The Worship of God December 7, 2008 Welcome in the name of the Lord Jesus! If you are a guest with us, please be sure to sign our Registry when it is passed during the service. Children are welcome in our worship. We have a nursery available for children 3 and under. Children not yet in kindergarten will be dismissed prior to the sermon. Thank you for joining us today and may the Lord richly bless you.
Welcome and Preparation for Worship Christmas is not a reminder that the world is really quite a nice old place. It reminds us that the world is a shockingly bad old place, where wickedness flourishes unchecked, where children are murdered, where civilized countries make a lot of money by selling weapons to uncivilized ones so they can blow each other apart. Christmas is God lighting a candle, and you don't light a candle in a room that's already full of sunlight. You light a candle in a room that's so murky that the candle, when lit, reveals just how bad things really are. The light shines in the darkness, says St John, and the darkness has not overcome it. – N. T. Wright
Call to Worship1
We confess and acknowledge one God alone, to Whom alone we must cleave, Whom alone we must serve, Whom only we must worship and in Whom only we put our trust. Who is eternal, infinite, immeasurable, incomprehensible, omnipotent, invisible; One in substance and yet distinct in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. By Whom we confess and believe all things in Heaven and earth, visible and invisible, to have been created, to be retained in their being, and to be ruled and guided by His inscrutable providence for such ends as His eternal wisdom, goodness, and justice have appointed, and to the manifestation of His own glory.
The Potter’s Hand
And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Hymn of Praise2 Watts
No more let sins and sorrows grow; nor thorns infest the ground, He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found. He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, and wonders, wonders of His love.
We believe that God always initiates with sinners, so we begin worship with his invitation and command to us to gather in his name. 2
All songs used by permission or covered under CCLI license # 391165
Call to Confession of Sin
“And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.
Worship with Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs A Light Has Dawned
A light has dawned, a King has come, To redeem every heart and soul, Born unto us, Emmanuel, the Savior of the world. Let us adore and praise His name. Angels rejoice and shepherds bow At the sight of the holy Child, Men from afar searching to find the Savior of the world. Let us adore and praise His name.
You are the Christ, the Son of God, And the nations will rally to You. Let every heart come recognize the Savior of the world. Let us adore and praise His name.
O Come All Ye Faithful O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; Come and behold Him born the King of angels; O come, let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.
Corporate Confession of Sin God of grace and truth, in Jesus Christ You came among us that first Christmas morning as a light shining in darkness. We confess that we have not welcomed the light with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Even this Christmas, we have closed our eyes to Your glory in our midst, expecting little and hoping for less. Forgive our doubt and renew our hope in You. Forgive our sin and grant that we may receive the fullness of Your grace, and live in the truth of Christ our Lord. Amen. 3
Assurance of Pardon in Christ
Hosanna in the highest, hosanna, let us sing. Hosanna in the highest, we give glory to the King, Glory to the King.
Take me, mould me, use me, fill me. I give my life to the Potter's hand. Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me. I give my life to the Potter's hand.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come; let earth receive her king; Let every heart prepare Him room, and heav'n and nature sing, And heav'n and nature sing, and heav'n and heav'n and nature sing. Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns: let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
Beautiful Lord, Wonderful Saviour I know for sure, All of my days are held in your hands, Crafted into your perfect plan. You gently call me Into your presence Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit Teach me, dear Lord, to live all of my life Through Your eyes. I'm captured by Your holy calling Set me apart, I know you're drawing Me to yourself, Lead me Lord, I pray.
Joy to the World
The Scot’s Confession3
Confession of Faith
The Scots’ Confession was written in 1560 at the direction of the Scottish parliament. John Knox, the leader of the Reformation in Scotland, and five other ministers drew up the Scots’ Confession in four days, which was promptly ratified by the Parliament. This Confession was a predecessor to our Westminster Confession of Faith.
Come let us adore Him, Come let us adore him. Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, Sing, all ye citizens of heav'n above; Glory to God in the highest; O come, let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. For He alone is worthy, For He alone is worthy, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. Come let us adore Him, Come let us adore him. Yea, Lord we bless Thee, born for our salvation. Oh Jesus forever be thy name adored. Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing; O come, let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. Come let us adore Him, Come let us adore him. Come let us adore Him, Come let us adore him.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here, until the son of God appear.
Benediction5 Prayers of Meditation for Those Not Communing
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel. O come, Thou Dayspring come and cheer, our spirits by Thine advent here; Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death's dark shadows put to flight. O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, and order all things far and nigh, To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go. O come, Desire of nations bind, all peoples in one heart and mind; Bid envy strife and quarrels cease, fill the whole world with heaven's peace.
1 Thessalonians 1:1–10
Rev. Wayne Newsome
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper A Word About Communion – The bread and wine you see on the Communion table may not look like much to the casual observer. In fact, it is merely bread and wine. What makes this meal special is that the Lord Jesus Christ is spiritually present in a unique way. This sacrament is not something to be taken lightly but neither is it a time to be somber; rather, we should be filled with thankfulness and joy. Our Savior, out of His great mercy, bids His people to come to this meal. If you are a member of a church who embraces the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are at peace with your fellow Christians, we welcome you to this table. Come and consider with us our Lord’s body and shed blood symbolized in the bread and wine. Rejoice with us in our union with Him and with each other as His Covenant people. For those not taking Communion today, we encourage you to carefully think on the prayers found in the section entitled: “Prayers for Those Not Communing”, and we look forward to the day when you may join us in this meal.
Prayer for Those Searching for Truth Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.
Prayer of Belief Heavenly Father, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but, through Your Son Jesus, I can be more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank You that He lived the life I should have lived, and paid the debt and punishment I owed. Receive me now for His sake. I turn from my sins and receive Him as Savior. Amen.
Prayer for Those Struggling with Sin Lord Jesus, grant that I may see in you the fulfillment of all my need, and may turn from every false satisfaction to feed on you, the true and living bread. Enable me to lay aside the sin that clings so closely, and run with perseverance the race set before me, looking to you, the pioneer and perfecter of my faith. Amen.
Prayer of Commitment Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.
What Child is This What child is this, Who, laid to rest, on Mary's lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping? This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing: Haste, haste, to bring Him laud, the babe, the son of Mary. Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christian, fear; for sinners here the silent Word is pleading. Nails, spear, shall pierce Him through, the cross be borne for me, for you: Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the son of Mary. So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh; come, peasant, king, to own Him; The King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone Him. Raise, raise the song on high, the virgin sings her lullaby: Joy, joy for Christ is born, the babe, the son of Mary. 5
4, 5, & 6-year-old children may be dismissed before the sermon to Godly Play in room 173.
Just as God has the first word in worship, he also has the last word. For those who are in Christ Jesus, these are always words of blessing. We look up and extend our hands out in a posture of receiving the blessing of God.