First Presbyterian Church of Byron
December 2, 2018 1st Sunday of Advent
Rev. James Renfrew, Pastor Elder Shannon Thompson, Clerk of Session
Laurence Tallman, Music Director Elizabeth Weber, Organist Emeritus
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
PRELUDE “Wintertime Aglow” (N. Sleeth)
WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS
CALL TO WORSHIP Something is about to happen!
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was ruler of Galilee,
and his brother Philip ruler of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias ruler of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
He went into all the region around the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance
for the forgiveness of sins …
ADVENT CANDLES “Hope” Faline Tyler
*LET’S SING! #106 “Prepare the Way, O Zion”
PRAYER OF CONFESSSION
Dear God, today we confess EXCITEMENT! All of us can tell
you exactly how many days there are before Christmas, twentythree!
Some of us can even tell how many hours there are before
Christmas: five hundred and fifty two! Our excitement is
familiar because we experience it every year, but we pray for
much more than a repeat of the familiar things; we pray for
hope, new joy, new love and new peace. This gets us into
unfamiliar territory, yet in unfamiliar territory we may have a
better chance of seeing Jesus like we’ve never seen him before.
Because Jesus is not stuck in the past; he’s very much alive in the
present, and where he is – we want to be! Bless our excitement,
bless our readiness, and bless our hopes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Grace is the word that describes how God enters our lives in Jesus,
not to judge us for everything we’ve ever done or will do wrong, but
to offer the love, healing and justice that we need to survive and
thrive in this world. Knowing of God’s grace in Jesus causes us to
smile, laugh, sing and pray with joy. You bless us, O God! In
Jesus name. Amen.
*GLORIA PATRI #581
John the Baptist Quiz
1. John had a famous cousin, whose name was:
[a] Herod [b] Pontius Pilate [c] Warren [d] Jesus
2. John had an unusual diet consisting of:
[a] yogurt & bran [b] locusts & honey [c] pickles & cream
3. John’s parents were named
[a] Mary & Joseph [b] Fred & Wilma [c] Zechariah & Elizabeth
4. Why was John known as “the Baptist”?
[a] Because he belonged to a Baptist Church
[b] Because he always said a prayer when dunking his donut
[c] Because he offered baptism by water in the River Jordan
[d] Because most people thought he was crazy
5. What did John do the first time he met Jesus?
[a] He jumped [b] He wept [c] He sang [d] He prayed
6. John had a team of helpers. What were they called?
[a] Disciples [b] Deacons [c] Bucket brigade [d] Apostles
7. Where was John living while baptizing?
[a] Nazareth [b] the Wilderness [c] Jerusalem [d] Syria
8. Which Old Testament prophet did John quote?
[a] Isaiah [b] Jeremiah [c] Amos [d] Micah [e] Ezekiel
Answers: 1-d, 2-b (will we be serving this during Hanging of the Greens?),
3-c, 4-c (“d” might also be correct), 5-a (When Mary visited Elizabeth,
Elizabeth’s baby “leapt” in her womb), 6-a (just like Jesus), 7-b, 8-a.
Scoring: 7-8 correct – Alleluia! 5-6 correct – you win a plate of delicious
locusts. 3-4 correct – only pickles and cream for you! 1-2 correct – you are
banished to the Wilderness until after Christmas.
“Prepare the Way
of the Lord!”
First Presbyterian Church
Byron, New York
First Presbyterian Church of Byron