At the heart of our Advent preparation stands John the Baptist, who calls us to repent and make a new beginning. As the darkness increases we turn toward the approaching light of Christ. For Christians he is the root of Jesse, the righteous judge who welcomes all, especially the poor and meek of the earth. We wait with hope for that day when the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and there will be no more hurt or destruction. From the Lord’s table we are sent in the spirit of John the Baptist to proclaim that in Christ the kingdom of God has come near.
PRELUDE Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah (Wold)
* CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be God’s name forever. Amen.
Beloved, now is the time to wake from sleep. Let us confront our sins,
and confess them to the one who is merciful and just.
God of new beginnings, we confess that we have not welcomed your holy reign. We have strayed from your paths. We prepare for war instead of peace. We dishonor one another and your creation. Purify us with your refining fire and set us again on your way of love, that we may bear fruit worthy of repentance, and welcome your coming among us. Amen.
* indicates please stand as you are able
People of God, a new thing is growing in our midst, a tender branch, a living sign. By water and the Spirit you are joined to this wonder. You have put on Christ, and your sins have been washed away. Rejoice in the way of the Lord. Amen.
Rejoice and be glad! God hears the prayers of all who cry out, and restores us to life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I declare to you the forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
* PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray.
Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming nurture our growth as people of repentance and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
* GATHERING SONG Fling Wide the Door (ELW 259)
FIRST READING: Isaiah 11:1-10
1A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
6The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
7The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
10On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
ADVENT 2 CANDLE LIGHTING
CONGREGATIONAL SONG HE CAME DOWN (ELW 253) Verse 1-2
SECOND READING: Romans 15:4-13
4Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
and sing praises to your name”;
10and again he says,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples praise him”;
12and again Isaiah says,
“The root of Jesse shall come,
the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.”
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12
The holy gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.
1In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.’”
4Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come 8Bear fruit worthy of repentance. 9Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
MEDITATION Pastor Wende Bleam
*HYMN OF THE DAY On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry (ELW 249)
* APOSTLES' CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
OFFERING OF TITHES AND GIFTS TO GOD
Please place your offering in the plate near the Sanctuary door any time during or following worship. Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our website: stjohnslutheranfolcroft.org or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.
* OFFERING PRAYER
Blessed are you, Maker of all things. As you have entrusted us with all that you have created, now gather our gifts, nourish us with this sacrament,
and send us to those who hunger and thirst, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
As we prepare for the fullness of Christ’s presence, let us pray for a world that yearns for new hope.
God, you renew the church in every age. We give thanks for hymn writers and theologians. Inspire teachers, writers, and musicians to delight and instruct your people. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
You give us a vision of creation in harmony, when hurting and destruction will be no more. Teach us to be stewards of the earth and companions to its creatures. Restore to balance and wholeness what human greed has harmed. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
You defend the cause of all who are poor and oppressed. Raise up leaders who will govern with equity and serve the common good. Guide judges, lawmakers, and public officials to protect the rights of those who cannot advocate for themselves. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord, we pray for the Ukrainian people that they be surrounded by your love and protection against the attacks on their country. Lift them up and protect them, end this war against them and let your peace reign. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
You deliver those in need from suffering and fear. Come to the aid of any who are exploited or abused, especially children, elders, and victims of human trafficking. Provide safety and help to our neighbors without shelter, refugees, and those fleeing violence. We pray especially for the family and friends of Lillian, Kathy and Rich McLaughlin, Carol, Connor, Ana, Helen, Arlene, Jose, Hoon, Connie, Pat, Hazel, Deb, Joe, Ruth, Lisa, Bill, Rick, Dick, Alisia, Jacklyn, Lillian, Alexis, Jim and those we now raise before you in our hearts. We pray for those affected by the Covid virus in mind, body or spirit. Grant them healing and wholeness. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
You urge your people to welcome one another as you have welcomed us. Nurture ministries of hospitality and care in this and every congregation. We pray for people who are homebound, hospitalized, or separated from loved ones. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
You embrace all who have died trusting in your promises, and we give thanks for their faithful witness. Sustain us in hope until we are united with them in the joy of your eternal presence. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of our longing, you know our deepest needs. By your Spirit, gather our prayers and join them with the prayers of all your children. In Jesus’ name we pray.
* LORD'S PRAYER
Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.
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, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
* THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift the to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior, Jesus Christ. With all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name.
* HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
* INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Christ's table is spread before you and Jesus invites you to come.
Gather here with all the saints.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (ELW 490))
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
in this meal you have remembered your mercy,
bringing heaven to earth in the body and blood of Christ.
As we wait for the day when all your promises will be fulfilled,
sustain us and strengthen us by this holy mystery.
Guide us toward your promised future,
coming to birth in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
God the eternal Word,
who dwells with us in Jesus,
and who holds us in the grace of the Holy Spirit,
bless you now and forever.
* SENDING SONG Prepare the Royal Highway (ELW 264)
DISMISSAL - Go in peace. Christ is near. Thanks be to God.
POSTLUDE: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (Shewmaker)
We hope that this service was meaningful for you and brought God’s peace and comfort into your homes. Continue to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently and to love others as yourself. Pray, trust, believe and wait. See you next week.
You are welcome to watch the live service at 10:15 am at https://www.facebook.com/stjohnslutheranfolcroft
Or you can watch live streaming on the St. John's website: https://stjohnslutheranfolcroft.org
If you are having trouble accessing, please let us know.
The ETERNAL CANDLE is sponsored for the month of November by the Modge and Snell families in loving memory of William J. Reese Sr.
YOU CAN HELP! You can be a good steward AND get your grocery shopping done. Did you know that if you purchase a grocery food gift card from St. John’s, our congregation will receive 5% of all sales of gift cards. Please see Ruth Weaver if you wish to purchase and gift cards. Thank you for helping us raise that 5% for helping to continue our ministry.
Each week, we collect food for our hungry neighbors in need in our SHARING GOD'S BOUNTY WAGON. Hunger doesn’t take a vacation. Please consider making a donation of a food item each week.
We are registered as Saint Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church for Amazon Smile. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible smile.amazon.com purchases to the charities selected by customers. To register your charity designation, you will need to go to Smile.amazon.com. Then you select our name as your charity. Again, the name is registered as Saint Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church. You will only have to register once. Next time you plan to shop online, go first to smile.amazon.com and you will be redirected to your own Amazon account. Your charity designation will be listed on the top left. So far, we have received over $176, just by doing your shopping through Smile.amazon.
Our Financial Response (October)
Budgeted costs per month $ 9,048.05
Offering last month $ 6,117.74
Budget required to date (10 months) $ 90,480.50
Total received to date $ 54,359.10
Budget required to date (10 months) $ 5,000.00
Total received to date $ 4,886.11
Please continue to support St. John's. Our expenses continue each month even if we are not all worshipping together inside our building.
Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our website: stjohnslutheranfolcroft.org or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.
Please join us for Christmas Eve Worship, December 24 at 7:00 pm.
This year we will again adorn the sanctuary with beautiful poinsettias. You may choose from red, white or pink poinsettias. Or, you can choose to donate to ELCA World Hunger program. The cost of each is $8.00.
The deadline for ordering this year is December 18th.