7 December 2021 – Advent Lessons & Carols

PRELUDE

Prof. Mark Miller

“Chorale Prelude on Wachet auf, ruft uns die stimme:
J.S. Bach

“When Hope Is Crushed”
Adam M. L. Tice

When hope is crushed and truth denied when human lives are cast aside,
when fear takes hold,
where faith has died,
come, Emmanuel.

When fortunes flow when tyrants lead
while crumbs remain for those in need,
our daily bread consumed by greed,
come, Emmanuel.

Refrain:
Use our anger to melt the swords of hate. Use our tears to water thirsty ground.
Give us courage to love all you create.
Come to us, come to us
and turn the world around.

When nature groans in deep despair
and land entrusted to our care
is cracked and lifeless burnt and bare,
come, Emmanuel

Refrain:
Use our anger to melt the swords of hate. Use our tears to water thirsty ground.
Give us courage to love all you create.
Come to us, come to us
and turn the world around.

We long to see a better day
when all that kills is swept away;
we strive and struggle, and we pray,
come, Emmanuel.

READING

Reader: Dr. Kenneth Ngwa

“After Annunciation”
By Madeleine L’Engle

This is the irrational season
when love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
there’d have been no room for the child.

PROCESSIONAL MEDLEY

“Freedom Is Coming”
Trad. South African
Part 1: Freedom is coming, Freedom is Coming, Freedom is Coming, O Yes I Know.
O Yes I know, O Yes I know,
Freedom is coming, O Yes I know.
Part 2: O Freedom, O Freedom,
O Freedom, O Freedom

“Comfort, Comfort, O My People”
Johann Olearius, 1561, trans. Catherine Winkworth

Comfort, comfort, you my people,
Tell of peace, thus says our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Bowe beneath oppression’s load.

Speak you to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell them that their sins I cover,
And that warfare now is over.

For the herald’s voice is crying
in the desert far and near
Bidding us to make repentance
since the kingdom now is here.

O, that warning cry obey.
Now, prepare for God a way.
Let the valleys rise in meeting,
and the hills bow down in greeting.

Make you straight what long was crooked,and the rougher places plain.
Let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits God’s holy reign.

For the glory of the Lord,
now o’er earth is shed abroad
and all flesh shall see the token
that God’s word is never broken.

LIGHTING THE ADVENT CANDLES

Leader: Dean Johnson DeBaufre
Readers: Adrian Mendoza
Yeeun Kim
Dr. Daniel Shin

Dean MJD: We come to know you, Holy One, as Wisdom Incarnate, as Flickering Flame, as Spirit of Life, as Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, Enfleshed. We come to you this Advent in need, with longing, in pain, captive to fear, desiring a more just world, a more livable life for all of us, for the earth,

for every living thing caught and held in this inescapable network of mutual interdependence we call this one wild and precious Life. We long for you. We long for liberation. We long for different systems and patterns of relating.

And so, this Advent, we pause. We breathe. We pray. We open to You, and to one another, and to the Sacred Mystery that is Emmanuel, God-With-Us, Love Incarnate, Divinity Enfleshed.
The Hope of God-With-Us does not come as guaranteed outcome,

or predetermined plan, or promise of a happy ending. Hope cannot be imposed from on high. Hope cannot be commanded. Hope is gestating in darkness; it comes unexpectedly. Hope invites our expectation, and demands our participation. May Hope be birthed among, within, and through us, this Advent.

Adrian Mendoza: The Peace of God-With-Us does not come as law and order, or enforcement and control. Peace cannot be imposed from on high. Peace cannot be commanded. Peace invites our expectation, and demands our participation.

Peace is gestating in darkness; it comes unexpectedly.May Peace be birthed among, within, and through us, this Advent.

Yeeun Kim: The Joy of God-With-Us does not come as naïve optimism, or surface level feel-good-ness. Joy cannot be imposed from on high. Joy cannot be commanded. Joy is gestating in darkness; it comes unexpectedly. Joy invites our expectation, and demands our participation. May Joy be birthed among, within, and through us, this Advent.

Daniel Shin: The Love of God-With-Us does not come as mere feeling, or sentimental fluff. Love cannot be imposed from on high. Love is our greatest commandment— tending tenderly to God, to other, and to self. Love is gestating in darkness; it comes unexpectedly. Love invites our expectation, and demands our participation. May Love be birthed among, within, and through us, this Advent.

SONG

“I Believe in the Sun”

Words: Anonymous, Music: Mark Miller

I believe in the sun
I believe in the sun
Even when, even when it’s not shining

I believe in love
I believe in love
Even when, even when I don’t feel it

I believe in God
I believe in God
Even when, even when God is silent

SCRIPTURE – Luke 21:25-36

Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller

“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. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

SONG

“When the Poor Ones”

Words: J. A. Olivar & Miguel Manzano, trans. George Lockwood

When the poor ones who have nothing share with strangers,
when the thirsty water give unto us all, when the crippled in their weakness strengthen others,

then we know that
God still goes that road with us,
then we know that
God still goes that road with us.

When at last all those who suffer
find their comfort,
when they hope though even hope
seems hopelessness,
when we love though
hate at times seems all around us,

then we know that
God still goes that road with us,
then we know that
God still goes that road with us.

When our joy fills up our cup to overflowing, when our lips can speak no words
other than true,
when we know that love for simple
things is better,

then we know that
God still goes that road with us,
then we know that
God still goes that road with us.

When our homes are
filled with goodness in abundance,
when we learn how to peace instead of war, when each stranger
that we meet is called a neighbor,

then we know that
God still goes that road with us,
then we know that
God still goes that road with us.

SCRIPTURE – Zephaniah 3:14-20

Dr. Kevin Newburg

14Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! 15The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. 16On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. 17The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing 18as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. 19I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. 20At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord.

SONG

“People, Look East”

Words: Eleanor Farjeon

People, look east. The time is near
of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
trim the hearth and set the table.

People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Guest, is on the way.

Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
one more seed is planted there.
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
that in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Rose, is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim,
one more light the bowl shall brim,
shining beyond the frosty weather,
bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Star, is on the way.

Angels announce with shouts of mirth
him who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
with the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

A LITANY FOR SURVIVAL

By Audre Lorde

Reader: Dean Betancourt

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant ja edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns

looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours;

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon

this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain

when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again

when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed

but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive.

My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the ones who wait.

SONG

“Canticle of the Turning”
Words: Rory Cooney

You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears,
for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn!

Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me,
And your mercy will last
from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.

Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and to those who would for you yearn,
You will show your might,
put the strong to flight,
for the world is about to turn.

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears,
for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn!

From the halls of power
to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
ev’ry tyrant from his throne.

The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
There are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn.

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears,
for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn.

Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God’s mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror’s crushing grasp.

This saving word that our forebears heard
is the promise which holds us bound,
‘Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around.

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears,
for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn!

SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

Dean Bennett

Leader: While we wait and hope, we are fed. The Holy Child invites us to this table, every one. While we wait and hope, we are emptied of all that fills us with falseness and fear. And we confess together:

All: Holy One who makes us whole, we are impatient and demanding; we want to know what to expect. Gracious One, free us from this trap. Keep us alert. Make us ready for your Great Good News to arrive again.

Leader: God is with us.
All: We open our hearts
Leader: God enters in.
All: And we are made well.

Leader: In this season of waiting and hoping, we are thankful, God, that you are here. You created everything we know. You shaped us with holy hands, and breathed your Spirit into us. We turned away from you, but you never left us alone. When we forgot to love you, you always loved us. You sent messengers to tell us that your Hope, Love, Peace and Joy would come to earth, reminding us who and whose we are.

All: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Leader: We didn’t recognize the One you sent. We didn’t know he was Emmanuel, You with Us. Jesus came to eat with the ones we left outside, to heal the ones we feared, to love the ones we rejected, to tear down the walls that kept us apart. God with Us. Even when we abandoned him, Emmanuel would not leave us. Before he was taken away, Jesus gathered us one last time around a table. He took bread and blessed it and gave it to us and said, “Eat. This is my self given for you. Whenever you do this, remember me.” When we had eaten, Jesus took the cup, thanked You, and said, “This is the cup of grace and forgiveness, new promise for new life. When you drink this, remember me.” With wonder and awe, we give ourselves back to You. We tell out with joy the mystery that is our faith in you and your faith in us:

All: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Leader: Pour out your Holy Spirit onto all of us here, and on this simple food that becomes a holy feast by your grace and mercy. May it give us courage to be Emmanuel for this time and place. Make us one in Jesus Christ, and one in ministry for the whole world, while we wait for Jesus to come again and eat with us at the table of paradise.

All: Amen.

BLESSING

Written by Rev. Anna Blaedel

Prof. Miller, Reader

God takes on flesh
and joins life in the struggle –
this is what radical solidarity feels like.
Lives and souls and bodies entangled.
Risks and possibilities shared.
We’re in this together.
The mess, the beauty, the work.

Don’t be afraid to feel hopeful.
God’s promises are kept.
God won’t opt-out or turn away.
God won’t give up when things get tough.
God won’t defend power, or privilege, or institutions, or tradition

at the expense of freedom, or love, or liberation, or your worth.
God’s with-ness is birthed at the margins.
God knows what’s at stake.
Let all who are weary, rejoice!
All of evil’s deceptions will be revealed
and fear of unjust powers will cease.

The Liberating One now dwells among us,
calling upon hearts from all walks of life
to open. to take courage. to soften. to release.
Behold, the Sacred enfleshed reveals the way of Love

SENDING FORTH SONG

George Elderkin, arr: Mark Miller

Hark! The Herald angels sing, Jesus! The light of the world!

Glory to the new born King, Jesus! The light of the world!

Walk in the Light
Walk in the light, beautiful light,
come where the dewdrops
of mercy shine bright.
Oh shine all around us by day and by night,
Jesus is, Jesus is the light of the world.

Worship Notes:

L’Engle, Madeleine, “After Annunciation,” A Cry Like a Bell: Poems, p. 58
Lorde, Audre, “A Litany for Survival,” from The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde by Audre Lorde.
Advent Wreath liturgy from enfleshed 2018, Rev. Anna Blaedel.
“God in Solidarity” from enfleshed, Rev. Anna Blaedel.
Liturgy for Holy Communion adapted from Rev. Dr. Tanya Linn Bennett.

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