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Fourth Sunday in Advent - December 19, 2021 "God Provides Just What We Need" by Pastor Josh

+ FOURTH SUNDAY of ADVENT +

19 December 2021

WELCOME

We extend the hand of fellowship to all who worship here this morning. May all present grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in a love and desire to serve Him. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Please join us for a cup of coffee after this morning’s worship and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER   Here He Comes (The Great I Am)

This is the Fourth and last Sunday of Advent. The time is near and our attention is drawn directly to the Savior, once born of Mary, and still to come again in glory at the end of time. With Mary we rejoice that the Lord

has had mercy on his people and exalted those of low estate, giving them a place in his Kingdom. Like the Psalmist, we take this message to the world so that all may know the joy of his coming.

PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP

Lord, God, it is through our lives that your love touches others. Stir us by your Spirit to serve all people with willing hearts and bring them the message of your love. We ask this in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

+ THE ORDER of CELEBRATING +

Jazz Setting

PRE-SERVICE MUSIC

CHIMES

WELCOME

PRELUDE Jesus Shall Reign – Lloyd Larson    

Tatsiana Asheichyk (Piano)

SONG Savior of the Nations, Come LSB 332

INVOCATION & CONFESSION

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our

sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Let us then confess our sins to God our Father and in the presence of one another.

+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +

Most merciful God, we confess to you our disobedience and our unworthiness. Without your grace, we could not stand in your presence. Without your mercy, we would be doomed on the day of judgment. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways to the glory of your holy Name. Amen.

In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for you. For his sake and by his authority, I declare to you the full forgiveness of all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Forgiven and reconciled by God, let us be reconciled with one another and share the peace of our Lord.

PASSING of PEACE

APOSTOLIC GREETING

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of

the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH

We praise you, O God, for the circle of light that marks our days of preparation

for Christ’s advent. As we light the candles of this wreath, open our eyes to see

your presence in the lowly ones of the earth. Enlighten us with your grace, that

we may sing of your advent among us in the Word made flesh. Grant this through

Christ our Lord, whose coming is certain and whose day draws near. Amen.

Light the Candle

The light of four candles now flickers and shivers in the wind,

And our hearts leap upon hearing the news that you are on the way,

O Lord.

The light of four candles makes the church glow like never before.

Brighten our world with hope for the future, O Lord.

Four candles remind us that you have brought us safely through the Season

of Advent.

Remind us this day that you will bring us safely at last to your home

above, O Lord.

Four candles lit, we now are ready to celebrate your birth.

Make us ready to live in the light of your presence in all the days to

come. Amen!

GLORY TO GOD        Refrain:     Glory to God, glory to God,

Glory to God in the Highest

And peace to his people on earth

  1. Lord God, heavenly King, Almighty God and Father, we worship

you we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.Refrain

  1. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.You are

seated at the right hand of the Father; receive our prayer.Refrain

  1. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy

Spirit in the glory of God the Father.

Refrain: Glory to God, glory to God,

Glory to God in the Highest

And peace to his people on earth.

Amen, Amen, Amen

PRAYER of THE DAY

Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. Take away the hindrance of our sins and make us ready for the celebration of your birth, that we may receive you

in joy and serve you always; for you live and reign with the Father and the

Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Micah 5:2-5a

[The prophet Micah, having pronounced judgment upon Judah, speaks of a future shepherd-king who, like David, will come from the small town of Bethlehem. (Ephrathah refers to the area around Bethlehem.) This king will restore Israel and bring peace. New Testament writers understood this passage to be referring to Jesus.]

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth from me one who is to rule Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he

shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

SECOND LESSON Hebrews 10:5-10

[The author of Hebrews uses the image of religious sacrifice to convey the significance of Christ’s coming. Through obedient acceptance of God’s will, Christ allows his own body to become the greatest sacrifice of all, one through which we are made a holy people.]

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God” (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’ When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

SPECIAL MUSIC Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming – John Purifoy

Tatsiana Ascheichyk - Piano

GOSPEL Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]

[In this gospel reading we are presented with Elizabeth, John’s mother, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, two women filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. In Elizabeth’s inspired greeting and

Mary’s song of praise, we hear of a saving God who remembers, scatters, lifts up, and fulfills all things.]

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be fulfillment of what was spoke to her by the Lord.”

And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered the proud in their innermost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.”

The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to You, O Christ

HYMN of THE DAY Canticle of the Turning – (Please see the last page of the Worship service.)

HOMILY God Provides Just What We Need Pr. Josh Text: Luke 1:39-55 (Listen to audio recording)

APOSTOLIC 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, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From thence He will come to judge the living 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.

The offerings are brought forward

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Lord our God, Maker of all things. Through your goodness you have

blessed us with these gifts. With them we offer ourselves, our time, and

our possessions, signs of your gracious love. Receive them for the sake

of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH

As we await the coming of Christ, we pray in hope for The Church, the world, and all of creation.

+ A Brief Silence +

For hymn writers, musicians, and off-key singing, we give you thanks, Holy God. Fill us with your songs of joy. Open us to proclaim your glory in our singing, speaking, and silence. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of all creation, we pray for the hurting places in creation, for seas and lands ravaged by natural disasters; for communities and creatures displaced by fires, floods, and droughts. Grant peace through your presence and joy in your healing. Move us to care for your creation in all its forms and richness so that the generations yet to come may enjoy the wonder and blessings of your creation in all its richness. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the nations, we pray for peace to ring out in our hearts and homes; for mercy and forgiveness to reign in every community; for wars and threats of war to cease and hunger to end. Purify the hearts of all people. Remove the hate and prejudice that lives within us and among us. Raise up leaders in every nation and community who are rooted in the ways of justice and mercy. Give them the humility and wisdom to make just decisions to benefit all. Calm the border tensions between Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia. Create safe places for all who are fleeing violence, persecution, or death. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Comfort all who need your touch, life-giving God. Wrap them in your tender care. Remember the forgotten and send us out to share your compassion and care. We pray especially for Cindy (Gary’s wife) recuperating from back issues; Lois (Ted’s wife) who is in rehab following hip replacement surgery; together with those who are suffering with cancer, dementia, COVID-19 and its variants who we name in our hearts. (A brief pause) Bless those who are home-bound and unable to worship with us especially Sharon, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, and Marguerite, together with those we name before you in our hearts (A brief pause). Join their prayers with ours and unite them with us in the body of Christ. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Bless this congregation, life-giving God. Give strength and joy to worship leaders as they prepare for the celebration of the Christ Child’s coming among us. With joy, we give thanks for bringing Pr. Josh, Rebecca, and John safely to their new home. Bless them and us in the new days of ministry that are ahead of us. Guide our brothers and sisters in Christ at Holy Trinity/Logan with your Spirit as enter the call process. Make known to them the name of the pastor you hold in your heart to serve with them in ministry. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of life, we remember the saints who have gone before us with the sign of faith and give us examples of your faithfulness. Empower us by their witness and prepare us for that day when we

will rejoice with them in your presence at the heavenly feast prepared for us. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God our hope and strength, we bring to you these prayers and those unspoken, in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.

   And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

   We will lift them up to him.

Let us give thanks always to the Lord our God.

   It is right, it is just, it is well.

Father, it is our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ

         Holy, holy, holy, Lord

For our sake He opened His arms on the cross,

He put an end to death and revealed the resurrection

    Holy, holy, holy, Lord

In this He fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people. And so,

we join the angels and the saints in proclaiming your glory as we sing:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might

Heaven and earth are full of your glory

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest

WORDS of INSTITUTION

In the night in which he was betrayed,

our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying:

Take and eat; this is my + body which is given

for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

And gave it for all to drink, saying:

This cup is the new covenant in my + blood

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness

of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.

Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray:

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.

AGNUS DEI Join in singing

O Lamb of God

You take away the sins of the world,

Have mercy on us, have mercy on us.

O Lamb of God

You take away the sins of the world,

Have mercy on us, have mercy on us.

O Lamb of God

You take away the sins of the world,

Grant us peace.

DISTRIBUTION O Come, O Come, Emmanuel LSB 357

DISMISSAL

PRAYER of THANKSGIVING

Heavenly Father, we thank you for having fed us with the body and blood of

our Savior Jesus Christ, assuring us that we are truly members of his body,

The Church. And we ask you to help us by your Holy Spirit that we may

continue in this fellowship and do the good works you desire us to do;

through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen.

BLESSING

SONG            

STUDY OPPORTUNITIES at Grace: The Tuesday morning Women’s Study is on hiatus for the month of December. They will resume their study of the Book of Acts in January. Ashland/Phoenix Small Group study meets bi-monthly at 2:00 pm on the first and third Wednesdays. Next NewMen’s Coffee Study is scheduled for Saturday morning, January 8th, beginning at 8:30 am. Set these times aside now for a good discussion and fellowship.

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS? Email: gracelutheranashland@gmail.com.

Visit our website: gracelutheranashland.org

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