Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Holy Communion on the Second Sunday of Advent

 The livestream may be found here.



The Peaceable Kingdom (Isaiah 11:1-10)





Blue, the liturgical color of Advent, is redolent of the early morning sky at first light, symbolic of the Christian hope for the coming of the Light of the World.


FIRST READING: Isaiah speaks of the man of David’s kingly line who will fulfill all God’s promises to Judah and Israel. He will be filled with the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit (which, in our day, we pray that God would give every candidate for baptism and every confirmand). He is the ideal king who brings endless peace, so that the prophet imagines that not only will violence between humans cease, but also violence in the animal kingdom as well.


PSALM: The psalmist prays that the king of Israel be a just man and rule wisely. In the time of the just king the complaint of the wise, why the evil flourish and the righteous suffer, will be answered: both the good and the evil will receive from the king what they truly deserve.


SECOND READING:  St Paul urges the Jews and the non-Jews in the Roman Christian community to welcome and receive each other as fellow believers. The ‘root of Jesse’, as foretold in Isaiah and the Psalms, has been revealed in order to bring people of all races and nations together in the Spirit to worship God the Father.


GOSPEL: John the Baptist proclaims the kingdom of God, but the kingdom of God becomes wrath for those who do evil. But it is not too late – the prophet urges ‘repentance,’ a turning from evil and a movement towards good. The people must rely neither upon family lineage nor upon mere performance of religious rites. A tree must bear good fruit – otherwise destruction will be its lot. The tree that bears good fruit is the person who turns to God, who confesses sin and receives forgiveness in order to live for the coming reign of God.



OPENING MUSIC                    Comfort, Comfort Now My People - Paul Manz

Hark, the Glad Sound! - Healey Willan

Choir                                            Gift of God - Text and Music/ Marty Haugen                                                                                             Solo/ Mary Jane Snyder


Come to us, O Emmanuel, Come to us, O Emmanuel

Come to us, O Emmanuel, Come to us, O Emmanuel


Come, O holy Shoot of Jesse; Come, and grow within your people:

Come, O Spirit of our God.

You are wisdom, you are insight; You are knowledge, you are power:

You will lead our hearts to God.


Come to us, O Emmanuel, Come to us, O Emmanuel

Come to us, O Emmanuel, Come to us, O Emmanuel






In the name of the Father, and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen


Salvation is nearer to us than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. In repentance and faith let us confess our sins.


Silence for reflection and self-examination.


Most merciful God,

we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.

We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed,

by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;

we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Forgive us, renew us, and lead us,

so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways,

to the glory of your holy name. Amen


Let us live honorably as in the day; let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ

and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.





WHymn            Green LBW 35                 Hark, the Glad Sound!

 1 Hark, the glad sound! The Savior comes,

the Savior promised long;

let ev'ry heart prepare a throne

and ev'ry voice a song.

2 He comes the pris'ners to release,

in Satan's bondage held.

The gates of brass before him burst,

the iron fetters yield.

3 He comes the broken heart to bind,

the bleeding soul to cure,

and with the treasures of his grace

to enrich the humble poor.

4 Our glad hosannas, Prince of peace,

your welcome shall proclaim,

and heav'n's eternal arches ring

with your beloved name.

Text: Philip Doddridge, 1702-1751


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

  And also with you.                                                                            2 Corinthians 13:13



In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

For the peace from above, and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, 
and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.

For this holy house, and for all who offer here their worship and praise, let us pray to the Lord.
Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.


Green LBW 30                 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus       

 1 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 ev'ry nation,

joy of ev'ry longing heart.

2 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.

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788


Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the way for your only Son. By his coming give us strength in our conflicts and shed light on our path through the darkness of this world; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.




The earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD

as the waters cover the sea.

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.                                            Isaiah 11:9b                  



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.


the Word of the Lord.  

  Thanks be to God.


PSALM 72:1-7, 18-19




1 Give the king your jus- | tice, O God,*

                and your righteousness to | the king's son;

2 that he may rule your | people righteously*

                and the | poor with justice;

3 that the mountains may bring prosperity | to the people,*

                and the little | hills bring righteousness.

4 He shall defend the needy a- | mong the people;*

                he shall rescue the poor and crush | the oppressor.

5 He shall live as long as the sun and | moon endure,*

                from one generation | to another.

6 He shall come down like rain upon | the mown field,*

                like showers that wa- | ter the earth.

7 In his time shall the | righteous flourish;*

                there shall be abundance of peace

till the moon shall | be no more.

18 Blessed be the Lord GOD, the | God of Israel,*

                who alone does | wondrous deeds!

19 And blessed be his glorious | name forever,*

                and may all the earth be filled with his glory. A- | men. Amen.

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”;
11and again,
 “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.


the Word of the Lord.  

  Thanks be to God.



VERSE   Luke 3:4, 6                                        Setting by Robert Wetzler          

Alleluia. Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight his paths; all nations shall see the salvation of God. Alleluia.


Gospel                             Matthew 3:1-12  


The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.          Glory to you, O Lord.  


In 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.






WHYMN OF THE DAY                              

Green LBW 29                 Comfort, Comfort Now My People

St. 2/Choir; Setting/ John Ferguson

1 “Comfort, comfort now my people;

tell of peace!” So says our God.

Comfort those who sit in darkness

mourning under sorrow’s load.

To God’s people now proclaim

that God’s pardon waits for them!

Tell them that their war is over;

God will reign in peace forever.

2 For the herald’s voice is crying

in the desert far and near,

calling us to true repentance,

since the kingdom now is here.

Oh, that warning cry obey!

Now prepare for God a way!

Let the valleys rise to meet him,

and the hills bow down to greet him!

3 Straight shall be what long was crooked,

and the rougher places plain!

Let your hearts be true and humble,

as befits his holy reign!

For the glory of the Lord

now on earth is shed abroad,

and all flesh shall see the token

that God’s word is never broken.

Text: Johann G. Olearius, 1611-1684; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878, alt.


CONFESSION OF FAITH                                                                  Nicene Creed


X At the words ‘For us and for our salvation,’ and continuing through ‘and was made man,’ a solemn bow is appropriate to praise the incarnation of our Lord.


We believe in one God,

                the Father, the Almighty,            

                                maker of heaven and earth,

                                of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

                the only Son of God,

                eternally begotten of the Father,

                God from God, Light from Light,

                true God from true God,

                begotten, not made,

                of one Being with the Father.

                Through him all things were made.

                X For us and for our salvation

                                he came down from heaven;

                                by the power of the Holy Spirit

                                he became incarnate from the virgin Mary,   and was made man. X

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

                                he suffered death and was buried.

                On the third day he rose again

                                                in accordance with the Scriptures;

                                he ascended into heaven

                                                and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

                He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

                                and his kingdom will have no end.



We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

                who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

                With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

                He has spoken through the prophets.

                We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

                We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

                We look for the resurrection of the dead,

                                and the life of the world to come. Amen






Watchful at all times, let us pray for the coming of God’s kingdom in the Church and to all the world.


A brief silence is kept.


Stir up in your holy people the seven-fold gifts of the Spirit; that your Church may be filled with hope and be doers of peace. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Stir up the hearts of the members of this congregation, that we may abound in good deeds and abide in true faith. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Stir up the hearts of the people of the world to prepare your kingdom of equity, in which no one shall hurt or destroy. Be with all who hold positions of responsibility in our nation, and in all nations of the world. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Stir up the hearts of those who care for others, and give to the sick, the poor, the needy, and all who hope in the power of the Lord signs of your mercy upon all creation.


The pastor reads the names submitted for prayer.

The congregation is invited to offer spoken or silent intercessions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We thank you for those who have died in Christ, who with one voice praised him who unites us in one body and who will raise us from the dead. Stir up our hearts, that we may imitate their faith until the revealing of the righteous King of peace. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Gracious Father, we lift these prayers before you through our Lord, Jesus Christ; who came to Mary’s womb; was born into the world in Bethlehem; and who will be revealed in glory for the salvation of your people, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



The peace of the Lord be with you always.

  And also with you.


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.



OFFERTORY  Luke 13:29; 14:15                Setting by Robert Wetzler

And many will come from the east and the west, from north and south, and sit at table in the Kingdom of God. Blessed are they who shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God.




As this bread was scattered and then gathered and made one, so may

your Church be gathered into your kingdom.

  Glory to you, O God, forever.


Wisdom has built her a house;

she has mixed her wine;

she has set her table.

  Glory to you, O God, forever.





It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and ever-living God. You comforted your people with the promise of the Redeemer, through whom you will also make all things new in the day when he comes again to judge the world in righteousness. And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:


Blessed are you, O Adonai, Most High and Holy God,

                for the wonder of your goodness

which creates, establishes, and permeates

                the heavens and the earth.


We praise you for the promises you made to the Patriarchs,

                as you led your chosen people out of slavery

into the land of promise,

                giving them your Law on Sinai’s heights.               


You promised, through the prophets,

                that the Messiah would come,

                the very branch of Jesse –

                before whom all nations would keep silent.


Then, at the appointed time,

                you sent your beloved Son, Jesus our Emmanuel,

                the key of David born of Mary by the power of the Spirit. 


He came to rescue the uprooted,               

                to bring life to the lifeless

and voice to those who were without hope;

                on Calvary’s heights gave His life

                to draw all people to Himself

and to your promise of mercy.


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.


Together, let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

  O Christ, you are the splendor of life everlasting:

  We laud your death and resurrection,

  and await your return in glory.


Blessed are you, O Adonai, Lord of might. 

                You fulfilled your promises

in the death, resurrection and ascension of your Son,

                the King of all nations.  

We praise you for embracing us

                as the people who now dwell in the brightness of His glory.


Send now your holy and life-giving Spirit

                upon this Bread of Life and this Cup of Salvation,

                that we, in this holy communion,

                may be united to Him who is our cornerstone,

                the One who gives us His very body and blood

                to sustain us in His forgiving love.

With all the people of your promises,

                we await our Lord’s final coming

                when we will share in that feast which shall never end.

  Amen.  Come, O precious Ransom, come!


In the presence of Christ, we pray to his Father using the words he gave us.


Christ is in our midst.

                By the power of the Spirit,

                we pray to his Father, saying:



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                                  

Matthew 6:9-15

Lord, come to us and cleanse us, come to us and heal us,

come to us and strengthen us;

  and grant that, having received you,

  we may never be separated from you, but continue yours forever.


We adore Christ, present in bread and wine.





Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized. They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.



Choir     A Carol for Advent - Text/ Rae E. Whitney; Music/ Carl Schalk


Conceived in the autumn, born in midsummer,                                  

   Priest Zacharia and Elizabeth’s son,                                     

promised by Gabriel there in the temple,                                               

   John the forerunner of the One soon to come.


Conceived in the springtime, born in the winter,                                

   first-born of Mary, and son of the Lord;                                               

promised by Gabriel, welcomed by shepherds,                                    

   Jesus is Savior, God’s Living Word!


When all have received, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.    











Pour out upon us the spirit of your love, O Lord, and unite the wills of those whom you have fed with one heavenly food; through Jesus Christ our Lord.








May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

     1 Thessalonians 5:23-24



Almighty God, Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.





Blue WOV 763                 Let Justice Flow like Streams

           The text of this hymn may not be reproduced here.


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                             Thanks be to God!


From Sundays and Copyright 2022 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Additional liturgical material from Common Worship: Times and Seasons,

© 2006 The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England,

and Foretaste of the Feast to Come, by Philip Pfatteicher, Augsburg, Minneapolis, 1987.

Beerhorst, Rick and Brenda. Peaceable Kingdom, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved November 28, 2022]. Original source:

Eucharistic Canon reprinted by permission from A Little Book of Canons by Rod L. Ronneberg, STS, c. 1997 and c. 2010.

Agnus Day appears with the permission of


St Stephen Lutheran Church

55 Forsythe Road

Pittsburgh PA 15220

(412) 279-5868


Saturday Evening Worship – 6:30 pm

Sunday Morning Worship – 10:30 am