Worship Guide - Fourth Sunday of Advent

Worship Guide

December 18, 2022

Fourth Sunday of Advent


Creating Disciples of Jesus who Transform the World




Lighting of the Advent Candle



O come, thou Root of Jesse’s tree,

an ensign of thy people be;

before thee rulers silent fall;

all peoples on thy mercy call.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.



Minister:    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

People:     And also with you!


Special Music:


Centering Words:


Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son. You shall name him Immanuel. When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded. Today, the promise of new life comes to us. How will we receive it? How will we claim it? How will we live it?


*Call to Worship:


Leader:   O God, hear our call.

People:   Stir up your strength and come to save us!

Leader:   Restore us, O God.

People:  Let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Leader:   For we know that new life is coming.

People:  A child will change us all.

Leader:   Let your hand be upon him in blessing.

People:  For he will bring you near.

Leader:   He will be God-with-us.

People:  Give us life, O God, and we will  forever call on your name.

Leader:   Come! Let us pray.


ALL: Holy One, you send us new life in so many forms. Open our minds, that we may recognize it. Open our hearts, that we may receive it. Open our bodies, that we may embrace it. Open our souls, that we may live it. Open us this day and all days. Amen.


Hymn: Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine”


Joseph dearest, Joseph mine,

help me cradle the child divine;

God reward thee and all that’s thine

in paradise, so prays the mother Mary.


He came among us at Christmas-time,

at Christmas-time, in Bethlehem;

let us bring him from far and wide

Love’s diadem: Jesus, Jesus,

lo, he comes, and loves,

and saves, and frees us!


Gladly, dear one, lady mine,

help I cradle this child of thine;

God’s own light on us both shall shine

in paradise, as prays the mother Mary.


He came among us at Christmas-time,

at Christmas-time, in Bethlehem;

let us bring him from far and wide

Love’s diadem: Jesus, Jesus,

lo, he comes, and loves,

and saves, and frees us!


All shall come and bow the knee;

wise and happy their souls shall be,

loving such a divinity,

as all may see in Jesus, Son of Mary.


He came among us at Christmas-time,

at Christmas-time, in Bethlehem;

let us bring him from far and wide

Love’s diadem: Jesus, Jesus,

lo, he comes, and loves,

and saves, and frees us!




Words of Assurance


To the weak and the strong, Christ comes. To the old and the young, Christ appears.

To the lost and the found, Christ arrives. Christ makes us apostles and offers us grace.

Christ makes us friends with each other and with him. He makes us family and welcomes us home.

Glory be to God. Amen


*Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 7:10-16


10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. 13 Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.


Leader:   This is the Word of God, for the People of God

People:  Thanks be to God!




Time with Young Friends “Jesus Loves Me


Children’s Message: “Jenga”


Hymn: “To a Maid Engaged to Joseph”


To a maid engaged to Joseph,

the angel Gabriel came.

“Fear not," the angel told her,

“I come to bring good news,

good news I come to tell you,

good news, I say, good news.


“For you are highly favored

by the God the Lord of all,

who even now is with you.

You are on earth most blest,

you are most blest, most blessed,

God chose you, you are blest!"


But Mary was most troubled

to hear the angel’s word.

What was the angel saying?

It troubled her to hear,

to hear the angel’s message,

it troubled her to hear.


“Fear not, for God is with you,

and you shall bear a child.

His name shall be called Jesus,

God’s offspring from on high.

And he shall reign forever,

forever reign on high."


“How shall this be?" said Mary,

“I am not yet a wife."

The angel answered quickly,

“The power of the Most High

will come upon you shortly,

your child will be God’s child."


As Mary heard the angel,

she wondered at his words.

“Behold, I am your handmaid,"

she said unto her God.

“So be it; I am ready

according to your word."


Sermon: “Give You a Sign” Matthew 1:18-25


18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23     “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

      and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

      which means, “God is with us.”

24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.




Prayers of the People: Joys and concerns

   Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer   




Invitation, Prayer of Confession and Pardon:


Christ our Lord invites to his table

all who love him,

who earnestly repent of their sin

and seek to live in peace with one another.

Therefore, let us confess our sin before God

and one another.


Merciful God,

we confess that we have not loved you

with our whole hearts.

We have failed to be an obedient church.

We have not done your will,

we have broken your law,

we have rebelled against your love,

we have not loved our neighbors,

and we have not heard the

cry of the needy.

Forgive us, we pray.

Free us for joyful obedience,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Hear the good news:

Christ died for us while we were yet sinners;

that proves God's love toward us.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are    forgiven.

Glory to God. Amen


 The Great Thanksgiving  


The Lord be with you

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing,

always and everywhere

to give thanks to you,

Father Almighty, creator of

heaven and earth.

You formed us in your image and

breathed into us the breath of life.

When we turned away, and our love failed,

your love remained steadfast.

You delivered us from captivity,

made covenant to be our sovereign God,

and spoke to us through your prophets, who looked for that day when justice shall roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

And so,

with your people on earth

and all the company of heaven

we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ, whom you sent in the fullness of time to be a light to the nations

You scatter the proud in the imagination of their hearts and have mercy on those who fear you from generation to generation.

You put down the mighty from their thrones and exalt those of low degree.

You fill the hungry with good things, and the rich you send empty away.

Your own Son came among us as a servant, to be Emmanuel, your presence with us.

He humbled himself in obedience to your will and freely accepted death on a cross.

By the baptism of his suffering,

death, and resurrection,

you gave birth to your church,  

delivered us from slavery to sin and death,

and made with us a new covenant

by water and the Spirit.


On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:


"Take, eat; this my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."


When the supper was over, he took the cup,

gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:


"Drink from this all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,

poured out for you and for many

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it

in remembrance of me."


And so,

in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,

we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving

as a holy and living sacrifice,

in union with Christ's offering for us,

as we proclaim the mystery of faith


Christ has died;

Christ is risen;

Christ will come again.


Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,

and on these gifts of bread and wine.

Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,

that we may be for the world the body of Christ,

redeemed by his blood.

    By your Spirit make us one with Christ,

one with each other,

and one in ministry to all the world,

until Christ comes in final victory,

and we feast at his heavenly banquet.

Through your Son Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church,

all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father,

now and forever.   Amen


And now with the confidence of children of God, let us pray:


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

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.


Sharing of the Cup and Loaf


Moment of Prayer and Meditation


Prayer of Thanks


Eternal God, we give you thanks

for this holy mystery

in which you have given yourself to us. 

Grant that we may go into the world

in the strength of your Spirit,

to give ourselves to others,

in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. 





Hymn: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”


Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King;

peace on earth and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled.”

Joyful, all ye nations rise,

join the triumph of the skies,

with th’angelic host proclaim,

“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King!”


Christ, by highest heaven adored;

Christ, the everlasting Lord;

late in time behold him come,

offspring of a virgin's womb.

Veiled in flesh the God-head see,

hail th'incarnate Deity,

pleased with us in flesh to dwell,

Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King!”


Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hail the Son of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,

born that we no more may die,

born to raise us from the earth,

born to give us second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King!”