Fourth Sunday of Advent: 20 December 2020

Peace to you at the close of our Advent season of waiting. I pray this service finds you joyful, healthy and safe. The painting portrayed in the video is The Annunciation (1898) by Henry Ossawa Tanner
Peace, Pastor Chris Lee

Christmas Eve Services

You will have two opportunities to worship on Christmas Eve! A recorded worship will be provided to you through email, Facebook and our website, as our usual practice. In addition, you are welcome to gather in our parking lot at 4 p.m. to sing a few hymns, hear the gospel lesson read, and pray for our community. The 4 p.m. service will be in cars with the service broadcast through your car radio!

Order of Worship for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20, 2020:


God keeps the promise made to David to give him an everlasting throne. The angel tells Mary that God will give David’s throne to her son Jesus. She is perplexed by Gabriel’s greeting and by the news of her coming pregnancy, but she is able still to say, “Count me in.” We who know that Jesus is called king only as he is executed still find it a mystery hard to fathom, but with Mary today we hear the news of what God is up to and say, “Count us in.”

Opening Hymn: ELW 263- “Savior of the Nations, Come.” verses 1, 3, & 5.

Prayer of the Day

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that would obstruct your mercy, that willingly we may bear your redeeming love to all the world, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

In this annunciation, Luke makes clear that God comes with good news for ordinary people from little known places. This king will not be born to royalty in a palace, but to common folk in a stall. Here Luke highlights the role of the Spirit, a special emphasis in this gospel.

26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Psalm: Luke 1:46b-55

46bMy soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
  47my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for you, Lord, have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
  From this day all generations will call me blessed:
49you, the Almighty, have done great things for me
  and holy is your name.
50You have mercy on those who fear you,
  from generation to generation. 
51You have shown strength with your arm
  and scattered the proud in their conceit,
52casting down the mighty from their thrones
  and lifting up the lowly.
53You have filled the hungry with good things
  and sent the rich away empty.
54You have come to the aid of your servant Israel,
  to remember the promise of mercy,
55the promise made to our forbears,
  to Abraham and his children forever. 

Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee

Hymn of the Day: ELW 258- “Unexpected and Mysterious,” all verses.

Prayers of Intercession

God of power and might, fulfill your promise and come quickly to this weary world. Hear our prayers for everyone in need

Gracious God, all generations call you blessed. In this holy season we pray for our neighbors of other denominations and faiths. Inspire the faith of their people. Cultivate understanding among us and strengthen us in love and service to our community. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Creator God, you scatter the proud. Everything we have belongs first to you. Bless and protect the seas, mountains, plains, forests, skies, and soils that surround us. Give us humility as we tend them. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Righteous God, you humble the powerful and lift up the lowly. We pray for the leaders of all nations, that they amplify the voices of people in need. Guide all people entrusted with leadership, to create societies in which everyone can flourish. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Compassionate God, you fill the hungry with good things and send the rich away empty. Nourish those who lack access to adequate food and nutrition. Bless the work of advocates, community organizers, and food pantries. Encourage others to provide for their neighbors in need. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Healing God, you pour out mercy to all who cry out to you. Surround everyone in need of healing in body, mind, or spirit with your tender presence especially Candi Wheeler; Susan Leyendecker; Bryant Crawford; Helen Schubert; Woody and Luellen Kasselman; Greg, Judy and Kristine Mayer; Mariah Pearson; Jeanna LaRue; Louise Larson; Karen Bemowski; and Dan Wolever. And those named before you in our hearts. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of sinners and saints, you offer joy even in the midst of our grief. We are grateful for the beloved, imperfect people whose lives testified to your radiant love especially Mary Lou Rockwell, who died on December 11th. Anoint all who mourn with the oil of gladness especially the family, friends, and loved ones of Dylan McCalester, who died Tuesday. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Eternal God, you are faithful to the promises you made to our forebears. We give thanks for the ministry of Katharina von Bora Luther and other ancestors who organized, planned, dreamed, encouraged, and reached out as they served you. We give thanks for the bold leadership of female leaders in our own time. Inspire others with their steadfast witness. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Draw near to us, O God, and receive our prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Communion Anthem: ELW 265- “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came,” verses 1 – 3. Soloist: Miriam Anderson

Prayer after Communion

Gracious and abundant God, you have done great things for us, and we rejoice. In this bread and cup you give us life forever. In your boundless mercy, strengthen us and open our hearts to the world’s needs, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


The Creator of the stars bless your Advent waiting, the long-expected Savior fill you with love, the unexpected Spirit guide your journey, ☩ now and forever. Amen.

Sending Hymn: ELW 251- “My Soul Proclaims Your Greatness,” verses 1 & 2.

The Lighting of the Advent Candle and Dismissal

Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Link to Worship Service:

Additional Announcements:

Angel Tree/ Christmas Baskets
Merry Christmas to you and your families! As we near the end of Advent, I’d like to mention that First Lutheran will still be giving to the community and
I would greatly appreciate your help. Like most events this year the Angel Tree gifts and Christmas baskets will look different. As the service
member of council, I plan to donate the funds for the Angel Tree to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois to help purchase gifts for the children
in their foster program. This donation will help provide a gift for chil-
dren within the Quad Cities and surrounding towns. If anyone in the
congregation is interested in giving another donation to LSSI, please
visit On
this page you can click the “donate” button to make your contribution.

In lieu of assembling Christmas baskets this year, we will take dona-
tions for the Church of Peace food pantry. Please consider donating either
can goods or a monetary donation to help those in need within our
community. You may drop off your donations at the Parish House dur-
ing our regular business hours. We took a large load of food items to the pantry on Friday, December 18. Donations will continue to be collected through the month of December. Thank you for all of your help and consideration.
Merry Christmas!!
Kristin Stambaugh, Service

Parish House Office Hours
The Parish House office has limited regular hours:
Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and
Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Please note, per the CDC recommendations regarding COVID-19, masks are required in the Parish House, in addition to physical distancing of at least 6 feet. The church sanctuary remains closed except for recording online services. Thank you for keeping yourself and everyone safe!

Image credits: Annunciation; Holly,; and The Annunciation, by Fra Angelico,

Music credits:

Miriam and Brittany Anderson, vocalists. Pam Edwards, organist.

“Savior of the Nations, Come.” Text: attr. Ambrose of Milan, 340 – 397; Martin Luther, 1483 – 1546; tr. hymnal version. Music: J. Walter, Geistliche Gesangbuchlein, 1524. Text copyright 2006 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Unexpected and Mysterious.” Text: Jeannette M. Lindholm, b. 1961. Music: Calvin Hampton, 1938 – 1984. Text copyright 2002 Jeannette M. Lindholm, admin. Augsburg Fortress. Music copyright 1977 GIA Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came.” Text: Basque carol; para. Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834 – 1924. Music: Basque carol; arr. C. Edgar Pettman, 1865 – 1943, and John Wickham. Arr. copyright 1955, 1983 E.H. Freeman, Ltd, admin. Glenwood Music Corp.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“My Soul Proclaims Your Greatness.” Text: With One Voice, 1995, based on the Magnificat. Music: English folk tune; arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872 – 1958. Text copyright 1995 Augsburg Fortress. Arr. copyright Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

Sundays and Copyright 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted/ streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS006904. Duplication in any form is prohibited without permission or valid license from the copyright administrator.