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Fourth Sunday in Advent

Sunday, December 21, 2014 (9:00 a.m.)

Opening Hymn 93 – “O Lord, We Welcome Thee” 

Welcome and Invocation

P: Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: It is time to…“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.

C: “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” [Is. 60:1-2]

All: Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, Great David’s greater Son!
Hail, in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free,
To take away transgression, and rule in equity. [TLH 59:1]

P: It is time to make confession of our sins and to be assured of God’s absolution: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

C: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

P: “But if we walk in light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse us from all sins.”

C: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

P: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 Jn. 1:5-9]

ALL: “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…. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”

[Ps. 51:1-2, 7, 12]

ALL: He comes with succor speedy to those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in His sight. [TLH 59:2]

P: It is time to live as the redeemed children of God: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

C: But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

P: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

C: And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. [Col. 3:12-17]

ALL: Kings shall bow down before Him and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him, His praise all peoples sing;
To Him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend,
His kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end. [TLH 59:5]

P: It is time to praise our Lord: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

C: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” [Rev. 5:12, 13b]

ALL: O’er every foe victorious, He on His throne shall rest,
From age to age more glorious, all blessing and all-blest.
The tide of time shall never His covenant remove;
His name shall stand forever—that name to us is love.” [TLH 59:6]

Epistle Reading – Romans 1:1-7

Gospel Reading – Matthew 1:18-25

The Apostles Creed (Page 12 in Hymnal)

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 Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven And sitteth 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 Ghost, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn 60 – “Hark, A Thrilling Voice is Sounding”

The Sermon……………………………………………………………… Isaiah 9:2-7

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. 4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. 5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Unto Us a Child is Born

  1. To bring light to our darkness
  2. To shatter our enemies’ weapons

III. To bring us peace forever

“Create In Me” (Page 12 in Hymnal)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me, Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.

Hymn 106 – “The People That in Darkness Sat” (see end of bulletin)

The Advent Offering and Prayer

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 trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Benediction Amen, Amen, Amen

Closing Hymn 50 – “Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing” 

Silent Prayer And Announcements