The Bulletin is at: 12-18-2016-bulletin

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December 18, 2016


 AS WE GATHER………….Millions of names exist in this world.  Some are similar but have variations in different languages.  Some have great historic meaning, while others are created new because they sound good to the name-giver.  Yet with all the names that exist throughout the nations, there is only one name that saves, and that name is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  As we enter the last week of Advent, we hear the power of His name prophesied to Ahaz, affirmed in Romans, and to Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, prior to His birth.  And more than just a name, “Immanuel” is a sign that God is with His people.  As we approach Christmas joy, we give thanks for the name above all names, through whom “the Lord saves.”


After the ringing of the bell, we take a moment in silence to prepare our hearts and minds.




P:  Beloved in the Lord, this wreath and the candles have been progressively lit each week reminding us that Jesus came to conquer the darkness of sin and lead us into the light of His glorious kingdom.  In this final week of the Advent season, we come to know the meaning and power of our Savior’s name.  The angel spoke to Joseph, “She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

P:  Let us pray.  Lord Jesus, the true light who comes into this world, bless us as we light this candle in the beginning of our preparation for Your coming.  Enter our hearts and minds with the light of Your love that we may welcome and receive You with joy as true and eternal King; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:  Amen. 

 ADVENT SONG                                  Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,

And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel 

Shall come to you, O Israel. 


Oh come, blest Dayspring, come and cheer

Our spirits by your advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel

Shall come to you, O Israel. 

The fourth Advent candle is lit. 



P:  We pray for You to come to us, Lord Jesus.  Even as we prepare to receive and welcome You, we continue to sin against You.

Silence for meditation

P:  We confess,

C:  We have not loved You the way we ought, and have sinned against You in our words and actions, and have not done what You command. 

P:  We know the name above all names, the name of Jesus, which means “The Lord saves,” and Immanuel, “God is with us.”  Yet so often we do not call upon Your name in time of trouble.

C:  With repentant hearts, we ask You to come, Lord Jesus. 


P:  God has heard our prayer.  God is with us, and Jesus Christ is in our midst as He promised.  At the command and promise of Immanuel, our Lord Jesus, and in His place and by His command, all of your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C:  Amen. 

 SONG OF PRAISE “Green Book” 39 (verses 1 and 4)         Joy to the World

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive its King;

Let ev’ry heart prepare him room

And heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing,


He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of his righteousness

And wonders of his love,

And wonders of his love,

And wonders, And wonders of his love,


P:  Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, something in us knows that doing all the religious rituals would not justify ourselves to you……

C:  Only your gracious love can justify us; only your will and desire to save us from ourselves can actually free us to be your people.  We gratefully celebrate your coming among us, to wear our skin and walk in our shoes, and finally to go to the cross, so that the world would clearly see, how great is your love,

P:  through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and rules with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:  Amen! 


Old Testament Lesson:  Isaiah 7:10-17    The sign of Immanuel

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Shool or high as heaven.”  But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.”  And he said, “Hear then, O house of David!  Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.  For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.  The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.”

New Testament Lesson:  Romans 1:1-7  Greeting in Jesus’ name from Paul

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all those in Rome who loved by God and called to be saints:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


CHORAL ANTHEM               Come Down, Emmanuel           By Pepper Choplin


Gospel Lesson:  Matthew 1:18-25

Joseph is told of the coming birth of Jesus and the name He shall be given

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.  When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.  But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us).  When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son.  And he called his name Jesus.


 SERMON SONG  “Red Book” 115              Jesus, Name Above All Names

Jesus, name above all names,

beautiful Savior, glorious Lord, Emmanuel,

God is with us, blessed Redeemer, Living Word.


Jesus, loving shepherd

Vine of the branches, Son of God

Prince of Peace, Wonderful counselor

Lord of the universe, Light of the world.


Jesus, Way of salvation,

King of kings, Lord of Lords,

The way the truth, and the Life,

Mighty creator, my Savior and friend.

SERMON                                                                              Joseph’s Special Role



We believe in God, the Father of our Lord Jesus,

Almighty Creator of heaven and earth,

          The all powerful and all loving God. 

We believe in Jesus the Christ,

          The child of Bethlehem,

          God of God from all eternity,

          Born in the flesh at Christmastime,

                          Born to be our Savior,

                          Born to suffer and die for our sins,

                          Born to be raised to conquer death,

                                          And give us hope of eternal life. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

          The presence of God among us now,

          The power of Christ within us,

                          Which makes us holy, renews our hearts,

                                          And strengthens us in faith.

          Binding together all God’s people

                          In bonds of faith and hope and love,

                          As we together keep the vigil

                          And reflect upon the mystery

                                          Of God’s birth on earth

                                          This holy season.


The offerings gathered are a sign of our whole lives offered to God in humble gratitude for his greatest of all offerings, his Son born in human flesh and offered for our salvation.



P:  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.  Gracious Lord, we pray for the Church, that we who call Jesus would, by our words and our deeds, boldly witness to His presence and power among us.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer. 

P:  We pray for the nations of this world and our nation, that peace and goodwill be had not just for a season but would prevail among us as a sign of Your abiding presence.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer.

P:  We lift up before You all who suffer in poverty and want.  May deeds of mercy and compassion begun this season extend throughout all our days.  Use us to meet the needs of our neighbors and all in need.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer. 

P:  We pray for this congregation, that we may shine as a light of Your love to this community and beyond as a sign of Your presence.  We pray for those who are lonely and for those who are ill, (especially…………).  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer. 

P:  We pray for all who rejoice with family and friends in the week to come.  Grant safety to all who travel.  In the midst of many things, may the Good News of Jesus sent and born for us be at the heart of our celebrations.  May the love in our homes be signs of Your presence and care for us.  Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy, through Jesus, Immanuel, our Lord.

C:  Amen.   


P:  The Lord be with you.

C:  And also with you.

P:  Lift up your hearts.

C:  We lift them to the Lord.

P:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C:  It is right to give him thanks and praise. 






 “Red Book” 119                                               Just as I am

Just as I am, without one plea,

But that thy blood was shed for me,

And that thou bidd’st me come to thee,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


Just as I am, and waiting not

To rid my soul of one dark blot,

To thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


Just as I am, though tossed about

With many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, without,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need, in thee to find,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


Just as I am, thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because thy promise I believe,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


“Red Book” 55          Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,

There is no shadow of turning with Thee;

Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not,

As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.


“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!”

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord unto me!


Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To Thy great faithfulness mercy and love.


“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!”

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord unto me!


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!”

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord unto me!



P:  “She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus,

C:  for He will save His people from their sins.” 

P:  God is with us.  He will bless you and keep you.  He will make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.  He will look upon you with favor and + grant you peace.

C:  Amen. 


CLOSING BLESSING SONG  (sung to tune of “O Little Town”)

C:  Now may the good Lord bless and keep,

His love in us increase;

Lift up his face with shining grace

And grant eternal peace.

To Father, Son and Spirit,

Eternal one in three,

Be thanks and praise through all our days,

And to eternity! 



P:  Go in peace!  Serve the Lord!

C:  Thanks be to God!