SUNDAY WORSHIP – DEC. 16, 2018

SILENCE AND CENTERING (2 MINUTES)

Psalm 46:10 (NLT)

“Be still, and know that I am God  I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

Confession: 

Holy and Loving God, You created us in Your image to enjoy You, to love You, to serve You. But our souls have been corrupted by our hard-heartedness, by our self-centeredness,   by our pervasive sinfulness. We turn to you in genuine repentance and seek Your forgiveness. We trust Your promise that You will forgive, redeem, and restore. Help us to forgive others as You have forgiven us. We ask for Your mercy in the Name of Jesus, who has come and will come again. Amen.

Isaiah 12:2-6

2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. 6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

 

Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

Brief silence

God, our Father, Your Son bids us to pray with confidence. Give us Your Spirit to see You in the person of Your Son, knowing that He and none other is the One who came to bear our sins and be our Savior. Encourage us in true faith and fill us with joy, knowing He will come again to make all things new. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Father in heaven, send laborers into the harvest — pastors, missionaries, teachers and other servants of the Word — to declare Your Law and proclaim Your saving Gospel in Christ Jesus, that Your name may be hallowed. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Father in heaven, You graciously rule Your people even as Your strong arm keeps evil at bay through right governance in this world. Bless and guide all who are in authority to rule justly, and give Your Spirit to Your people, that we may believe Your Word and live holy lives. Sustain the faith of all who suffer mockery, persecution and death for the name of Christ, and keep us in true faith in Your Kingdom. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Wise Father, Your will is done without our prayer. Turn our hearts to You, so that we trust Your wise counsel in all things and trust Your good and gracious providence in our daily lives even as You bring us to eternal life. Open our hearts to all Your promises, that we may know Your will and receive Your gifts in the Gospel and the Sacraments in true faith. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Kind Father, Your Son gave bread to the hungry, sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf; He made the lame to walk and cleansed lepers; He raised the dead and preached Good News to the poor. Help again Your suffering people — the hungry, the poor and unemployed, the sick, the dying, the grieving and all who are anxious of heart [especially _______________]. Graciously give them all that they need for their well-being, give them ears to hear the Good News of life and salvation, and quiet their fears with Your love. Lead us to receive Your daily gifts — our daily bread — with thankful hearts. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Father, forgive us our sins and cleanse us from unrighteousness. Soften the hearts of those who reject Your Word, and renew those whose faith is faltering. Open our ears to Your call of repentance and to Your promise of mercy. Grant us to come to Your table in true faith, gladly receiving Christ’s body and blood and the forgiveness He promises. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Father in heaven, keep far from us Satan and all his wickedness and lies. Give us eyes to see evil and flee from it to Your Son, who casts out demons and restores those who have fallen. In our last hour, bring us to Yourself in peace and safety. Grant that in this day and the coming week, Your Spirit would guide us in safety and godliness. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Father, into Your hands we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

Luke 3:7-18

7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

 

Pray The Our Father – Slowly

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, 

for ever and ever. Amen.

 

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

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