PRELUDE – “Exult in the Savior’s Birth” by Matt Boswell and D.A. Carson

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP

Song –

Here I Am to Worship” by Tim Hughes

LIGHTING OF FOURTH ADVENT CANDLE

Speaker: Today we light all four Advent candles…

[light the four candles in order]

Speaker: The first candle reminds us of the prophets who foretold of the coming Messiah.The second candle is the Bethlehem Candle, reminding us of God’s preparation for the coming of the Christ-Child to be born in Bethlehem. The third candle reminds us that the Shepherds were the first to receive the glorious news of the birth of Christ. The fourth candle reminds us of the angels and the part God gave them in preparing people for the coming of the Christ-Child.

Speaker: Gabriel brought the wonderful news of the birth of the Messiah to a virgin named Mary, saying:

CONGREGATION: “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:31-33

Speaker: An angel also prepared Mary’s fiancé Joseph for the news of her pregnancy, so that Joseph would believe that the child was a sign of the fulfillment of God’s glorious promise, not a sign of Mary’s unfaithfulness: This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered 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 home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:18-21

Speaker: A “multitude of the heavenly hosts” celebrated the birth of Christ as they shared the news with the humble shepherds.

CONGREGATION: And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men. Luke 2:8-14

Songs –

Angels We Have Heard On High

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” by Felix Mendelssohn

CONFESSION OF FAITH – The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,

the Father Almighty,

Maker of heaven and earth,

and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the only-begotten Son of God,

begotten of the Father before all worlds;

God of God, Light of Light,

very God of very God;

begotten, not made,

being of one substance with the Father,

by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation,

came down from heaven,

and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit

of the virgin Mary,

and was made man;

and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;

He suffered and was buried;

and the third day He rose again,

according to the Scriptures;

and ascended into heaven,

and sits on the right hand of the Father;

and He shall come again, with glory,

to judge the quick and the dead;

whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord and Giver of Life;

who proceeds from the Father and the Son;

who with the Father and the Son

together is worshipped and glorified;

who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;

and I look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come.

Amen.

PRAYER

CHILDREN’S BLESSING & DISMISSAL – New City Catechism Q 26

Song –

O Come All Ye Faithful” by C. Frederick Oakeley and John Francis Wade

SCRIPTURE READING – Luke 2:21-35

SERMON – “What It Means That Christ Has Been Born”

LORD’S TABLE

Song –

In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

OFFERING

Songs –

Joy to the World” by George Frideric Handel and Isaac Watts

Go Tell It On the Mountains

BENEDICTION

ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “Hallelujah Chorus” by Handel

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