Throughout the tenth chapter of Luke, Jesus guided his disciples into a deeper understanding of what is means to follow him. In the final paragraph, Luke makes certain that we understand the devotion to Jesus and his teaching is a disciples’ one essential priority.
The hymns selected for the worship service proclaim the advent of our Lord Jesus, including his gracious purpose and our appropriate response.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Prelude: What Child Is This?
Call to Worship: Isaiah 9:6-7
Hymn Insert (1-5, 7) Savior of the Nations, Come
Note: This ancient hymn is a theologically rich description of the first advent of Jesus and expresses our longing for his second advent.
Hymn 89 Angels We Have Heard On High
Note: “Gloria in excelsis deo” is a Latin quotation of the announcement made by the angels to the shepherd on the night of Jesus’ birth: “Glory to God in the highest.” It is both an appropriate description of Jesus’ coming (glory displayed) and our response (glory proclaimed).
Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:18-25
Note: An angel revealed to Joseph the unique origin of the child Mary carried. Far from being a myth, the Virgin Birth was an essential act of God. It enabled him to be the Savior of the world and the King of Israel.
Hymn Insert: Gentle Mary Laid Her Child
Note: This simple, beautiful song frames the Christmas story with amazement: “Such a Babe in such a place, can He be the Savior?” Those who know him echo the praises of the angels to “praise His name in all the earth.”
Message: The One Essential Thing
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Insert: O Lord, How Shall I Meet You
Note: How will we welcome this Lord who came so long ago? This Christmas hymn begins with a prayer that the Lord will kindle within us the desire and ability to “do…all that my please [Him] best.” We will sing this hymn to a familiar tune (hymn 11).
Prayer Response: Mark Buhr
Benediction: John Miles