PRELUDE –

“Angels We Have Heard On High” by Phil Wickham

LIGHTING OF THE THIRD ADVENT CANDLE & CALL TO WORSHIP – 2 Samuel 7:12-13

During this advent season, we as a church are lighting candles to symbolize the people of God’s anticipation of the coming of Christ. In 2 Samuel 7:12-13, God promised David that one of his sons would sit on the throne of Israel forever. The Lord says,

“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”

As Israel struggled under oppression and exile, God’s people clung to this promise, eagerly awaiting the day when their promised king would come. Christmas is a time that we celebrate, because the king who was promised so long ago, has finally come to his people.

(light the three candles)

Let’s stand and sing to Jesus Christ, the king who has come at last.

SONG –

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

CONFESSION OF SIN – Psalm 40:11-13

Although Christ has come to establish a kingdom of justice and love, we as a people are sinful and broken. In ourselves, we have no right to enter into God’s holy kingdom. Therefore, let’s pray along silently with the words of this confession of sin from Psalm 40:11-13.

Do not withhold your mercy from me, O Lord;

May your love and your truth always protect me.

For troubles without number surround me;

My sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.

They are more than the heirs of my head, and my heart fails within me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to save me;

O Lord, come quickly to help me.

(moment of silence)

ASSURANCE OF PARDON – Colossians 1:12-14

[Give] thanks to the Father,

who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness

and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

SONGS –

 “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by John Wyeth and Robert Robinson

Away In A Manger (Forever Amen)” by Phil Wickham

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – Nicene Creed

We 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.

We believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life;

who proceeds from the Father and the Son;

who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified;

who spoke by the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;

and we look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come.

Amen

PRAYER

CHILDRENS’ DISMISSAL

SCRIPTURE READING – 1 Timothy 4:1-5 Please stand for the reading. End with “This is the word of the Lord.”

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

SERMON – “Ascetic Heresies”

SONG –

Behold the Lamb (Communion Hymn)” by Keith & Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend

LORD’S TABLE

OFFERING

SONG –

Hope for Everyone” by Matt Maher

BENEDICTION

ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE –

“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” by Sara Groves