Preparing for Worship: Fourth Sunday of Advent - December 18
God Calls Us to Worship Him
Call to Worship: "Come Thou Redeemer of the Earth"
Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
And darkness breathe a newer light,
Where endless faith shall shine serene,
And twilight never intervene.
All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete.
Hymn of Adoration: "Angels from the Realms of Glory"
Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o'er all the earth; ye who sang creation's story now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Refrain: Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn king.
Shepherds, in the field abiding, watching o'er your flocks by night, God with us is now residing; yonder shines the infant light:
Sages, leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar; seek the great Desire of nations; ye have seen his natal star:
God Graciously Renews Us in Christ
Confession of Sin
Silent Prayers of Confession
Forgiveness of Sin through Christ
Hymn of Assurance: “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child”
Gentle Mary laid her Child Lowly in a manger; There He lay, the undefiled, To the world a stranger: Such a Babe in such a place, Can He be the Savior? Ask the saved of all the race Who have found His favor.
Angels sang about His birth; Wise men sought and found Him; Heaven's star shone brightly forth, Glory all around Him: Shepherds saw the wondrous sight, Heard the angels singing; All the plains were lit that night, All the hills were ringing.
Gentle Mary laid her Child Lowly in a manger; He is still the undefiled, But no more a stranger: Son of God, of humble birth, Beautiful the story; Praise His name in all the earth, Hail the King of glory!
Thanking God for What He Has Done
Giving Our Tithes and Offerings
In addition to your regular tithes and offerings, please consider giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This offering named after a missionary to China goes to support approximately 4,900 international missionaries. Last year Southern Baptists collected 147 million dollars for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Some of these monies were used to start over 28,000 churches worldwide. The cost to support one missionary annually is $50,000. For more information about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering see www.imb.org
Hymn of Affirmation: “Once in Royal David's City”
Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little child.
He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord of all;
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall:
with the poor, and meek, and lowly
lived on earth our Savior holy.
Jesus is our childhood’s pattern,
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak, and helpless,
tears and smiles like us he knew:
and he feels for all our sadness,
and he shares in all our gladness.
And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love,
for that child, so dear and gentle,
is our Lord in heaven above:
and he leads his children on
to the place where he has gone.
Not in that poor lowly stable
with the oxen standing by
we shall see him, but in heaven,
set at God’s right hand on high;
there his children gather round,
bright like stars, with glory crowned.
God Instructs Us Through His Word
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:25-32
There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said:
You can dismiss Your slave in peace,
as You promised.
For my eyes have seen Your salvation.
You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to Your people Israel."
His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed — and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
God Feeds and Nourishes Us through His Supper
Song of Simeon
God Blesses and Sends Us Out