Preparing for Worship | December 16 | Third Sunday of Advent
GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP HIM |
Call to Worship |
Worship Leader: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father; receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
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
Come and worship
Come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
Shepherds in the fields abiding
Watching o'er your flocks by night
God with man is now residing
Yonder shines the infant light
Come and worship
Come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
You are the God who saves us
Worthy of all our praises
Come have your way among us
We welcome you here Lord Jesus
GOD GRACIOUSLY RENEWS US IN CHRIST
Confession of Sin
Worship Leader: Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalm 32)
Forgiveness of Sin
Worship Leader: “Glorious God, we bless you that we know you. We once lived in the world, but was ignorant of our creator, was partaker of your providences, but knew not the Provider, was blind while enjoying the sunlight, was deaf to all things spiritual, with voices all around me, understood many things, but had no knowledge of your ways, saw the world, but did not see Jesus only. O happy day, when in your love’s sovereignty you did look on me, and call me by grace. Then did the dead heart begin to beat, the darkened eye glimmer with light, the dull ear catch your echo, and I turned to you and found you, a God ready to hear, willing to save. Grant that I may always weep to the praise of mercy found, and tell to others as long as I live, that you are a sin-pardoning God, taking up the blasphemer and the ungodly, and washing them from their deepest stain.” (“The Great Discovery” from The Valley of Vision)
Hymn of Assurance: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
God rest ye merry gentlemen Let nothing you dismay Remember Christ our Saviour Was born on Christmas Day To save us all from Satan's pow'r When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy Comfort and joy O tidings of comfort and joy
From God our heavenly Father A blessed angel came And unto certain shepherds Brought tidings of the same How that in Bethlehem was born The Son of God by name Verse 3: Fear not then said the angel Let nothing you affright This day is born a Saviour Of a pure virgin bright To free all those who trust in Him From Satan's pow'r and might
Verse 4: Now to the Lord sing praises All you within this place And with true love and brotherhood Each other now embrace This holy tide of Christmas All others doth deface
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 missionaries. Last year Southern Baptists collected 147 million dollars for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Advent Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
O Come O Wisdom from on high
And order all things mightily
To us the paths of knowledge show
And teach us in its ways to go
Emmanuel shall come to thee
O Come Thou Dayspring come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight
O come O King of Nations bind
All peoples in one heart and mind
Bid envy strife and quarrels cease
And be yourself our King of Peace
GOD INSTRUCTS US THROUGH HIS WORD
Scripture Reading: John 18:28–40
Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They did not enter the headquarters themselves; otherwise they would be defiled and unable to eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered him, “If this man weren’t a criminal, we wouldn’t have handed him over to you.”
Pilate told them, “You take him and judge him according to your law.”
“It’s not legal for us to put anyone to death,” the Jews declared. They said this so that Jesus’s words might be fulfilled indicating what kind of death he was going to die.
Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about me?”
“I’m not a Jew, am I?” Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”
“My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”
“You are a king then?” Pilate asked.
“You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
“What is truth?” said Pilate.
After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no grounds for charging him. You have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary. (CSB)
Advent Series: O Antiphons
For at least ten centuries, the church has sung a solemn antiphon on each of the last seven days in preparation for Christmas. The antiphon is a pleading, expecting song that addresses the Lord by scriptural titles: “O Wisdom,” “Adonai,” “Root of Jesse,” “Key of David,” “Dayspring,” “King of Nations,” and “Emmanuel.” Each song ends with a plea for Christ’s coming now in grace and finally in glory. During our Advent series, we will concentrate on four: “O Wisdom,” “O Dayspring,” “O King of Nations,” and “O Emmanuel.”
Sermon: “O, King of Nations” – Bennett Hasty
GOD FEEDS US THROUGH HIS SUPPER
Breaking the Bread
Worship Leader: "God of all good, we bless you for the means of grace. Teach us to see in them your loving purposes and the joy and strength of our soul. You have prepared for us a feast, and though we are unworthy to sit down as a guest, we completely rest on the merits of Jesus and hide ourselves beneath his righteousness. When we hear his tender invitation and see his wonderful grace, we cannot hesitate, but must come to You in love. By your spirit enliven our faith rightly to discern and spiritually to apprehend the Savior."
Taking the Cup
Worship Leader: "While we gaze on the emblems of our Savior’s death, may we ponder why He died, and hear him say, “I gave my life to purchase yours, presented Myself an offering to expiate your sin, shed My blood to blot out your guilt, opened my side to make you clean, endured your curses to set you free, bore your condemnation to satisfy divine justice?” May we rightly grasp the breadth and length of this design, draw near, obey, extend the hand, take the bread, receive the cup, eat and drink, testify before all men that we do for ourselves, gladly, in faith, reverence and love, receive my Lord, to be our life, strength, nourishment, joy, delight. In the supper we remember his eternal love, boundless grace, infinite compassion, agony, cross, redemption, and receive assurance of pardon, adoption, life, glory. As the outward elements nourish our body, so may your indwelling Spirit invigorate our soul, until that day when we hunger and thirst no more, and sit with Jesus at his heavenly feast." (“The Lord’s Supper” from The Valley of Vision)
GOD BLESSES US AND SENDS US OUT
Worship Leader: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.