* Stand if willing and able
Gathering Music Sing the Faith #2092 “like a child”
Welcome and Announcements
Prelude: “The Journey to Bethlehem” by Cesar Frank
* Call to Worship
Out of little Bethlehem comes one who is to rule in Israel.
He shall be great to the ends of the earth.
Our spirits rejoice in God our Savior.
God’s mercy extends from generation to generation. Holy is God’s name!
Let us pray together:
* Prayer of the Day
Stir up your power, O God, and come to set us free by the righteousness of your birth in our midst, by the light of your face shining upon us, and by becoming our brother, our friend, our salvation. We pray this in the name of the One Holy Spirit, birthed in Jesus through Mary, Amen.
* Advent Carol #121 “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
Candle Lighting – Advent IV: Love
Isaiah spoke to a people called chosen,
To a tribe called Israel, with a light of hope.
Gabriel came to a town called Nazareth,
To a girl called Mary, with a message for peace.
Mary went to a place called Bethlehem
To a stable which became a nursery, birthing joy.
As we light our fourth Advent candle, we rejoice with Mary;
Come, now, O Prince of Love.
Advent Carol #110 “Love Has Come”
* Invitation to Confession
In the world, and in this season, there are many claims on our lives. We take this time to remember that in our baptism, Christ claimed us as his own. We acknowledge before God and one another that we sometimes struggle to follow Jesus Christ with all our heart and mind and strength, but we want to. Trusting in God’s grace, we pray:
* Prayer of Confession
God our Savior, we ask for your mercy. Though we have heard Mary’s song, we still seek security in pride and power and possessions. Though we know your story, we resist the costs of following you. We pass by those considered lowly in this world. We turn away from hungry people who still wait to be filled. Forgive us, we pray. Help us to work for the justice you intend. Make us messengers of the peace you bring. As we wait for you, turn our apathy into acts of love and service. We pray in the name of Christ Jesus, Emmanuel. Amen.
* Advent Carol #90 “Wait For the Lord” (In the spirit of Taize, repeat 3x)
* Assurance of Pardon and Passing of the Peace
Friends, believe this Good News: God is One and God is Three – Love constantly flowing in, out, and through; the gift of Jesus Christ for me and for you. For this we say:
Thanks be to God!
Since God has loved us through Christ, let us love one another; the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
And also with you!
Let us share signs of peace.
* Song of Response #93 “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates”
Celebrating Joys and where we have seen God at work
Song of Thanksgiving #654: “In the Lord I’ll Be Ever Thankful”
Prayer of Illumination:
O Mighty One, who scatters the proud and fills the hungry, by your Holy Spirit let your word leap in us and bring to our yearning the joy that comes with new beginnings and renewed lives. Amen.
Hebrew Scripture: Micah 5:2-5a p. 1143 OT
“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10 p. 304 NT
“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-45 (46-55) p. 78-79 NT
“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”
Reflection: “TL 12-19-2021 YC A4 Love Child” ~ Pastor Scott Crane
Please spend several moments in silent reflection
RESPONSE TO THE WORD
* Hymn of Response: #104 “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You”
* Affirmation of Faith: Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.18-19
God expressed love for all humankind through Israel, whom God chose to be a covenant people to serve him in love and faithfulness. Out of Israel, God in due time raised up Jesus. He was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel, the beginning of the new creation, and the pioneer of the new humanity. Jesus calls the church to be his servant for the reconciliation of the world.
Intercessory Prayers of the People
Call and response: “Lord in your mercy,” “Hear our prayers.”
Invitation to Present Our Offerings
People of God, the Lord has given us so much. Let us give, as each is able, for the benefit of Christ’s church and God’s world.
Offertory: “What Can I Give to Him?” by Joe E. Parks
* Doxology Tune #606
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Christ all creatures here below!
Praise Holy Spirit evermore!
Praise Triune God whom we adore! Amen!
* Prayer of Dedication
You deliver us, O God, from exile, separation, and despair into communion with each other, with you, and with your good news. We thank you for all that draws us close together, astounding us with lives transformed by gratitude. Accept our gifts as signs of our gratitude for what you give us every day and as honor to your presence in our world; for the sake of those who stand in need and Jesus Christ, who saves us all and taught us to pray, saying:
* The Lord’s Prayer (…debts…debtors…)
* Closing Hymn #105 “People, Look East”
* Blessing and Charge
* Congregational Song “Let There Be Peace on Earth”
Lyrics found on the inside front cover of the hymnal. Bathrooms and a diaper changing station are located in the Fellowship Hall. Please join us across the way for refreshments and conversation following worship
Symbols in the Advent wreath:
Candles have traditionally been given various names and designations:
Candle 1. Hope and/or Patriarchs (and I would add Matriarchs) – purple, blue, or red
Candle 2. Peace and/or Prophets – purple, blue, or red
Candle 3. Joy and/or John the Baptist – pink, purple, blue, or red
Candle 4. Love or The Virgin Mary – purple, blue, or red
Candle 5. Christmas Eve: Christ The Light of the World – white
Questions for Reflection
Where do you see the light of Christ magnified in your person, your life, and the ways of your family and community? Notice in the coming week one time each day when the light of Christ is made present for you by others. Then, do unto others likewise.
Household Prayer: Morning
Thank you, good and gracious God, for the morning light, for another day in which to live out what it means that you have magnified my soul and the souls of those around me in this world. Teach me the meaning of “Let it be.” Show me how to trust; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Household Prayer: Evening
Good and gracious God, we give you thanks that you have made incarnate in your world the breath of life, the life of hope. Keep us safe throughout the night that in the morning we may again rejoice and live in peace with all creation; in Jesus’ name. Amen.