This Week’s Theme
You Will Call His Name Immanuel
When Joseph was troubled regarding Mary’s pregnancy (his betrothed wife), he determined to break his engagement with her secretly, that she might avoid scandal and punishment. As he pondered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, reassuring him that Mary’s pregnancy was caused by the Holy Spirit, and she would bear a son, and they would call him Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins. All this would take place in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that a virgin would bear a son and they would call his name Immanuel, meaning God with us. As a result of the dream, Joseph did as the angel commanded, took Mary as his wife, and when the baby was born, he called his name Jesus. Mary bore the man-child, and his name was called Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
God of grace, ever faithful to our promises, the earth rejoices in hope of our Savior’s coming and looks forward with longing to his return at the end of time. Prepare our hearts to receive him when he comes, for he is Lord forever and ever. Amen.
~ Supplemental Liturgical Resource 5
(The Theological and Worship Ministry Unit, p. 167)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Job 12-14
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 80.1-7, 17-19
OT: Isa. 7.10-16
Gospel: Matt. 1.18-25
NT: Rom. 1.1-7
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in 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, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again, in his glorious majesty to judge the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
~ Scottish Prayer Book (Suter, p.3)
Affirmation for the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, you are our Immanuel. You are God who came and dwelt with us.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Immanuel, God with us, thank you for descending from your heavenly home and dwelling among us.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
You Will Call His Name Emmanuel, Matthew 1.18-25
Packer, Knowing God
Special Church Year Services
Christmas Eve: Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25, 2019