We gather together to worship, learn about God’s message and serve others.
Sunday worship – 9:00 a.m.
Sunday School – 9:15am
Pastor Dave Seyller
195 W. Center Street
Burlington, IL 60109
a message for today’s experience from Pastor Dave
Due to the ongoing covid-19 spread as of late, the Burlington UMC will temporarily be closed for in-person church. Stay tuned for further updates
THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
What is the reason for the season? Advent (from the Latin word Adventus, meaning “coming”)
is considered the beginning of the church year for most churches in the Western tradition.
It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November
30, and ends on Christmas Eve. If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday
of Advent, with Christmas Eve beginning at sundown.
The season is for most Christians one of anticipation and hope, although at its beginnings the
emphasis was much more on penitence, fasting and sin. For most Christians it is not just
celebration of a moment in time when a special baby is born, but also looks beyond to a time
when the Bible tells us that Jesus will come again, not as a weak and vulnerable baby, but in
power and with authority. The traditional Scripture readings for this time emphasize both the
First and Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and our accountability for faithfulness at his coming,
judgment on sin and the hope of eternal life.
Advent is also a spiritual journey that Christians take, through the truths of Scripture that point
to the birth of the Messiah, to a reaffirmation that he has come, is present in the world today
and will come again in glory. It mirrors the journey of faith that Christians make after that
moment of realization and acceptance of who Jesus is, in that we take that first step of faith in
commitment, continue hopefully to walk the road of faith and increasing understanding, and
look forward to our destination, which is to be in his presence forever!
Traditionally, the color of Advent is purple. In many Protestant churches such as The United
Methodist Church, the purple has been replaced by blue, a color of royalty, to distinguish it
from the season of Lent. Also a pink candle may be used on the Third Sunday of Advent in
anticipation of the end of fasting and the start of rejoicing for the birth of the Savior. The
Sunday is sometimes celebrated as Gaudete Sunday from the Latin word for “rejoice.”
The themes most often used for the four weeks of Advent are: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love; or
God’s people, the Old Testament Prophets, John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary.
Advent Worship Service – For Individuals and Families
Making your own Advent wreath can be as simple as placing four purple or blue candles in a
circle with a white candle in the center. Each week an additional candle will be lit. The white
candle in the center will be lit on Christmas Eve. This is a great activity for children too! Use
what you have available (different color candles, greens from the yard, special family plates as
a base) It’s the meaning that counts! Send me any pictures of your creation and Ill share!
Week One – Advent – HOPE – Sunday, November 29, 2020
Lighting the Advent Candles Litany
For one or more readers. You decide how to divide it up; or do it all yourself!
First Reading: This is the first Sunday in Advent. Today, we light one candle. This is the candle
of hope. Advent is a time of waiting and hoping. We wait for the day when we celebrate
again the birth of Jesus. We hope everyone will come to know and worship God.
(Light the first of the four candles.)
All: Sing or read the words of the ♫ hymn: “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.”
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a king;
born to reign in us forever; now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit, rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.
Second Reading: When we look at the first candle, we remember God’s promise. God
promised to send a Savior to the people. When we listen to our Scripture reading, we hear
what the prophet Isaiah wrote about God. God fulfills the promises made to care for people.
God is loving and just. God brings peace. This gives us hope. We look forward to the time when
everything is fair, when the world is at peace, and all people are treated justly.
Third Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5 (A Paraphrased Version)
The Message Isaiah got regarding Judah and Jerusalem: There’s a day coming when the
mountain of God’s House will be The Mountain – solid, towering over all mountains.
All nations shall river toward it, people from all over set out for it. They’ll say, “Come, let’s
climb God’s mountain, go to the House of the God of Jacob. He’ll show us the way he works so
we can live the way we’re made.” Zion’s the source of the revelation. God’s message comes
from Jerusalem. He’ll settle things fairly between nations. He’ll make things right between
many peoples. They’ll turn their swords into shovels, their spears into hoes. No more will
nation fight nation; they won’t play war anymore. Come, family of Jacob, let’s live in the light
Prayer: Dear God: Thank you for your son, Jesus. Thank you for the words of the Prophet
Isaiah that reminds us that you are the source of our hope. Help us to remember to walk in the
light of the Lord. Amen.
Just a Thought ……
On this first Sunday in Advent, the prophet Isaiah is telling us that God has a beautiful
vision for us, but along the way to fulfill that vision we have broken some things; sometimes
intentionally and sometimes not. Let’s face it, some relationships have been broken, some
responsibilities messed up. And the brokenness is at all levels … in our family, our spouse, our
church, our co-workers, our community, our nation and our world. It really does matter. It
matters enough that we should try to make it right again. It matters that we acknowledge it
before God and each other so that we can begin to bring healing where brokenness lies.
If we believe these words of the prophet, then we watch for it, prepare for, hope for, work for
God’s kingdom of justice, love and peace …right in the midst of time … our time.
Let us pray: ♫O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Come into our lives this Advent, a season of
new beginnings, precious traditions, and the longing deep in our hearts for what we have
learned to call the Day of Our Lord, your day; a day when you come with love and power and
justice and mercy, a day when we stand up and become all that you have created us to be.
So come to us, Emmanuel, this day and season. May this day be the day in which swords will
be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. When cold hearts melt and
relationships warm and the hungry are fed, and there is peace … in our hearts, our
relationships, our homes, our communities, our nation, and our world. In the name of the
Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen.
Next Week: Second Sunday of Advent – December 6, 2020 – LOVE – Isaiah 11:1-10
Blessings on all of you, Pastor Dave
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