Order of Worship – December 20th, 2020

Preliminaries: Welcome and Announcements

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We Give Glory to God

Call to Worship: “Matthew 1:21-23”                                                                    

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).

Hymn of Acclamation: “Glory be to God On High”                                                                                                                                                          John Wesley, 1810; Bruce Benedict, 2008

 Glory be to God on high, Peace on earth descend;
God comes down; He bows the sky, and shows Himself our Friend! God, th’invisible appears, God, the blest, the great I AM, Sojourns in this vale of tears, and Jesus is His name.

Him the angels all adored, their Maker and their King;
tidings of their humbled Lord, they now to mortals bring; emptied of His majesty, of His dazzling glories shorn, being’s Source, begins to be, and Christ Himself is born!

We, the sons of men, rejoice, The Prince of Peace proclaim, With Heaven’s host lift up our voice, and shout Immanuel’s Name; Knees and hearts to Him we bow; of our flesh, and of our bone, Jesus is our brother now, and God is all our own!

We Mourn the Reality of Sin

Hymn of Confession: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”                     
12th century; trans. Neale, 1851

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 you, O Israel.

O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
Unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave. [Refrain]

O come, O Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
And bar the way to death’s abode. [Refrain]

Prayer of Confession: “Psalm 51:1-17”

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

We Celebrate Christ as Our Redeemer

Assurance of Hope: “Galatians 4:4-7”                                 

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Hymn of Redemption: “A Great and Mighty Wonder”
St. Germanus (634-734); arr. Tom McConnell, 2016

A great and mighty wonder, 
Redemption drawing near near: 
The Virgin bears the infant, 
The Prince of peace is here! 
And with that lowly maiden we join to sing again:
“To God on high be glory, and peace on earth to men.” 

The Word becomes incarnate 
And yet remains on high, 
The shepherds hear the anthem 
As glory fills the sky. 
And with those humble shepherds we join to sing again
“To God on High be glory and peace on earth to men!” 

He comes to save all nations, 
Let all now hear His word, 
Approach and bring Him worship, 
The Savior and the Lord. 
And we who know His saving grace will join to sing again: 
“To God on high be glory and peace on earth to men!”

Reading: “Galatians 4:1-7”

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Prayer for the Proclamation of God’s Word

Sermon: A Thrill of Hope, Part 4 (“The Fullness of Time”)
Davis Lacey  – Galatians 4:1-7

Main Point: Because Jesus has shared our suffering, we now share all that is His.

  • Full Adoption/Sonship 
  • The Fullness of the Spirit
  • A Full Inheritance 

We Respond to the Gospel

Hymn of Response: “O Little Town of Bethlehem”                                                                                                                                                Brooks, 1868

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;                                                                                                                Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by: Yet in thy  dark   streets shineth the everlasting Light; The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
Oh, come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

Hymn of New Creation: “Joy to the World”
Watts, 1719 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love.

Benediction and Sending