Forth Sunday of Advent
Morning Worship at 11 o’Clock
“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
The Church Gathers
Organ Prelude “In a Winter Daye” Medieval English melody
Words of Welcome and Announcements (by the minister)
† Choral Introit “Come, O Long-Expected Jesus” Christian Gregor
Come, O long-expected Jesus,
Born to see 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,
Long-desired of every nation,
Joy of every waiting heart.
† Call to Worship Psalm 80: 17-19
But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call on your name.
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
† Advent Candle Lighting
We light this candle as a symbol of the Prince of Peace. May the visitation of your Holy Spirit, O God, make us ready for the coming of Jesus, our hope and joy. O come, O come, Emmanuel.
† Hymn “Blessed Be the God of Israel” No. 209
Blessed be the God of Israel, who comes to set us free, who visits and redeems us, and grants us liberty. The prophets spoke of mercy, of freedom and release; God shall fulfill the promise to bring our people peace.
Now from the house of David a child of grace is given; a Savior comes among us to raise us up to heaven. Before him goes the herald, forerunner in the way, the prophet of salvation, the harbinger of day.
On prisoners of darkness the sun begins to rise, the dawning of forgiveness upon the sinner’s eyes, to guide the feet of pilgrims along the paths of peace; O bless our God and Savior with songs that never cease!
Morning Prayer (unison) Advent No. 201
Merciful God, you sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation. Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may celebrate aright the commemoration of the nativity, and may await with joy the coming in glory of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
To Hear the Word
From the Hebrew Scripture Isaiah 7:10-16
Michael Rouse is the Liturgist.
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.
Anthem “The King Shall Come” Lloyd Larson
The King shall come when morning dawns and light triumphant breaks;
When beauty gilds the eastern hills and life to joy awakes.
The King shall come when morning dawns and earth’s dark night is past;
O haste the dawning of that morn, the day that e’er shall last.
Come, O come, Messiah, set your people free.
Savior of the nations, come, O Prince of Peace!
The King shall come when morning dawns and light and beauty brings
Emmanuel! Your people pray, come quickly, King of Kings!
From the Gospel Matthew 1:18-25
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Sermon “The obedience of faith” Rev. Travis Knoll
To Respond in Faith
† Hymn “Alleluia, Alleluia” No. 162
Alleluia, alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord. Alleluia, alleluia! Give praise to his name. Jesus is Lord of all the earth. He is the King of creation.
Alleluia, alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord. Alleluia, alleluia! Give praise to his name. Spread the good news o’er all the earth: Jesus has died and has risen.
Alleluia, alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord. Alleluia, alleluia! Give praise to his name. We have been crucified with Christ. Now we shall live forever.
Alleluia, alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord. Alleluia, alleluia! Give praise to his name. Come, let us praise the living God, joyfully sing to our Savior. Alleluia, alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord. Alleluia, alleluia! Give praise to his name.
† The Apostle’s Creed (unison) No. 881
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick 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.
The Collection of Tithes and Offerings
Offertory “Do Not Be Afraid” Lloyd Larson
Fear not! The Holy Spirit shall come upon you. Blessed be the word of the Lord. Fear not! The child of your womb is the Savior. O hear the Word of the Lord. Trust the word of the Lord.
I am not afraid! I shall rejoice for I’ve heard the word of the Lord. I am not afraid! The Child I bear is the Promised One of the Lord. I will trust in the Lord.
I shall not fear, for the child Mary bears is the Promised One, the Holy Son of the Lord. I shall not fear, for the Angel of God has proclaimed this as the sovereign Will of the Lord. I’ll place my trust in the Lord.
Do not be afraid! God will be with you. Trust in the Word of the Lord. Do not be afraid. God will be with you, guide and protect you. Trust in the Word of the Lord.
† Presentation of Tithes and Offerings (unison) No. 99
To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory for the things he hath done. With his blood he has saved me; with his power he has raised me; to God be the glory for the things he hath done.
The Lord’s Prayer (unison)
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. Amen.
And Scatters to Be the Church in the World
† Hymn “All Earth is Waiting” No. 210
All earth is waiting to see the Promised One, and the open furrows, the sowing of the Lord. All the world, bound and struggling, seeks true liberty; it cries out for justice and searches for the truth.
Thus says the prophet to those of Israel, “A virgin mother will bear Emmanuel,” for his name is “God with us,” our brother shall be, with him hope will blossom once more within our hearts.
Mountains and valleys will have to be made plain; open new highways, new highways for the Lord. He is now coming closer, so come all and see, and open the doorways as wide as wide can be.
In lowly stable the Promised One appeared, yet, feel his presence throughout the earth today, for he lives in all Christians and is with us now; again, with his coming he brings us liberty.
† Dismissal with Blessing
Go, to give God the gift of your heart, your life, and your obedience
We go now, to be God’s people.
† Choral Response “Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall Come” arr. Thomas Helmore
Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel!
† Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell
† Organ Postlude “Allegro Fiero” Morgan