The people of Genesis gather together on Sundays to worship God, to remember the story of God, and to find our place within in it again (because we forget it so often). We gather to join God’s work of cultivating new beginnings in all of us, everywhere.
After our gathering, if you are in need of prayer for anything, please come to the stage area and we will pray for you. Rest easy today. God is for you.
A Word About Kids at Genesis: We love kids. We love the way they move around, and we welcome the extra noise they make. Kids ages 7 and up (and any age that wants to) worship with us in the theater. Parents & grandparents: read through the liturgy with them (they’ll learn by watching you). Encourage them to shout out their answers when questions are thrown out. Help them participate in the Eucharist. Kids help us to see and know God, so let’s be grateful for the joyful noise they make!
Worship: (our response to God, for all God is and all God has done)
A voice cries in the wilderness
Prepare the way of the Lord
And make straight in the desert a highway for our God
And every valley will be raised
And every mountain peak made low
And the ground it will be leveled
And the rough places smooth
And then we will see the glory of the Lord
All eyes will see the glory of the Lord revealed
Oh the glory of our Lord revealed
Go up to a high mountain
Lift up your voice with strength
Saying, See Your God, behold He comes with power
W&M by Candi Pearson-Shelton, CCLI #11176412
Come Thou Fount
Verse 1: Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of thy redeeming love.
Verse 2: Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
Hither by thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed his precious blood.
Verse 3: O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.
Public Domain, CCLI 11176412
Announcements & Offering: (sharing our lives and resources together)
You may place your gift in the offering bag as it goes by, or you may visit www.genesiscov.org and give online. You may also click on the QR code to the left, using the QR code app on your smart phone. Please make checks out to Genesis Covenant Church. Thank you for your generosity.
Genesis Christmas Party: Friday, December 12th, 6:00-8:00pm at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina. Please register by December 8th (TOMORROW) by going to www.genesiscov.org and clicking on the link to RSVP.
Genesis Essentials: Weds, January 14, 7:00-8:30pm at Sabes. This is a 90-minute class for anyone who wants to learn more about why we started Genesis, and how you can get involved. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekly Advent Reflections will be published on Steve’s blog (www.stevewiens.com) every Monday. Yay.
Christmas Eve Services: Wednesday, December 24th, 1:30pm & 3:30pm for the whole family.
Year End Giving. Please consider Genesis when planning your year-end gifts. We are able to accept stock gifts. Simply email us at email@example.com and we’ll get you set up. Thanks!
Scripture Reading (the ongoing story of God’s extravagant love for the world)
Isaiah 40:1-11 (ESV)
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare[a] is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries:[b] “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every 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. 5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” The Word of God Stands Forever 6 A voice says, “Cry!” And I said,[c] “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty[d] is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. The Greatness of God
9 Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news;[e] lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news;[f] lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.
Sermon: (Proclaiming God’s Story to God’s people)
Advent #2: Preparation. Isaiah 40:1-11 (ESV).We follow the Revised Common Lectionary for our readings & sermons. We are currently in Year B. You may follow it by visiting: http://tinyurl.com/nlelpsg.
Silence & Prayers of Response: (Responding to God’s activity in our lives)
Lighting of the Advent Candle
All: Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo.
Leader: Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.
All: Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment.
Leader: Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord have mercy.
All: Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the Light of the world.
Leader: Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.
All: Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.
Eucharist: (the great thanksgiving)
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Lift up your hearts
People: We lift them to the Lord. Leader: This is the table, not of the church, but of the Lord. It is made ready for those who love God and for those who want to love God more. So come, you who have much faith and you who have little; you who have been here often and you who have not been here long; you who have tried to follow and you who have failed. Come, because it is the Lord who invites you. It is God’s will that those who want God should meet God here.
Words and Music by Rend Collective. Copyright 2014 by Thankyou Music, UBP CCLI 11176412 All the Poor and Powerless
Verse 1: All the poor and powerless, and all the lost and lonely
And all the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy, and know that You are holy
Chorus: And all will sing out hallelujah
And we will cry out Hallelujah
Verse 2: All the hearts who are content, and all who feel unworthy
And all who hurt with nothing left, will know that You are holy
Bridge: Shout it, go on and scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses, that He is God
Words and Music by Leslie Jordan and David Leonard. Copyright 2011 by Integrity’s Praise! Music, Integrity’s Alleluia! Music. UBP CCLI #11176412
Benediction: (the sending out)
May God give you grace to recognize and name any obstacles to his coming as the sins they are. May Christ give you courage to make your confession – to him and to others – so you can find forgiveness, comfort, and healing. And may the Spirit enable us to grow in love so that the glory of the Lord can be revealed among us.
Please read the following Advent Scriptures this week, preparing for next Sunday.
Isaiah 61:1-4; 8-11*, Psalm 126, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, John 1:6-8,19-28.
*We’ll preach from Isaiah 61:1-4; 8-11. If you would like us to pray for you today, please come to the front stage area, and someone from our prayer team would love to pray for you. (Or, use the next page to write down any prayer requests and give it to us, if you prefer).
At Genesis we are committed to be in it together...the good and the bad. So, if you have a prayer request or praise, please write it in the space below, tear it off, and give it to one of the people wearing a Genesis lanyard, or place it in the prayer basket on stage. Our prayer team loves to pray. Also - feel free to share any new beginnings that God is calling you to these days. We’d love to cheer you on and help in any way we can.
Genesis Covenant Church meets at Sabes Jewish Community Center, 4330 Cedar Lake Road South in St. Louis Park at 10:30am on Sundays. We are a part of the Evangelical Covenant Church - www.covchurch.org.