Lighting of the Advent Candle
Call to Worship
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!2 Serve the Lord with gladness;Come before His presence with singing.
Hymn # 195 Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come
1 Joy to the world! The Lord is come:let earth receive her King;let every heart prepare him room,and heav'n and nature sing,and heav'n and nature sing,and heav'n, and heav'n and nature sing.
2 Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns:let men their songs employ;while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plainsrepeat the sounding joy,repeat the sounding joy,repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
3 No more let sins and sorrows grow,nor thorns infest the ground;he comes to make his blessings flowfar as the curse is found,far as the curse is found,far as, far as the curse is found.
4 He rules the world with truth and grace,and makes the nations provethe glories of his righteousnessand wonders of his love,and wonders of his love,and wonders, wonders of his love.
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 against your neighbor.
17 You shall not desire...anything that is your neighbor’s.
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 Lesson: Isaiah 9:1-7; Matthew 4:12-17; 1 John 1:5-10
Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,As when at first He lightly esteemedThe land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,And afterward more heavily oppressed her,By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,In Galilee of the Gentiles.2 The people who walked in darknessHave seen a great light;Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,Upon them a light has shined.
3 You have multiplied the nationAnd increased its joy;They rejoice before YouAccording to the joy of harvest,As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.4 For You have broken the yoke of his burdenAnd the staff of his shoulder,The rod of his oppressor,As in the day of Midian.5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,And garments rolled in blood,Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
6 For unto us a Child is born,Unto us a Son is given;And the government will be upon His shoulder.And His name will be calledWonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.7 Of the increase of His government and peaceThere will be no end,Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,To order it and establish it with judgment and justiceFrom that time forward, even forever.The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,Galilee of the Gentiles:16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of deathLight has dawned.”
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
1 John 1:5-10
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Sermon: The Great Light
Hymn # 201 O Little Town of Bethlehem
1 O little town of Bethlehem,how still we see thee lie;above thy deep and dreamless sleepthe silent stars go by:yet in thy dark streets shineththe everlasting Light;the hopes and fears of all the yearsare met in thee tonight.
2 For Christ is born of Mary;and gathered all above,while mortals sleep, the angels keeptheir watch of wond'ring love.O morning stars, togetherproclaim the holy birth!And praises sing to God the King,and peace to men on earth.
3 How silently, how silently,the wondrous gift is giv'n!So God imparts to human heartsthe blessings of his heav'n.No ear may hear his coming,but in this world of sin,where meek souls will receive him still,the dear Christ enters in.
4 O holy child of Bethlehem,descend to us, we pray;cast out our sin and enter in;be born in us today.We hear the Christmas angelsthe great glad tidings tell;O come to us, abide with us,our Lord Emmanuel.
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 (insert) 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 scandalCame the Saviour of the human race.But the skies were filled with the praise of heaven,Shepherds listen as the angels tellOf the Gift of God come down to manAt 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 belovedTill His Father calls to bring them home!Then the skies will part as the trumpet soundsHope of heaven or the fear of hell;But the Bride will run to her Lover’s arms,Giving glory to Immanuel!