Fourth Sunday of Advent Worship Bulletin | 12-24-23

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT  

12-24-2023       10:00AM Hybrid Worship 

 

+   Gathering   +

INTRODUCTORY WORDS TO TODAY’S WORSHIP:

Sisters and brothers, welcome in the mighty name of God, in the saving name of (+) Jesus, and in the strong name of the Spirit – Hallelujah! One woman had remained childless for too many years. The other is betrothed but still a virgin. Now both wombs are surprisingly pregnant with the promise of new life. And so is the world. And so, by God’s grace, are you. For you have found favor with God. The invitation to soul and mind and body to the mystery and the word of God, as well as the opportunity to become a servant of God and a bearer of good news, are yours. Listen from your heart. Dance from the depths of your soul. Nothing will be impossible with God. Surrender to the surprise!

OPENING SONG: “Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel”                                                           Green #34

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH AND PRAYER:                

L   Listen! A virgin is pregnant.

C How can this be?

L   The Holy Spirit is responsible.

C But why?

L   God promised us a Savior, a deliverer, a liberator, to save us from our sin.

C What is his name?

L   Some call him Emmanuel, some Prince of Peace, others, Christ our Lord.

C Why would he come down from heaven to share our life and our pain?

L   Because our God is a GOOD NEWS God, and God’s Son would willingly die to give us life.

C     In Jesus Christ we have known a love that will not let us go!

L   As we remember the Candle of Hope, the Candle of Peace, and the Candle of Joy, and now add the

Candle of Love, let us pray…

C O Lord, bless us as we light  four candles of this Advent wreath.

May we listen from our hearts and dance from our souls at the miracle of GOD-WITH-US.

Help us to risk yes and to say yes to your birth in our lives and world.

We renounce evil; we claim your love; we choose to be set free and made whole.

Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Hallelujah!

[All four candles are lit on the Advent wreath. Sometimes the first is called the Candle of Hope, the second is called the Candle of Peace, the third is called the Candle of Joy, and the fourth is called the Candle of Love.]

 

+   Holy Word   +

FIRST READING:     2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
[GOD’S LOVE expressed to King David in the promise of an everlasting throne, a dynasty, beyond his own life. Jesus is from that family line!]

7:1 Now when the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him,

7:2 the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.”

7:3 Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD is with you.”

7:4 But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan:

7:5 Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live in?

7:6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.

7:7 Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”

7:8 Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the LORD of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel;

7:9 and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.

7:10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly,

7:11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house.

7:16 Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

SECOND READING:     Romans 16:25-2
[GOD’S LOVE has been extended beyond the Jewish community to embrace the Gentile world in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pass the word – God is reaching out to all people!]

16:25 Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages

16:26 but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith —

16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

GOSPEL VERSE:

“We need to hear from You, we need a word from You.

If we don’t hear from You, what will we do?

Wanting You more each day, show us Your perfect way.

There is no other way that we can live.”

 

GOSPEL:   Luke 1:26-38
[GOD’S LOVE is expressed to a teenage girl in the promise of a king, not to royalty in a palace, but to common folk in a barnyard stall. God comes with good news for ordinary people from little known places.]

1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,

1:27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

1:28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

1:29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

1:30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

1:31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.

1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.

1:33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

1:34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

1:35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.

1:36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.

1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

1:38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

SONG SELECTION: ALL SAINTS CHOIR  

THE SERMON:      Pastor Clesha Staten

SONG RESPONSE:       “Hush, Hush, Somebody’s Callin’ My Name”

  • Hush… hush… Somebody’s callin’ my name.      Hush… hush… Somebody’s callin’ my name.

Hush… hush… Somebody’s callin’ my name.      O my Lord, O my Lord, what shall I do, what shall I do?

  • Sounds like Jesus, Somebody’s callin’…
  • Soon one morning, Somebody’s callin…
  • I’m so glad, got me religion on time…
  • I’m so glad, trouble don’t last always…
  • Hush… hush… Somebody’s callin’ my name…

THE PRAYERS…  THE GREAT O ANTIPHONS OF ADVENT

     [The GREAT O ANTIPHONS are seven brief prayers that are traditionally chanted or sung from December 17 to December 23, one for each day until Christmas Eve. The precise origin of these texts is unknown. However, by the 8th and 9th centuries, the church in Rome and monastic communities throughout western Europe were using them at evening worship services during the season of Advent. These ancient prayers beautifully express the Christian church’s profound longing for her long-expected Savior. Each antiphon begins with the acclamation “O”, addresses Jesus Christ by one of the Messiah titles derived from the Old Testament, and ends with a heartfelt appeal to “come” and save us in some particular way. The sequence of these antiphons is precise, progressing from before the creation of the universe, through the messianic prophecies of Israel, and culminating with the incarnation and birth of Christ in Bethlehem. Around the 12th century the GREAT O ANTIPHONS were collected into a Latin verse hymn, which was later translated by the English hymn writer John Mason Neale, finally becoming the beloved Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. (sung at beginning)   “OH… HEAR US.     OH, HEAR US.     OH… HEAR US, LORD.     HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

 

L   O Wisdom, (O Sapienta),

holy word of God,

proceeding from the mouth of the Most High,

pervading and permeating all creation,

mightily ordering all things  –

C (say) Come and teach us the way of prudence.

             (sing)     “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   O Lord, (O  Adonai),

and ruler of the House of Israel,

who appeared to Moses in the burning bush

and gave him the Law on Sinai  –

C (say) Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.

(sing)     “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

 

L   O Root of Jesse, (O Radix Jesse),

standing as an Ensign before the peoples,

before whom all kings are mute,

to whom nations will do homage  –

C (say) Come quickly to deliver us.

(sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.” 

L   O Key of David, (O Clavis David),

and Scepter of the house of Israel,

you open and no one can close,

you close and no one can open  –

C (say) Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness and the shadow of death.

(sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   O Dayspring, (O Oriens),

Splendor of light everlasting  –

C (say)   Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

(sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   O King of the nations, (O Rex Genitum),

the Ruler they long for,

the Cornerstone uniting all people  –

C (say) Come and save us all, whom you formed out of clay.

(sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   O God-with-us, (O Emmanuel),

our King and our Lawgiver,

the Anointed of the nations and their Savior  –

C (say) Come and save us, O Lord our God.

(sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   Hear your church, O God, as we pray for the faith and the faithfulness of all who bear the name of Jesus.

C (sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   Hear your earth, O God, as it longs for healing and for care.

C (sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   Hear the nations, O God, as we pray for those who hold power, as we long for justice and for peace.

C (sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   Hear those in need, O God, as we lift up all who suffer, who struggle, who search for healing and hope.

C (sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   Hear this community of faith, O God, as we pray for families and friends who gather in this season… for

those who travel and those who host… for those who are alone and those who feel lonely… and for all

who will offer themselves in service to others this Christmas.

C (sing) “HEAR US, LORD… HEAR US.”

L   Come to us in Christ, O God, and give us the gift of your Word of love in flesh and blood!

C (say) Amen and Amen! Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, and dwell in our hearts and our hands!

(sing) “OH… HEAR US.     OH, HEAR US.     OH… HEAR US, LORD.     HEAR US, LORD, HEAR US.”

 

+   Holy Meal   +

TITHES (10% giving) AND GIFTS…  We faithfully undertake GOD’S MISSION with our money and our lives! 

SONG SELECTION: ALL SAINTS CHOIR 

OFFERTORY:

“Come by here, my Lord, come by here; come by here, my Lord, come by here;

Come by here, my Lord, come by here. O LORD, COME BY HERE!

(2)  Someone needs You, Lord, come by here…

(3)  Send a blessing, Lord, come by here… ”

OFFERING PRAYER by the Communion Assistant:

O Lord Jesus, we open our hearts and our lives to your presence, your power, and your promises!

We want to be part of what you are doing in the world even now.

Give us the spirit to do what is right with our offerings, time, and talents.

May we bear your light to all who sit in the shadows of darkness and despair.  AMEN

THE PREFACE:

     L   Sisters and brothers, the Lord be with you!     C   AND ALSO WITH YOU!

     L   Lift up your hearts!     C   WE LIFT THEM UP IN LOVE FOR GOD!

     L   Let us give thanks to the Lord our God!     C   IT IS RIGHT TO GIVE GOD OUR THANKS AND PRAISE!

THE EUCHARISTIC WORDS by the Celebrant, who recalls and re-enacts Jesus’ Holy Meal.

THE LORD’S PRAYER  (spoken)

COMMUNION AND BLESSINGSAll believers in Christ are welcome at the Lord’s Table! We will have “continuous distribution” with wafers and either wine or grape juice. CHRIST COMES TO US IN BREAD AND WINE AND BLESSING, BRINGING US PEACE, UNITY, STRENGTH, AND HOPE! 

[During the Advent Season we will not have any Communion Songs. Instead, we invite you to spend the time in quiet reflection and prayer. Without God our lives are empty and barren, without hope! Sometimes trouble surround us and turmoil makes our hearts shudder and grow weary. And sometimes temptation leads us astray. Can we recognize our deep need and look for those signs of God’s saving grace?  

THE COMMUNION BLESSING by the Celebrant after all have communed.

POST-COMMUNION PRAYER by the Communion Assistant.

 

+   Sending   +

BENEDICTION by the Pastor… God sends us TO SHINE with the Light of Jesus Christ in a shadowy world!

CLOSING SONG:     “Joy to the World”              Green #39

 

  BELIEVE…

                 STOP BEING AFRAID. 

Join us in person or online this evening at 7:00PM for the joyous celebration of the wonder and mystery of Jesus Christ born among us!

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