Sunday December 24, 2017
Year B, Fourth Sunday of Advent
Fourth Sunday of Advent :: Violet ::
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OFFERING STEWARDSHIP MOMENT INCLUDED
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Luke 1:49-55
L: The LORD has done great things for me.
P: Holy is God’s name!
L: God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
P: and lifted up the lowly.
L: God has filled the hungry with good things.
P: And remembered the faithful in love.
(Adapted from Romans 16)
God of Love, whose arrival we eagerly anticipate, we glorify your name. You have strengthened us in the proclamation of Jesus Christ, which you have given not only to the chosen, but also to us gentiles, by your decree. We come today seeking your wisdom, your guidance, and your truth. Hear our prayers and praises; offer us the blessing of knowing your presence this day. We ask these things in the name of Christ, to whom be the glory forever.
Advent is the season of Hope, of Peace, of Joy, and of Love. It is the season when we celebrate all that God gave us through the gift of the presence of His son, Jesus. In this season of hope, there are sister congregations (or maybe our own) that are praying for the calling of God to fill the heart of a new pastor. In this season of Peace, there are sister congregations (or maybe our own) that are seeking peace in the midst of conflict. In this season of Joy, there are sister congregations (or maybe our own) which are grieving and in need of pastoral care and support. In this season of Love, there are sister congregations (or maybe our own) that are dreaming of ways to reach out to children and youth who feel less loved than they deserve. One of the solutions to these challenges and opportunities is our shared ministries within our region. Through our region and its partnerships we do reach out to our brothers and sisters who are searching, seeking, grieving, and dreaming. As you consider making a gift for the Christmas Special Offering this year, know that your gift supports the ministries of our region: One Hundred percent. Today we ask you to not only bring your tithes to our church, but also a special offering, which will help make the ministries of our region possible.
Almighty God, we bring these gifts with joy and thanksgiving. For we know that they are a mere returning of a small portion of all which you have blessed us. Join them with the gifts of others and multiply them, we pray, that churches throughout our region will be strengthened by them. We offer them in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Mary’s story we hear “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” And “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.” These are certainly words of great comfort. Through Christ our Lord, and the gift of this, His table, these words belong not only to Mary, but to each of us gathered here. So in the name of Christ our Lord, and by His grace I say to you: “Greetings favored one, the Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.” Come. Eat. Drink. Enjoy the blessings of God’s favor.
All material copyright 2017 The Jubilee Fund, Inc. Permission granted to reproduce and use any of the above for Churches and Congregations to the glory of God without requirement of compensation or notification.
Scripture Quotations from the New Revised Standard Version. Online Scripture links a service of the Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library, of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Check out all of the awesome resources there at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu