Sunday, December 13, 2020










December 13, 2020



Based on a Service by Brian Wren

Advent 3

Advent is a season of waiting. During Advent, we are waiting  for something to come into the world,

something to be born for us and in us. It is an expectant waiting, and it requires not will, but willingness

– a willingness to receive the new, the unexpected.

It requires a decision to be open to the ways God will be at work in our lives.


Organ Prelude


Words of Welcome and Announcements              John Strawbridge


Choral Introit “O Hearken Ye” (Burt)

O hearken ye who would believe,

The gracious tidings now receive:

Gloria! Gloria in excelsis Deo!

The mighty Lord of heaven and earth

Today is come to human birth!

Gloria! Gloria In excelsis Deo!


Call to Worship We Meet to Worship God”

We meet to worship God, and to give thanks for the birth of Jesus,

who lived, and died, and rose from death

to show that God loves us, that God calls us, and that God is with us.


Lighting the Advent Wreath

Last Sunday we lit the candle of Hope, remembering the hope which comes in Christ, and we lit the candle of Peace, remembering God’s dream of a peaceful world. (Light Candles). Today we light the third candle of Advent, the candle of Joy(Light Candle).

In Advent, we are in a time of waiting. Like the Israelites who wandered through the Wilderness, waiting to come into the Promised Land, we wait for the coming of the Joy of Ages. We wait for the day where we can join our voices with the angels to sing “Joy to the World, the Lord is come!” We wait for the day when everlasting joy will be on each of us.

On this day, we remember the Spirit who breathes joy into our lives.


Choral Response  “Emmanuel, Emmanuel”     UMH 204

Emmanuel, Emmanuel,

His name is called Emmanuel.

God with us, revealed in us,

His name is called Emmanuel.


Up In Heaven All Alone?

Introduction    Rev. Deb

First Reading: The Awesome Starmaker Loves Us    Psalm  8

Introduction Rev. Deb

Psalm 8:1-9 NIV

1 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory in the heavens.

2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies,

to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.

6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:

7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,

8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


L: This is the end of our reading. Let us praise God, far beyond us, who loves and cares for us,

and let us be ready to live the faith we sing.


Carol: Once in Royal David’s City                UMH 250 Vs. 1 (Choir Only)

1. Once in royal David’s city

stood a lowly cattle shed,

where a mother laid her baby

in a manger for his bed:

Mary was that mother mild,

Jesus Christ, her little child.


Second Lesson: God– Hidden, Near, or Both?

Introduction Rev. Deb

L: The Living God is with us.

P: The God of Jacob is our refuge.


Voices from Psalm 10:1, 3-4, and Psalm 46:1-2, 8-10

10:1Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

3. He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.

4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

46:1. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

L: The Living God is with us.

P: The God of Jacob is our refuge.

10:13 Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”?

They seize the poor and drag them off in their net. They think in their heart, “God has forgotten. God will never see it.”

46: 8 Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.

He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

L: The Living God is with us;

P: The God of Jacob is our refuge.

O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.

Do justice for the orphans and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

L: This is the end of the reading. Give thanks to God and pray that we may reach out to the world,

speaking honestly about the hiddenness of God yet trusting that God is with us.


Carol: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”        UMH 211 Vs. 1 (ALL)

1. O come, O come, Emmanuel,

And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Third Lesson: What Kind of God Is With Us?

Introduction Rev. Deb

Micah 3:11-12; 6:8

11 Her leaders judge for a bribe,

her priests teach for a price,

and her prophets tell fortunes for money.

Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,

“Is not the Lord among us?

No disaster will come upon us.”

12 Therefore because of you,

Zion will be plowed like a field,

Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,

the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets. 3:11-12

And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God. 6:8


L: This is the end of our reading. Let us show the world that we believe God is with us

by doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.


Carol:  Hail to the Lord’s Anointed” UMH 203 (All)

1. Hail to the Lord’s Anointed,

great David’s greater Son!

Hail in the time appointed,

his reign on earth begun!

He comes to break oppression,

to set the captive free;

to take away transgression,

and rule in equity.


Fourth Lesson: “Emmanuel–God With Us”

Introduction   Rev. Deb

Matthew 1:18-25

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered 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 home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

L: This is the end of our reading. Give thanks to God, who came to be one of us, with a body, a mind, a language, and a name. Amen.


Carol: Celebrate The Promise (Larson) (Choir Only)

Celebrate the promise of the King.

Come and celebrate, cast out your earthly fear;

The Lord will soon appear.


Celebrate the promise of God’s love.

Let music start to ring;

Rejoice, give thanks and sing!


Gentle Mary, chosen one,

you are highly favored.

God will bless you with a Son;

He will be our Savior.

Call His name Emmanuel:

God with us, together.


He will be the King of Kings!

He will rule forever and ever.


Fifth Lesson: God’s Promise Fulfilled

Introduction    Rev. Deb

Selections from Luke 2:21-32, 36-40

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”, 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.

30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,

31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

L: This is the end of our reading. Give thanks to God: who came to be one of us as one of God’s chosen people, in a particular place and time.


Carol: Sleepers, Awake! (Martin) (Choir only)

Sleepers, awake and hear the glad tidings!

Sleepers, awake!  Abandon the night!

Comfort and joy are coming to Zion.

Sleepers, awake and rejoice in the light!


All of the blind shall see the Messiah;

Every ear shall hear and believe!

Rivers of joy shall flow in the desert;

Comfort shall come and sorrow will leave.


All of the weak shall dance in the morning;

All the silent join in the song!

We shall be saved, for God shall redeem us!

All of our darkness shall flee with the dawn.


Israel’s strength and our consolation,

The hope that never departs,

Dearest desire of every nation,

The Joy of our longing hearts.


Sixth Lesson: Foreigners Follow Their Star

Introduction   Rev. Deb

Matthew 2:1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

L: This is the end of our reading. Give thanks to God, who took the risk of being truly one of us.


Carol: We Three Kings (All)         UMH 254 Vs.1

We three kings of Orient are

Bearing gifts we traverse afar.

Field and fountain, moor and mountain,

Following yonder star. O star of wonder, star of night,

Star with royal beauty bright,

Westward leading, still proceeding,

Guide us to thy perfect Light.


Seventh Lesson: Despised and Rejected

Introduction    Rev. Deb

Luke 2:33-35

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”


In the prophecy of Isaiah we hear these words: Isaiah 53:2-3, 5

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.

Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

L: This is the end of our reading. Give thanks to God who suffered for us.


Carol: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence     UMH 626 Vs.1 (Choir Only)

1. Let all mortal flesh keep silence,

and with fear and trembling stand;

ponder nothing earthly-minded,

for with blessing in his hand,

Christ our God to earth descendeth,

our full homage to demand.


Eight Lesson: Christ is With Us, So Tell the World

Introduction Rev. Deb

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


L: This is the word of God, Thanks be to God.


Carol: Go Tell It on the Mountain                 UMH 251 Vs. 1 (Choir Only)

Go tell it on the mountain

Over the hills and everywhere

Go tell it on the mountain

Our Jesus Christ is born


While shepherds kept their watchin’

Over silent flocks by night

Behold throughout the heavens

There shone a holy light, yeah


Go tell it on the mountain

Over the hills and everywhere

Go tell it on the mountain

Our Jesus Christ is born


Ninth Lesson: Nothing Can Separate us from God’s Love

Introduction  Rev. Deb

Romans 8:35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


L: And so God was one of us, flesh and bone, like one of us, not a stranger on a bus, but our Savior on a cross, bringing us home. Amen


Carol: O Come, All Ye Faithful                     UMH 234 Vs. 1 (All)

O come, all ye faithful

Joyful and triumphant

O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem

Come and behold Him

Born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him

O come, let us adore Him

O come, let us adore Him

Christ the Lord


Invitation to Offering

On-Line giving


Offertory  “Candlelight Carol” (Rutter)

How do you capture the wind on the water?

How do you count all the stars in the sky?

How can you measure the love of a mother,

Or how can you write down a baby’s first cry?


Shepherds and wise men will kneel and adore Him,

Seraphim round him their vigil will keep;

Nations proclaim Him their Lord and their Savior,

But Mary will hold Him and sing him to sleep.


Candlelight, angel light, firelight and star-glow

Shine on His cradle till breaking of dawn.

Gloria in excelsis Deo,

Angels are singing, the Christ Child is born.


Find Him at Bethlehem laid in a manger,

Christ our Redeemer asleep in the hay;

Godhead incarnate and hope of salvation:

A child with His mother that first Christmas Day.


Offering Prayer (All)

Gracious and loving God, these gifts we offer are our response to the light which came into the world that first Christmas. Help us in this Advent season to allow that light to shine through us, so that the dark areas of people’s lives life can be pierced by Christ’s love. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

Closing Hymn  The Days are Coming, Said the Lord    Carolyn Winfred Gillette

CAROL D (“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”)

1. “The days are coming,” said the Lord to people beaten down,

“The days are coming in this world when justice will abound.

My people, you will sing and dance, and hope will blossom forth,

For I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up on the earth.”

2. O God, you sent the prophets here to people long oppressed;

You told your children, filled with fear, that one day they’d be blessed.

You said to cities lost, destroyed by violence, sin or war,

That they would soon receive the joy that they were longing for.

4. The days are coming, loving Lord, to sing of Jesus’ birth;

Yet cries for justice still are heard throughout this sinful earth.

In Advent, may we work and wait, do justice, share and pray,

And so prepare to celebrate your joyful, coming day.



L: In Jesus Christ, God comforts us, renews us, sustains us, and
transforms us into something new. As followers of Christ, we cannot
be afraid to be different.
P: We cannot be afraid to be more faithful, more caring, more
generous, more peaceful, or more accepting than people would expect usto be.
L: Let us now go into the world, serving God and serving others in
all that we say and do.
P: Amen.


Choral Response   “Peace and Good Will” (Burt)

Peace and good will the Christ child brings,

Noel, Noel, Noel!

And saves all men from evil things,

For He of whom the angel sings

is Lord of lords and King of kinds!

Then sing Noel, Noel, Noel!

Then sing Noel, Noel!

So Christian folk, put fear aside,

Noel, Noel, Noel!

And spread the gospel far and wide,

That joy be great at Christmastide,

And God in Christ be magnified!

Then sing, Noel, Noel, Noel!

Then sing Noel, Noel!


Organ Postlude














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