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Click Here for a printable order of worship, including readings, song lyrics, and more.
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Welcome and Invocation
Invocation and Opening Sentences [Psalm 25:1,4,6,7]
L In the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit.
L To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
C Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.
L Remember Your mercy, O Lord, and Your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
C 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!
SJ Kids Sunday School Hour
Scripture Readings: Hosea 3:1–3, Luke 1:67–79
Old Testament Reading: Hosea 3:1–3
God directs Hosea to love Gomer despite her unfaithfulness.
1And the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman [Gomer] who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” 2So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. 3And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.”
A This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:67–79
Zechariah, again able to speak, praises God for sending the Savior and also prophesies over his baby son, John.
P The Holy Gospel according to Luke, the first chapter.
C Glory to You, O Lord.
L Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people
C He has visited and redeemed His people!
P and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,
L as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old,
P that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;
L to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham,
P to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
L And you, child [John], will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways,
C to give knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness of their sins,
L because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
C to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
L This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
Prayer of the Day
L Father God, from the wealth of Your glory, strengthen our inner beings through Your Spirit
C so that Christ will live in us through faith.
L We need strengthening inside so we may comprehend what is the breadth and length
C and height and depth of the love of Christ,
L -a love that surpasses knowledge.
C Strengthen us so that we may be filled up with You, dear God;
L through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now
C and forever. Amen.
Song of the Day: O Lord, How Shall I Meet You
Sermon – The Child Who is God’s Heart of Love
L What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
C This, this is Christ the King, the Father’s 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.
—the Babe, the Son of Mary!
Prayer of the Church
Offertory: What Child Is This?
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!
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Confession and Absolution
L God’s love for us is so steadfast that, even when we are unfaithful to Him, He remains faithful to us. Even so, our enthusiasm for Him still keeps wavering. With sorrow, let us confess to God that our love is often cool and our faithless eye often wanders.
Silence for reflection and self-examination
L Most merciful God,
C we confess that we are enslaved to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved You with our whole heart, and we are sorry for how this hurts You.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves, and we are sorry for how this hurts them.
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 You
and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your holy Name. Amen.
L God loves you and wants you back with Himself, and so Jesus Christ was given to pay your redemption price. For His sake God forgives you all your sins.
To those who believe in Jesus Christ He gives the power now to walk in loving union with Him, bestowing on them the Holy Spirit.
Benediction and Announcements
Thank you so much for joining us! God bless you!