Lighting of the Advent Candle
Call to Worship
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;Praise Him in the heights!2 Praise Him, all His angels;Praise Him, all His hosts!3 Praise Him, sun and moon;Praise Him, all you stars of light!4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,And you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,For He commanded and they were created.
Hymn # 218 Angels, from the Realms of Glory
1 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.
2 Shepherds in the fields abiding,watching o'er your flocks by night,God with man is now residing,yonder shines the infant Light: [Refrain]
3 Sages, leave your contemplations,brighter visions beam afar;seek the great Desire of nations;ye have seen his natal star: [Refrain]
4 Saints before the altar bending,watching long in hope and fear,suddenly the Lord, descending,in his temple shall appear: [Refrain]
5 All creation, join in praisingGod the Father, Spirit, Son;evermore your voices raisingto th'eternal Three in One: [Refrain]
Call To Confession
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Romans 12:9–14 (NKJV):
Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You that You may be feared.
Psalm 130:1–4 (NKJV)
Confession of Sins
Let us, therefore, confess our sin, saying together:
Merciful Heavenly Father, pardon us our many sins; the sins we know and the sins hidden from our conscience. Cleanse us from wrong motives and forgive us for feeble obedience. By your Spirit renew our hearts to love you, our minds to know you, and our wills to obey you. For we ask this mercy in the name of your Son who shed his blood for us. Amen.
Word of Assurance
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Romans 5:8–9 (NKJV)
Song of Renewal
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.
Trinity Hymnal # 521, stanza 1
Scripture Lessons: Numbers 14:1-25; Galatians 3:21-25
So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”
10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.
11 Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”
13 And Moses said to the Lord: “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, 14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, 16 ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’ 17 And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, 18 ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ 19 Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”
20 Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; 21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord— 22 because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, 23 they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. 24 But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it. 25 Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn and move out into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.”
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
Hymn # 679 ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
1 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,just to take him at his word;just to rest upon his promise;just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."
Refrain:Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!How I've proved him o'er and o'er!Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!O for grace to trust him more!
2 O how sweet to trust in Jesus,just to trust his cleansing blood;just in simple faith to plunge me'neath the healing, cleansing flood! [Refrain]
3 Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,just from sin and self to cease;just from Jesus simply takinglife and rest, and joy and peace. [Refrain]
4 I'm so glad I learned to trust thee,precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;and I know that thou art with me,wilt be with me to the end. [Refrain]
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 # 198 Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates!
1 Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates!Behold, the King of glory waits;the King of kings is drawing near,the Savior of the world is here.
2 A helper just he comes to thee,his chariot is humility,his kingly crown is holiness,his scepter, pity in distress.
3 O blest the land, the city blest,where Christ the Ruler is confessed!O happy hearts and happy homesto whom this King in triumph comes!
4 Fling wide the portals of your heart;make it a temple, set apartfrom earthly use for heav'n's employ,adorned with prayer and love and joy.
5 Redeemer, come! I open widemy heart to thee; here, Lord, abide!Let me thy inner presence feel;thy grace and love in me reveal.
6 So come, my Sovereign, enter in!Let new and nobler life begin!Thy Holy Spirit, guide us on,until the glorious crown be won.