Gathering as the Body of Christ
Welcome and Sharing of Announcements
Advent Candle Lighting
“The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world.” We light the fourth Advent candle as creatures eager to meet their Creator. The Word, the life that was present in the beginning is coming down to us, to make God known. Jesus, you are the light of the world.
*Call to Worship
Liturgist: We are waiting on you, God. We are still waiting.
People: The darkness is deeper, but look! The star is beginning to shine.
Liturgist: The everlasting light is creeping closer.
People: Hope is in the air. Peace is promised. Joy is on the tips of our tongues.
Liturgist: : Love is coming. Love divine, all loves excelling.
People: We are waiting on love. And Love is waiting on us.
Creator God, in the beginning you called light from darkness, and you have made your light to shine in our hearts by displaying your glory in the person of Jesus Christ. We call him by many names, but they all point to your presence, power, and love. May we shine with your light not only at Christmas but at all times, in all our words and deeds. As Jesus took on human flesh so long ago, may we your followers incarnate your love for others, so that all might give glory to our Father in heaven. Amen.
Adapted from the Incarnation: Leader Guide, by Mike Poteet
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
UMH #211, verse 4
“O Little Town of Bethlehem”
UMH #230, verses 1 & 4
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Liturgist The word of God for the people of God.
People Thanks be to God.
"Advent 4: The Light of the World"
Message in Music
“Comfort and Joy”
arr. Joel Raney
Adult Choir, December 23, 2018
Dear Father, we admit that Advent can be a challenging time. We are not accustomed to waiting. We live in a world of instant gratification. Yet, you call us to wait, to anticipate, and to prepare for the birth of your son on Christmas Day. Now, we are counting the days – five more days until Christmas Day. This countdown generates a variety of emotional responses – excitement, joy, relief, and maybe even panic. Provide us with a sense of calm. May the rhythm of worship and this offering moment calm us so that we are prepared to receive anew the birth of Jesus, the Christ Child. Amen.
The United Methodist Foundation of Michigan
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
UMH #204 verses 1 & 3
The Blessing and Sending Forth
Liturgist: Jodie Kruger
Advent Readers: Yvonne Ahimah and Family
Video: Mark Beatty