Order of Worship – December 13th, 2020

Preliminaries: Welcome and Announcements

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We Give Glory to God

Call to Worship: “John 1:9-14”                                 

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Hymn of Acclamation: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” 
Wade; Trans. Oakeley, 1841

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! 

Sing, choir of angels, sing in exultation
Sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above;
Glory to God, all glory in the highest! [Refrain]

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; 
Jesus, to thee be all glory given; 
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing; [Refrain]

We Mourn the Reality of Sin

Hymn of Confession: “O Come, All You Unfaithful”                     
Kauflin and Clow, 2020

O come, all you unfaithful
Come, weak and unstable
Come, know you are not alone

O come, barren and waiting ones
Weary of praying, come
See what your God has done

Christ is born, Christ is born
Christ is born for you

O come, bitter and broken
Come with fears unspoken
Come, taste of His perfect love

O come, guilty and hiding ones
There is no need to run
See what your God has done [Chorus]


He’s the Lamb who was given
Slain for our pardon
His promise is peace
For those who believe [2x]

So come, though you have nothing
Come, He is the offering
Come, see what your God has done [Chorus]

Prayer of confession
Adapted from “The Valley of Vission”

Come, Holy Spirit: Help me in my weaknesses and in my infirmities.

When I am: 
Pressed down under a load of sorrow,
Perplexed and not knowing what to do,
Slandered, persecuted, harassed,
Made to feel the weight of the cross,
Help me in these moments, I pray.

If you see in me:

Any wrong thing encouraged,
Any evil desire cherished,
Any delight that does not align with what delights you,
Any habit that grieves you and presumes upon your grace,
Any hiding-place of sin in my heart,

Then please: grant me your forgiveness, 
And teach me to walk in your commandments.
Deliver me from my depression-inducing, anxiety-causing cares;

Make me a happy, holy person in your design, through your means.
Equip me to follow Christ with brave, firm steps, 
And grant that I may not be overcome by my weaknesses.

Teach me to adore and magnify your name in all circumstances, at all times.
And make my life one of continual gratitude expressed to thee.

We Celebrate Christ as Our Redeemer

Assurance of Hope: “Isaiah 53:4-5 ”                                  

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Hymn of Redemption: “O Holy Night”
Cappeau, 1847 and Hartnett, 2014                                                                                     

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope–the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!

Humbly He lay, Creator come as creature,
Born on the floor of a hay-scattered stall.
True Son of God, yet bearing human feature,
He entered earth to reverse Adam’s fall.
In towering grace, He laid aside His glory,
And in our place, was sacrificed for sin.
Fall on your knees! O hear the gospel story!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!    

Truly he taught us to love one another;
His law is love and his gospel is peace.
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise his name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!

Reading: “Luke 1:57-80”

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father,60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.”61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered.64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74     that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Prayer for the Proclamation of God’s Word

Sermon: A Thrill of Hope, Part 3: “God with Us means God in Us”

Davis Lacey  – Luke 1:5-25, 39-45, 57-80

Main Point: Through sharing our suffering, God has redeemed our suffering. 
Zechariah and Elizabeth

  1. They Suffered
  2. God Shared Their Suffering
  3. God Redeemed Their Suffering
    1. KNOW
    2. GROW
    3. SHOW

Our Hope

  1. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, God himself shares our suffering.
  2. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, God himself redeems our suffering.
    1. KNOW
    2. GROW
    3. SHOW

We Respond to the Gospel

Hymn of Response: “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”
18th century English Carol                                                                                    

God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray;

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God our heav’nly Father,
A blessed angel came;
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The son of God by name, [Refrain]

“Fear not, then,” said the angel,
“Let nothing you affright;
This day is born a Savior
Of a pure virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in him
From Satan’s power and might.” [Refrain]

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding,
In tempest, storm, and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway,
The Son of God to find. [Refrain]

Hymn of the New Creation: “All Glory be to Christ”
Kensrue , 2012                                       

Should nothing of our efforts stand 
No legacy survive 
Unless the Lord does raise the house 
In vain its builders strive 

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life 
A mist that vanishes at dawn 
All glory be to Christ!                                                         

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ! 
His rule and reign we’ll ever sing, 
All glory be to Christ!

His will be done His kingdom come 
On earth as is above 
Who is Himself our daily bread 
Praise Him the Lord of love  

Let living water satisfy 
The thirsty without price 
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet 
All glory be to Christ! [Refrain]                                          

When on the day the great I Am 
The faithful and the true 
The Lamb who was for sinners slain 
Is making all things new.                                                 

Behold our God shall live with us 
And be our steadfast light 
And we shall ere his people be 
All glory be to Christ! [Refrain]

Benediction and Sending