2021-02-28

Joel 3:11-16 “The Sovereign Judge”

[Joel 3:11-16 ESV] Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD. Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great. Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel.

Call to Worship – UM Book of Worship #325

Leader:
Come now, let us reason together,
says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be like snow.
 
Response:
Though they are red like crimson,
they shall be like wool.

Music

733 – Marching to Zion
124 – Seek the Lord
472 – Near to the Heart of God
664 – Sent forth by God’s Blessing


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2021-02-21

Joel 3:1-10 “The LORD’s Courtroom”

[Joel 3:1-10 ESV] “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it. “What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily. For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples. You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their own border. Behold, I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and I will return your payment on your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away, for the LORD has spoken.” Proclaim this among the nations: Consecrate for war; stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”

Call to Worship

God of life,
through Jesus Christ you have bestowed upon the world the light of life.
Sanctify this new fire,
grant that our hearts and minds
may also be kindled with holy desire
to shine forth with the brightness
of Christ’s rising,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Music

160 – Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart
585 – This Little Light of Mine
130 – God Will Take Care of You
668 – Let Us Now Depart in Thy Peace


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2021-02-14

Joel 2:28-32 “Grace In Action”

[Joel 2:28-32 ESV] “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.
 
[Acts 2:1-6, 14-21 ESV] When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. … But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
order of service

Call To Worship – Psalm 147 v1-6 (#859)

Leader:
1 Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
a song of praise is fitting.
All:
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
and gathers the outcasts of Israel.
Leader:
3 The Lord heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
All:
4 The Lord determines
the number of the stars,
and gives to all of them their names.
Leader:
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power,
whose understanding is beyond measure.
All:
6 The Lord lifts up the downtrodden,
but casts the wicked to the ground.

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2021-02-07

Joel 2:18-27 “The LORD Rescues”

[Joel 2:18-27 ESV] Then the LORD became jealous for his land and had pity on his people. The LORD answered and said to his people, “Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations. “I will remove the northerner far from you, and drive him into a parched and desolate land, his vanguard into the eastern sea, and his rear guard into the western sea; the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things. “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things! Fear not, you beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and vine give their full yield. “Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Call to Worship – 767 – Psalm 33 – v1-8

Leader:
1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
Delight in praise, O you upright!
All:
2 Praise the Lord with the lyre,
make melody to the Lord,
with the harp of ten strings!
Leader:
3 Sing to the Lord a new song,
play skillfully on the strings,
with loud shouts.
All:
4 Upright is the word of the Lord,
whose work is done in faithfulness.
Leader:
5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
All:
6 By the word of the Lord
the heavens were made,
and all their host
by the breath of God’s mouth.
Leader:
7 The Lord gathered the waters of the sea
as in a bottle and put the deeps in storehouses.
All:
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord,
let all the inhabitants of the world
stand in awe!
 

Music

2155 – Blest are They
707 – Hymn of Promise
337 – Only Trust Him
2119 – Where the Spirit of the Lord Is (2x)


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2021-01-31

Return and Weep

[Joel 2:3-17 ESV] Fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses they run. As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle. Before them peoples are in anguish; all faces grow pale. Like warriors they charge; like soldiers they scale the wall. They march each on his way; they do not swerve from their paths. They do not jostle one another; each marches in his path; they burst through the weapons and are not halted. They leap upon the city, they run upon the walls, they climb up into the houses, they enter through the windows like a thief. The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome; who can endure it? “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep and say, “Spare your people, O LORD, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'”

Call to Worship – Psalm 28 v1-7 (UMH 760)

Leader:
1 To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you are silent to me,
I become like those
who go down to the pit.
All:
2 Hear the voice of my supplication,
as I cry to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.
Leader:
3 Take me not away with the wicked,
with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors,
while mischief is in their hearts.
All:
4 Repay them according to their work,
and according to the evil
of their deeds;
Leader:
repay them according to the work
of their hands;
render them their due reward.
All:
5 The Lord will break them down
and build them up no more,
because they do not regard
the deeds of the Lord,
or the work of the Lord’s hands.
Leader:
Blessed be the Lord,
who has heard the voice
of my supplications!
All:
7 The Lord is my strength and shield
in whom my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
and with my song
I give thanks to the Lord.

Music

467 – Trust and Obey
2036 – Give Thanks
377 – It is Well with My Soul
415 – Take Up Thy Cross


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2021-01-24

Keep Seeking, Keep Trusting

[2 Peter 3:9-13 ESV] The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
 
[Joel 1:15-2:2 ESV] Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes. Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God? The seed shrivels under the clods; the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are torn down because the grain has dried up. How the beasts groan! The herds of cattle are perplexed because there is no pasture for them; even the flocks of sheep suffer. To you, O LORD, I call. For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flame has burned all the trees of the field. Even the beasts of the field pant for you because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness. Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.

Call to Worship – Psalm 27:1-4 (UMH 758)

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
 
2 When evildoers assail me,
to devour my flesh,
my adversaries and foes
shall stumble and fall.
 
3 Though a host encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
 
4 One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell
in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in the Lord’s temple.

Music

405 – Seek ye First
2008 – Let All Things Now Living
2128 – Come and Find the Quiet Center
133 – Leaning on the Everlasting Arms


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2021-01-17

Where Do We Go From Here?

[Joel 1:1-14 ESV] The word of the LORD that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel: Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten. Awake, you drunkards, and weep, and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine, for it is cut off from your mouth. For a nation has come up against my land, powerful and beyond number; its teeth are lions’ teeth, and it has the fangs of a lioness. It has laid waste my vine and splintered my fig tree; it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down; their branches are made white. Lament like a virgin wearing sackcloth for the bridegroom of her youth. The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off from the house of the LORD. The priests mourn, the ministers of the LORD. The fields are destroyed, the ground mourns, because the grain is destroyed, the wine dries up, the oil languishes. Be ashamed, O tillers of the soil; wail, O vinedressers, for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field has perished. The vine dries up; the fig tree languishes. Pomegranate, palm, and apple, all the trees of the field are dried up, and gladness dries up from the children of man. Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests; wail, O ministers of the altar. Go in, pass the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God! Because grain offering and drink offering are withheld from the house of your God. Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.

Call to Worship – Psalm 29 (UMH #761)

 
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
Worship the Lord in holy splendor.
3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, upon many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful,
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars,
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 The Lord makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness,
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord makes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forests bare;
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as Ruler for ever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Music

2088 – Lord I Lift Your Name on High ( Faith We Sing Book)
2074 – Shout to the Lord (Faith We Sing Book)
526 – What a Friend We Have in Jesus (Hymnal)
469 – Jesus is All the World to Me (Hymnal)


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2021-01-10

Resolutions?

[Colossians 4:2-6 ESV] Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison– that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
 
[James 5:13-20 ESV] Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Call to Worship – Psalm 92 vs 1-4 UMH #811

Leader:
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
All:
2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
Leader:
3 to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
All:
4 For you, O Lord,
have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

Music

UMH #365- Grace Greater than Our Sin
UMH #352 – It’s Me, It’s Me, O Lord
TFWS #2167 – More Like You
TFWS #2032 – My Life Is in You, Lord

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2021-01-03

A Letter to Mary’s Mother 2.0

[Matthew 2:1-12 ESV] Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
 
[Isaiah 60:1-6 ESV] Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.

Call To Worship – Psalm 72:1-8 – responsive reading #795

Leader:
1 Give the king your justice, O God,
All:
and your righteousness to the royal son!
Leader:
2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
All:
and your poor with justice!
Leader:
3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness!
All:
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor!
Leader:
5 May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon,
throughout all generations!
All:
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth!
Leader:
7 In his days may righteousness flourish,
and peace abound,
till the moon be no more!
All:
8 May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the river to the ends of the earth!

Music

#254 – We Three Kings v 1-4
#245 – The First Noel
#242 – Love Came Down at Christmas
#228 – He is Born


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2020-12-27

A Letter to Mary’s Mother

Call to Worship – Psalm 25

Leader:
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
All:
2 O my God, in you I trust,
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Leader:
3 Let none that wait for you be put to shame;
All:
let them be ashamed
who are clothed with treachery.
Leader:
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
All:
teach me your paths.
Leader:
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
All:
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Leader:
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
All:
7 Remember not the sins of my youth,
or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
Leader:
8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore the Lord instructs sinners in the way,
9 and leads the humble in what is right, and teaches them their way.
All:
10 All the paths of the Lord
are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep
the Lord’s covenant and testimonies.

Music

#240 Hark the Herald Angels Sing
#251 Go Tell it on the Mountain
#219 What Child is This?
#246 Joy to the World


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2020-12-24

Christmas Eve


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2020-12-20 Rejoice

[Zephaniah 3:14-20 ESV] Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the LORD.
 
[Philippians 4:4-9 ESV] Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
 
[Luke 2:8-14 ESV] And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Call to Worship – UM Book of Worship #254

Ever present God,
you taught us that the night is far spent and the day is at hand.
Grant that we may ever be found watching for the coming of your Son.
Save us from undue love of the world,
that we may wait with patient hope for the day of the Lord,
and so abide in him,
that when he shall appear, we may not be ashamed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Music

UMH #217 “Away in a Manger”
UMH #234 “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
UMH #246 “Joy to the World”


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2020-12-13 Love

[Revelation 21:1-4 ESV] Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
 
[John 3:16-18 ESV] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
 
[Matthew 1:18-23 ESV] Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Call to Worship – UM Book of Worship #252

Grant to us the precious gift of faith,
that we may know
that the Son of God is come,
and may have power to overcome the world
and gain a blessed immortality;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Music

UMH #215 To a Maid Engaged to Joseph v 1,2,4,5
UMH #196 Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
UMH #250 Once in Royal David’s City
UMH #242 Love Came Down at Christmas


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2020-12-06 Restore

[Jeremiah 23:1-8 ESV] “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’ “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
 
[Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV] The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion– to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
 
[Isaiah 42:1-7 ESV] Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

Call to Worship – UM Book of Worship #250

Merciful God,
you sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way of our salvation.
Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Music

#213 Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
#211 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel verses 1,3, and 4
#230 O Little Town of Bethlehem
#220 Angels from the Realms of Glory verses 1, 2, and 4


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2020-11-29 Reconciliation

[Genesis 3:14-15 ESV] The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
 
[Romans 5:8,10-11 ESV] but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
 
[Ephesians 2:16 ESV] and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
 
[2 Corinthians 5:18 ESV] All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
 
[Colossians 1:20 ESV] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
 
[Luke 1:28-33 ESV] And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 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 father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Call to Worship – UM Book of Worship #249

Eternal God,
in your providence you made all ages
a preparation for the kingdom of your Son.
Make ready our hearts for the brightness of your glory
and the fullness of your blessing in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Music

203 – Hail to the Lord’s Anointed
204 – Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Special Music – Mary, Did you Know?
218 – It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – verses 1, 3, 4


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