Land’s End Benefice
6th December 2020 SecondSunday of Advent Eucharist
Please join in with the words in bold. The bold with underlining is to mark the sections.
Now is the time to wake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Romans 13.11
As God’s people we have gathered: let us worship him together.
We light the Advent Wreath
THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT: PEACE
The second candle of Advent is the Candle of Peace. It is sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle to remind us of the place in which preparations were made to receive and cradle the Christ child. Peace is a gift that we must be prepared for. God gives us the gift of peace when we turn to him in faith.
The prophet Isaiah calls Christ "the Prince of Peace." Through John the Baptist and all the other prophets, God asks us to prepare our hearts so that he may come in. Our hope is in God, and in his son Jesus Christ. Our peace is found in him. We light this candle today to remind us that he brings peace to all who trust in him. (Light Advent Candle Two - Purple)
Let us pray - Loving God, we thank you for the peace you give us through Jesus. Help us prepare our hearts to receive Him. Bless our worship. Guide us in all that we say and do. We ask it in the name of the one born in Bethlehem, Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Preparation
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invitation to Confession
When the Lord comes, he will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness, and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Therefore in the light of Christ let us confess our sins.
God of mercy, we acknowledge that we are all sinners. We turn from the wrong that we have thought and said and done, and are mindful of all that we have failed to do. For the sake of Jesus, who died for us, forgive us for all that is past, and help us to live each day in the light of Christ our Lord. Amen
May the God of all healing and forgiveness draw us to himself, and cleanse us from all our sins that we may behold the glory of his Son, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, purify our hearts and minds, that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again as judge and saviour we may be ready to receive him, who is our Lord and our God. Amen.
1 Lord, you were gracious to your land; ♦
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the offence of your people ♦
and covered all their sins.
8 I will listen to what the Lord God will say, ♦ for he shall speak peace to his people and to the faithful, that they turn not again to folly.
9 Truly, his salvation is near to those who fear him, ♦
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth are met together, ♦
righteousness and peace have kissed each other;
11 Truth shall spring up from the earth ♦
and righteousness look down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give all that is good, ♦
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him ♦
and direct his steps in the way.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
First Reading Isaiah 40.1-11
1Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
3A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’
6A voice says, ‘Cry out!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. 7The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass.
8The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever. 9Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’10See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
11He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 1.1-8.
Glory to you, O Lord.
1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; 3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight”’,
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’
At the end This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
“1Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem” We are all in need of comfort at times. And we are all capable of giving comfort too. Comforting folk is something that sounds like an exceptionally good, kind thing to do. Comfortable!
When people need comfort, they are often saddened or scared, lonely or feeling unloved – or even unlovable! Needing comfort is part and parcel of being human. We all need to know we are not alone, that our pain is recognised and that we are worth being cared for and loved by others.
Comfort is such a good thing that a fabric softener named itself “Comfort” and sells the idea of their brand with lots of images of people cuddling fluffy pillows and snuggling into beds in the middle of the street!
But comfort did not always mean this; comfort meant to make someone do something that they were capable of doing but that they were too scared or too lazy to do, they needed to be comforted into action! That is not so comforting! This understanding of comfort is rather more challenging. Are we living the fullness of life that Jesus has given us, are we using all the skills that God has given us?
Both these passages have a theme of preparing the way, getting ready. As we get closer to Christmas, we are awash with lists and plans to make this year, with all its challenges and changes to normal, a special celebration at Christmas. Get ready – be prepared are the themes of this season, and we embrace them with gusto.
But what is being prepared and getting ready was not to celebrate one day even one as important as Christmas?
What if the “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight”’ is a call to a whole life of following Jesus using the skills he gave us, using the freedom he won for us on the cross? What if making a straight path is about lining it with love and smoothing it with mutual care and support? What if the path is being made to allow the arrival of the Lord of Life? Are you making yours straight or is it full of bumps?
Advent is a time for us to pause and prepare our hearts to receive again the gift of the new born Christ, and to take our part in raising this baby Christ to the Messiah. It is so tempting to keep Jesus as the baby because we all know about babies, and can be comforted in caring for the baby – but that is not the comfort we know we should seek, instead the comforting of accepting the challenges of the adult Christ who can turn the tables, curse the fig tree, raise the dead, healing the sick and loving outrageously. And he says Follow me!
For if we are to be comforted, who better to challenge us other than the God of love?
Prayers of Intercession
Prayers for Advent 2 by Brian Simpson
Forgiving God, who cleanses and liberates us, give us the courage and insight to see ourselves as we really are, and to turn from our failures. May the whole Church be cleansed and renewed.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of wisdom and truth, we pray for all world leaders and those with responsibility and authority that they may govern for the good of their people. We pray that they may avoid the corruption of power and be humble in all that they do. We pray for a new dawn of world co-operation and trust.
Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.
At this time of Advent, we pray that you will come into all our homes and renew us with your loving presence. Be with all those families for whom the prospect of Christmas is marred by anxiety. Help them to grasp the hope that is in the Christmas story. Stir us all into making an extra effort to alleviate the stress that others feel.
Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.
Transforming God, bring your reassurance and healing, hope and patience to all who are suffering in any way. Those who are in pain, despair, who feel lonely and afraid. Bring freedom to those in a prison of hatred or guilt. Transform all our hearts that we may be able to forgive and be healed.
Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.
We pray for all those who have completed their life on earth, that they may know the freedom and joy of your heaven. We praise you for all our many blessings, most of all for your coming to save us and set us free.
Merciful Father accept these prayers for the Sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
A prayer is said over the bread and wine
Blessed be God, by whose grace creation is renewed, by whose love heaven is opened, by whose mercy we offer our sacrifice of praise.
Blessed be God for ever.
The Eucharistic Prayer
The Lord is here His Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give thanks and praise.
It is always right to give you thanks, God our Creator, loving and faithful, holy and strong. You made us and the whole universe, and filled your world with life. You sent your Son to live among us, Jesus our Saviour, Mary’s child. He suffered on the cross; he died to save us from our sins;
he rose in glory from the dead. You send your Spirit to bring new life to the world and clothe us with power from on high. And so we join the angels to celebrate and say:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Father, on the night before he died, Jesus shared a meal with his friends. He took the bread, and thanked you. He broke it, and gave it to them, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this to remember me.
After the meal, Jesus took the cup of wine. He thanked you, and gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you. This is my blood, the new promise of God’s unfailing love. Do this to remember me.
Great is the mystery of faith. Jesus Christ has died. Jesus Christ is risen. Jesus Christ will come again.
Father, as we bring this bread and wine, and remember his death and resurrection, send your Holy Spirit, that we who share these gifts may be fed by Christ’s body and his blood. Pour your Spirit on us that we may love one another, work for the healing of the earth, and share the good news of Jesus, as we wait for his coming in glory. For honour and praise belong to you, Father, with Jesus your Son, and the Holy Spirit: one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Breaking of the Bread
We break the bread of life, and that life is the light of the world.
God here among us, light in the midst of us, bring us to light and life.
Giving of Communion
Christ is the true bread which has come down from heaven.
Lord, give us this bread always.
The priest receives the bread and wine on behalf of the community, you are invited to come and receive the bread.
Final Prayer and Blessing
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility; that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
A suitable blessing is given, concluding with: … and may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
As we await our coming Saviour, go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000