This Week in Worship

December 17, 2017  3rd Sunday in Advent

“Rejoice always,” begins the reading from First Thessalonians. Isaiah and the psalmist make clear that God is turning our mourning into laughter and shouts of joy. “All God’s children got a robe,” go the words of the spiritual. It is not so much a stately, formal, pressed outfit as it is a set of party clothes, clothes that make us feel happy just to put on. We receive that robe in baptism, and in worship we gather for a foretaste of God’s party.

Prayer of the Day

Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the words of your
prophets, that, anointed by your Spirit, we may testify to your light; through Jesus Christ, our
Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

  • Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 Righteousness and praise flourish like a garden
  • Psalm 126 The Lord has done great things for us. (Ps. 126:3)
  • 1Thessalonians 5:16-24 Kept in faith until the coming of Christ
  • John 1:6-8, 19-28 A witness to the light

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the
light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify
to the light.
This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to
ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the
Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the
prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for
those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
He said,
“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ ”
as the prophet Isaiah said.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if
you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with
water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not
worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where
John was baptizing.



  • Presiding Minister: Pastor Steven Wilco
  • Assisting Minister:John Pearson
  • Organist: Matthew Cron
  • Choir Director: Maki Matsui
  • Readers: Deborah Smith, Tony Butterfield
  • Communion Assistants: Deborah Smith, Tony Butterfield
  • Greeters: Austin Clark
  • Ushers: Lois Smith, Julie Brigham-Grette
  • Altar Guild:  Yvvonne Nicholson
  • Coffee Hour Hosts: Carol-Ann and Dennis Walker

  • Hymns and Music for Worship
  • Gathering Hymn: ELW #242 “Awake, Awake and Greet the New Moon”
  • Hymn of the Day: ELW #255 “There’s a Voice in the Wilderness”
  • Communion Hymns:  ELW #243 “Lost In the Night”
  • Sending Hymn: ELW # 259  “Fling Wide the Door”