
Soon the Lord will come in power,
Burning clean the threshing floor:
Then will flames the chaff devour;
Wheat alone shall fill God's store."

With such preaching stark and bold
John proclaimed salvation near,
And his timeless warnings hold
Words of hope to all who hear.
So we dare to journey on,
Led by faith through ways untrod,
Till we come at last like John
To behold the Lamb of God.

~ Carl P. Daw, Jr. Copyright © 1989 Hope Publishing Company.

Tune suggestions:
ABERYSTWYTH (in Worship Together hymnal, #271)
Listen to it here:  http://www.hymnary.org/tune/aberystwyth_parry

ST. GEORGE’S WINDSOR (“Come, ye thankful people, come”)
Listen to it here: http://www.hymnary.org/tune/st_georges_windsor_elvey

Contemporary Song: Days of Elijah

Behold He comes
Riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun
At the trumpet call
So lift your voice
It's the year of Jubilee
And out of Zion's hill
Salvation comes

These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the Word of the Lord
And these are the days
Of Your servant Moses
Righteousness being restored
And though these are days
Of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice
In the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord

And these are the days of Ezekiel
The dry bones becoming as flesh
And these are the days
Of Your servant David
Rebuilding a temple of praise
And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are as white in the world
And we are the laborers
In Your vineyard
Declaring the Word of the Lord

There is no god like Jehovah….

~ Robin Mark. Copyright © 1996 Song Solutions Daybreak (Administered by Music Services).  CCLI #1537904.

Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1Be0qJw9ZE

Contemporary song: Prepare the Way

Prepare the way, prepare the way, prepare the way of the Lord.
Prepare the way, prepare the way, prepare the way of the Lord.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

You are the Light of the world, You are the Light of the world,
You are the Light of the world, Jesus.
You are the Light of the world, You are the Light of the world,
You are the Light of the world, Jesus.

You are the King of the earth, You are the King of the earth,
You are the King of the earth, Jesus.
You are the King of the earth, You are the King of the earth,
You are the King of the earth, Jesus.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

~ Charlie Hall. Copyright © 2002 worshiptogether.com Songs/sixsteps Music. Administered by EMI Christian Music Publishing. CCLI Song 3441008.

Listen to it here: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=569179

Images

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~ The Preaching of St. John the Baptist by Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccio), 1690.

Notes

This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.

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