Evangelectionary for Sunday, December 4, 2016

Texts: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12

 

Message:  “Don’t Leave Home Without It!”

Remember those who left home, but not without hope: Abraham, Israel (exile), Joseph and Mary, Jesus, Apostle Paul, Jews of the dispersion, immigrants, including those who came to America and still are coming.  Remember the times in our own lives when we left home, but with hope in our hearts.  Paul speaks about how God provides that hope when we leave whatever home we have to go out not always knowing where we are to go, nor all the other details either.  Of all the people of the world we should be the most hopeful for we know that our risen Lord is the one in whom all things hold together, today and tomorrow. Isaiah prepared God’s people for what was to come when he said, “The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.  And Paul exhorted the Roman Christians saying “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Quote(s):

“To call God the God of hope is the same as to call Him the God of the hopers.”  Martin Luther

 

“When the psalmist wrote: ‘Hope Thou in God,’ he gave the world the only ground for hope that exists.”  Leslie D. Weatherhead

Music: “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” “Abide With Me,” “Savior Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise”

Call to Worship

“My people, I promise to give you my spirit and my message.  These will be my gifts to you and your families forever.  I, the Lord, have spoken.”  Isaiah 59:21

Opening Prayer

As we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ, help us to enthusiastically keep the words of John the Baptist.  We now submit ourselves to the purification of your judgment and open our lives to the power of your Holy Spirit.

Prayer of Confession

We confess, holy God, that we are not the persons we should be, nor the persons we could be, nor even the persons we seem to be.  What’s more, we haven’t been all that concerned.  We’ve been content to drift along as best we can, without being very intentional about our inward health.  Other things have preoccupied our minds, and we haven’t always given you first place in our lives.  Pardon us, we pray, and enliven us with your Holy Spirit to new heights of awareness and spiritual growth.

Words of Assurance

Thus says the Lord…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  Isaiah 43:1

Prayer of Thanks

O Lord, we give thanks to you for your abundant mercies and gracious presence in our lives.  Thank you for the hope that Jesus brings to our broken lives and spirits.  Thank you that our hope is not shallow and empty, but founded upon the rock which is higher than we are.  May our joy and gladness in the gospel be seen and heard every day in all we do and say, to the glory of God and the mission of Jesus Christ to the world.  Amen

Offertory Sentence

All shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God.  Deut. 16:17

Offertory Prayer

As we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ, remember the words of John the Baptist, “Prepare the way of the Lord.”

Benediction

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.  Great is your faithfulness…It is good that one should wit quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”  (Lam 3:17, 21-23, 26)

(Prayers and other worship items courtesy of Leroy Koopman @ Liturgical Publications.  Subscribers are permitted to reprint material in non-profit publications only; all other reproduction is prohibited.  2013 Liturgical Publications Inc, LPi Resource Center, P.O. Box 510817, New Berlin, WE 53151-0817, 1-800-950-9952 ext. 2469)

avatar About Bruce Laverman

Bruce is a retired pastor and former Director of Evangelism in the Reformed Church in America now living in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the RCA's representative to Evangelism Connections and serves as Managing Editor of this Web site.

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