Fourth Sunday of Advent: 19 December 2021

A great big thanks to Haleigh and Natalie Jacocks for their musical leadership today!

Thank you to all those who participated in caroling yesterday and today.

Blessings to you this final week of Advent. I hope to see you at our Christmas Eve worship at 4pm!

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Peace, Pastor Chris Lee

Order of Worship for the Fourth Sunday of Advent: December 19, 2021:

Prelude: “Mary Did You Know?”- arr. DeCesare. Vocalists, Haleigh and Natalie Jacocks.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Meditation

Cradle and cross are inextricably connected on the fourth Sunday of Advent. Between a lovely tribute to the little town of Bethlehem and Mary’s magnificent song of praise, the letter to the Hebrews reminds us in no uncertain terms that Christ’s advent is for “the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” It is the kind of tension in which the church always lives as when in holy communion—with high delight—“we proclaim the Lord’s death.”

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, who alone does wonders, who lifts up the lowly, who fills the hungry with good things.

Amen.

Let us confess our sin, trusting in the tender mercy of our God.

God for whom we wait,

in the presence of one another, we confess our sin before you. We fail in believing that your good news is for us. We falter in our call to tend your creation. We find our sense of self in material wealth. We fear those different from ourselves. We forget that we are your children and turn away from your love. Forgive us, Blessed One, and assure us again of your saving grace.

Amen.

God, in Christ Jesus, has looked with favor upon you! Through the power of the Holy Spirit, ☩ your sins are forgiven. You are children of the Most High, inheritors of the eternal promise, and recipients of divine mercy. God strengthens you anew to follow the way of peace.

Amen.

Opening Hymn: ELW 257- “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” verses 1 -4.

Prayer of the Day

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that binds us, that we may receive you in joy and serve you always, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen.

Light the first , second, third, and fourth candle

Lighting of the Advent Candle: ELW 249- “Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah,” 4th verse.

First Reading: Micah 5:2-5a

The prophet Micah, having pronounced judgment upon Judah, speaks of a future shepherd-king who, like David, will come from the small town of Bethlehem. (Ephrathah refers to the area around Bethlehem.) This king will restore Israel and bring peace. New Testament writers understood this passage to be referring to Jesus.

2But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
  who are one of the little clans of Judah,
 from you shall come forth for me
  one who is to rule in Israel,
 whose origin is from of old,
  from ancient days.
3Therefore he shall give them up until the time
  when she who is in labor has brought forth;
 then the rest of his kindred shall return
  to the people of Israel.
4And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
  in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
 And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
  to the ends of the earth;
5aand he shall be the one of peace.

Second Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10

The author of Hebrews uses the image of religious sacrifice to convey the significance of Christ’s coming. Through obedient acceptance of God’s will, Christ allows his own body to become the greatest sacrifice of all, one through which we are made a holy people.

5Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
 “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
  but a body you have prepared for me;
6in burnt offerings and sin offerings
  you have taken no pleasure.
7Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’
  (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”
8When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel: Luke 1:39-55

Elizabeth, John’s mother, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, are two women filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. In Elizabeth’s inspired greeting and Mary’s song of praise we hear of a saving God who remembers, scatters, lifts up, and fulfills all things.

39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
46And Mary said,
 “My soul magnifies the Lord,
  47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
  Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
  and holy is his name.
50His mercy is for those who fear him
  from generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with his arm;
  he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
  and lifted up the lowly;
53he has filled the hungry with good things,
  and sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
  in remembrance of his mercy,
55according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
  to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee

Hymn of the Day: ELW 261- “As the Dark Awaits the Dawn.”

Prayers of Intercession

In this season of watching and waiting, let us pray for all people and places that yearn for God’s presence.

Nurturing God, you give us life and care for our every need. Use the church’s gifts and ministries for your service, bringing your word to all who seek your transforming grace. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Creator God, you proclaim your boundless love for all that you have made. Renew barren lands, polluted waters, and melting ice caps. Make us servants of your creation that brings forth abundant life. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Righteous God, you bring down the mighty and lift up the lowly. Strengthen those who seek justice. Bless the work of community organizers, activists, journalists, and all who call our attention to imbalances of power. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Compassionate God, you proclaim your love and mercy. Show your lovingkindness to teen parents and those who are pregnant. Comfort any struggling with infertility and those who await test results, are in treatment and hospice care, and others who are ill or are in need especially those suffering from tornado damage and Sarah Scott; Bruce and Sandy Wright; Betty Lee; Paige Wheeler; Julie Prenatt; David Neu; Sheri Stoutt; Nan Hibbs; Britta Maddox; Everett Noah; Libby Hofsas; Noah Stoutt; Shelley Collis; Deb Schafer; Richard Hotchkiss; Nancy and Bob Bosco; Charysse and Adean Heritage and Family; Randy McIntyre; Karen Bemowski; Marilyn Hubbard; Helen Schubert, Jenna LaRue; Gary Berg and all those we name before you now, aloud or in our hearts… Give them tangible signs of your steadfast love. Hear us, O God. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Gracious God, you fill the hungry with good things. Bless the feeding ministries of this congregation and community. Guide us to share your bounty with those who hunger or live in poverty. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Faithful God, you stir up the hearts of those who love you. We give you thanks for those who, like Mary, were courageous in their witness especially Rose Reasor; Marijane Cook; and their families. Give us such courage until that day when you fulfill all things. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of new life, you come among us in the places we least expect. Receive these prayers and those of our hearts, in the name of Jesus.

Amen.

Peace

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord’s Prayer

Communion: ACS 910- “A Stable Lamp is Lighted.”

Communion: ELW 265- “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came.”

Prayer after Communion

Most High God, you have come among us at this table. By the Spirit’s power, form us to be bearers of your word, sharing gifts of mercy and grace with all, through Christ Jesus, our host and our guest.

Amen.

Blessing

The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, through Christ Jesus for whom we wait.

Amen.

Sending Hymn: ELW 266- “All Earth is Hopeful,” all verses.

Dismissal

And now dear ones, go in peace. Christ is near.

Thanks be to God.

Postlude: “Gabriel’s Message,” – Manz

Facebook link to worship service for the 4th Sunday of Advent, December 19, 2021:

https://www.facebook.com/190629367619921/videos/491759648898226

Image credits: Windows at First Evangelical Lutheran; Christmas Tree in the Parish House parlor; back sidewalk at the Parish House, Therese Guise;

Music credits:

Mike McCalester, Song Leader

Vocalists, Haleigh and Natalie Jacocks

Pam Edwards: Music Director/ Piano

“Mary Did You Know?”Arr. Stephen DeCesare. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Text: Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Koln, 1710; tr. composite. Music: French processional, 15th century. Text sts. 2, 6, 7 copyright 1997 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah.” Text: Wayne L. Wold, b. 1954. Music: Yiddish folk tune. Text copyright 1984 Fortress Press. Public domain.

“As the Dark Awaits the Dawn.” Text: Susan Palo Cherwein, b. 1953. Music: Carl F. Schalk, b. 1929. Text copyright 1996 Susan Palo Cherwein, admin. Augsburg Fortress. Music copyright 1997 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“A Stable Lamp is Lighted.” Text: “A Christmas Hymn,” Richard Wilbur, 1921 – 2017. Music: David Hurd, b. 1950. Text copyright 1961, ren. 1989 Richard Wilbur, admin. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Music copyright 1984 GIA Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print 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 and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“All Earth is Hopeful.” (Toda la tierra) Text: Alberto Taule, b. 1932; tr. Madeleine Forell Marshall, b. 1946. Music: Alberto Taule. Spanish text and tune copyright 1993 and tr. copyright 1995 Centro de Pastoral Liturgica, admin. OCP Publications. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Gabriel’s Message.” Contributors: Paul Manz (One License #100830) Music – ©1974 Augsburg Fortress Publishers. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2022 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.