Order of Service, December 10, 2023

Introduction

This Lord’s Day we begin our focus on the Christmas season. We will mark the incarnation of Jesus Christ with a series of three sermons from Matthew, chapters one and two. We will move through the expectation of God’s promised Messiah (1:1-17), the details of God’s provision of his Messiah (1:18-25), and God’s protection of his Messiah (2:1-23).

The hymns for this service will echo Israel’s long expectation of the Messiah as well as the joy his coming brings.

PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP

Prelude:       Behold the Lamb of God
George Frideric Handel
Pianist Jan Buhr

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29

Call to Worship:     Isaiah 9:6-7

Invocation

PROCLAMATION

Hymn 111     Angels from the Realms of Glory

Note: Our first hymn introduces the Christmas season with words appropriate to call us to worship: “Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.” The fourth verse heralds the gospel message made possible at Christ’s first coming. The last verse declares the believer’s hope, the climax of the gospel story: “Suddenly the Lord, descending, in His temple shall appear.”

Worship through Giving

Hymn 87     O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Note: This lyric prayer echoes Israel’s centuries of longing for God’s promised Messiah, reflected in the sermon text. “Come Emmanuel,” who is “Rod of Jesse,” conqueror in the lineage of King David (Jesse’s son). He not only comes to reign, but to free his people from “Satan’s tyranny.”

Scripture Reading     Matthew 1:1-17

Note: Many people skip, or at least skim over, the genealogies in the Bible. We must remember that they are part of inspired Scripture and, therefore, “useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The sermon text will deal with themes in Matthew’s description of Jesus’ family tree; therefore we will read through it together. Please read thoughtfully.

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn 91       Once in Royal David’s City

Note: Mary’s child born in Bethlehem so long ago was no ordinary baby. “He came down to earth from heaven Who is God and Lord of all.” He was the long-expected Messiah. This hymn reminds us of his condescension to the humblest of circumstances as he became one of us.

Message: Lessons Found in Jesus’ Family Tree
Text: Matthew 1:1-17, 21
Pastor Steven Thomas

RESPONSE

Hymn 92       Joy to the World!

Note: We have popularized Isaac Watts’ famous hymn as a Christmas song. But the composer wrote it to describe Christ’s reign in his future kingdom. It anticipates Christ’s future eradication of the effects of sin and expresses our longing for the day when all nations will extol the “glories of his righteousness.” This was Israel’s expectation and the climax of our glorious gospel message.

Prayer Response:      Mark Buhr

Benediction:      John Miles