Preparing for Worship: First Sunday of Advent - November 27


God Calls Us to Worship Him

Call to Worship: "Come Thou Redeemer of the Earth"

Come, thou Redeemer of the earth,

And manifest thy virgin birth.

Let every age adoring fall;

Such birth befits the God of all.

Sprung from no seed of human race

But by the Spirit’s mystic grace,

The promised fruit of Mary’s womb,

The Word of God, doth flesh assume.

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! (Psalm 24:7-10)

Hymn of Adoration: "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus"

Come Thou long expected Jesus

Born to set Thy people free

From our fears and sins release us

Let us find our rest in Thee

Israel's strength and consolation

Hope of all the earth Thou art

Dear desire of every nation

Joy of every longing heart

Born Thy people to deliver

Born a child and yet a King

Born to reign in us forever

Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring

By Thine own eternal Spirit

Rule in all our hearts alone

By Thine all sufficient merit

Raise us to Thy glorious throne

God Graciously Renews Us in Christ

Confession of Sin:

“We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against our leaders.

Pray that the Lord will take this sin from us.” (adapted from Numbers 21:7-9)

Forgiveness of Sin through Christ:

The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,on those who hope in his steadfast love,

that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits from the Lord; he is our help and our shield.

For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” (Psalm 33:18-22)

"The First Noel"

The first Noel the angel did say

Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay.

In fields where they lay keeping their sheep

On a cold winter's night that was so deep

Noel, noel, noel, noel.

Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star

Shining in the east beyond them far.

And to the earth it gave great light,

And so it continued both day and night.

And by the light of that same star

Three wise men came from country far.

To seek for a king was their intent

And to follow the star wherever it went.

This star drew nigh to the northwest.

O'er Bethlehem it took its rest.

And there it did both stop and stay

Right over the place where Jesus lay.

Then entered in those wise men three

Full rev'rently upon the knee

And offered there in His presence

Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.

Thanking God for What He Has Done

“O give thanks to the Lord, and call on his Name;

tell the people what things he has done.” (Psalm 105:1)

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion,

for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Hymn of Affirmation: "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus"

Tell me the story of Jesus;

Write on my heart every word. Tell me the story most precious,

Sweetest that ever was heard.

Tell how the angels, in chorus,

Sang as they welcomed His birth,

‘Glory to God in the highest!

Peace and good tidings to earth.’

Tell me the story of Jesus;

Write on my heart every word. Tell me the story most precious,

Sweetest that ever was heard.

God Instructs Us through His Word

Luke 1:57-80 (HCSB)

Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she had a son. Then her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her His great mercy, and they rejoiced with her. When they came to circumcise the child on the eighth day, they were going to name him Zechariah, after his father. But his mother responded, “No! He will be called John.” Then they said to her, “None of your relatives has that name.” So they motioned to his father to find out what he wanted him to be called. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote: HIS NAME IS JOHN. And they were all amazed.

Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these things were being talked about throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard about him took it to heart, saying, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the Lord’s hand was with him.

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and provided redemption for His people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, just as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets in ancient times; salvation from our enemies and from the clutches of those who hate us. He has dealt mercifully with our fathers and remembered His holy covenant — the oath that He swore to our father Abraham. He has given us the privilege, since we have been rescued from our enemies’ clutches, to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness in His presence all our days.

And child, you will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the Dawn from on high will visit us to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

The child grew up and became spiritually strong, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

God Feeds and Nourishes Us through His Supper

"Blessed Be the God of Israel"

Blessed be the God of Israel

Who comes to set us free

And raises up new hope for us

A branch from David’s tree.

So have the prophets long declared

That with mighty arm

God would turn back our enemies

And all who wish us harm.

With promised mercy will God still

The covenant recall,

The oath once sworn to Abraham

From foes to save us all,

That we might worship without fear

And offer lives of praise

In holiness and righteousness

To serve God all our days

My child as prophet of the Lord

You will prepare the way

To tell God’s people they are saved

From sins’ eternal sway.

Then shall God’s mercy from on high

Shine forth and never cease

To drive away the gloom of death

And lead us into peace.

God Blesses Us and Sends Us Out

Benediction:

May the Father who bought you, the Father who has made you and established you, make you complete, like-minded and comforted by the God of love and peace.

(adapted from Deuteronomy 32:6; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 2:2)

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