Updated: Dec 20, 2020
Fourth Sunday in Advent
Call to Worship
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Hymn # 208 O Come, All Ye Faithful
1 O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; come and behold him born the King of angels;
Refrain: O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
2 God of God, Light of Light; lo, he abhors not the Virgin's womb; very God, begotten, not created; [Refrain]
3 Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing, all ye citizens of heav'n above; glory to God in the highest; [Refrain]
4 Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning: Jesus, to thee be all glory giv'n; Word of the Father, late in flesh appearing; [Refrain]
Call To Confession
And God spoke all these words, saying:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 You shall not make for yourself a carved image...5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
12 Honor your father and your mother.
13 You shall not murder.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not bear false witness.
17 You shall not covet.
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found.
Psalm 32:5–6 (NKJV)
Confession of Sins
Let us, therefore, confess our sin, saying together:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me... Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities” through Jesus your Son. Amen.
Word of Assurance
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:11–13 (NKJV):
Song of Renewal
Gracious God my heart renew,
Make my spirit right and true;
Cast me not away from thee,
Let thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation's joy impart.
Steadfast make my willing heart.
#486, stanza 5 (Ps 51:10-11)
Scripture Lessons: Luke 2:1–20 (NKJV)
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Hymn From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable
1 From the squalor of a borrowed stable, By the Spirit and a virgin’s faith; To the anguish and the shame of scandal Came the Saviour of the human race. But the skies were filled with the praise of heaven, Shepherds listen as the angels tell Of the Gift of God come down to man At the dawning of Immanuel.
2 King of heaven now the Friend of sinners, Humble servant in the Father’s hands, Filled with power and the Holy Spirit, Filled with mercy for the broken man. Yes, He walked my road and He felt my pain, Joys and sorrows that I know so well; Yet His righteous steps give me hope again – I will follow my Immanuel.
3 Through the kisses of a friend’s betrayal, He was lifted on a cruel cross; He was punished for a world’s transgressions, He was suffering to save the lost. He fights for breath, He fights for me, Loosing sinners from the claims of hell; And with a shout our souls are free – Death defeated by Immanuel.
4 Now He’s standing in the place of honour, Crowned with glory on the highest throne, Interceding for His own beloved Till His Father calls to bring them home! Then the skies will part as the trumpet sounds Hope of heaven or the fear of hell; But the Bride will run to her Lover’s arms, Giving glory to Immanuel!
Prayer of the Church and the Lord’s Prayer
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Hymn # 214 Angels We Have Heard on High
1 Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o'er the plains, and the mountains in reply echo back their joyous strains.
Refrain: Gloria in excelsis Deo. gloria in excelsis Deo.
2 Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong? Say what may the tidings be, which inspire your heav'nly song? (Refrain)
3 Come to Bethlehem and see him whose birth the angels sing; come, adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the newborn King. (Refrain)