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Dec 03

2nd Sunday of Advent (Year C)

Malachi 3:1-4
  • How do you prepare the way for the Lord?  How can we serve as messengers?
  • There is a lot of interesting and dramatic imagery in this passage: paths/ways being prepared, messengers being sent, the temple, a refiner’s fire, fullers’ soap, silver and gold being purified, offerings being offered…  Depending on what you are planning to preach, there are plenty of options for a dynamic worship display.
  • The central part of this passage is focused on the imagery of fire.  You may want to construct a “furnace” to feature in your worship display – using a fake fire (constructed with lights, a fan, and paper/cellophane/fabric) OR actual fire (perhaps a lot of candles, or gel fuel).
Luke 1:68-79
  • What would it look like if we served without fear?
  • This is a prophecy about John the Baptist – and, when it references the “savior”, Christ.  The way that it is written, it could easily be a song.  What do you think the music would sound like?  What would the tempo be?
  • Can you imagine this song being sung about you?
  • The last verse says that God will “give light to those who sit in darkness”.  If you are going to be hosting a candlelighting service on Christmas Eve, you may want take this message to the streets and actively invite people to join you in worship.  Create simple invitations to your candlelighting service (or any/all of the other service you are having during this season), and attach a votive candle to each invitation.  Send out the congregation in teams of 2 or more to distribute the invitations personally.  You could do this while you go carolling in your neighborhood, too.
Philippians 1:3-11
  • If your congregation has a prayer partner ministry, this is a wonderful passage to use as a prayer for those who participate.
  • Are we thankful for one another?  Challenge your congregation to pray this passage for one another throughout the Advent/Christmas season.
  • Can we imagine Christ speaking/writing these words tous?
  • Lots of folks send Christmas cards during this time of year.  Are there people in your congregation or community who would appreciate some words of support and encouragement like these?  Provide cards and/or other writing materials for the congregation to write notes to others.  Either mail the notes or deliver them in person following worship.
Luke 3:1-6
  • John the Baptist begins his preaching career in this passage.  It is important to remind folks that John and Jesus were the same age.  It can be a bit confusing (to kids, especially) who hear this story before Christmas (when Jesus is born) and assume that John is years and years older than his cousin (Jesus).
  • It is nearly impossible to deny that this text – that which John preaches – is about equality.  When it is all said and done, God is going to level the playing field.  And, everyone – everyone – is going to “see the salvation of God”.
  • There are various musical settings for this text that you may want to use in worship.
  • Where are the wilderness places in our world today?  What could we be called to “cry out” in those places?
  • If you are focusing on the idea/theme of proclamation, you may want to include a megaphone and/or other materials that we could use to “proclaim” or “cry out” a message of hope in the wilderness.

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