“Jesus Christ, the condescension of divinity, and the exaltation of humanity.“
Good morning FCCG! Our Joys, Concerns and Announcements this week include:
- Birthdays or anniversaries coming up this week: Joe Baird’s Birthday (December 27), Barb and Dick Sharp’s Anniversary (December 28) and Theo Connolly’s Birthday (December 31). Let us know if we missed yours!
Introit ………………… God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings
Performed by the Barenaked Ladies
CALL TO WORSHIP
Welcome the coming new year as a time of God’s presence.
Our Creator offers us a new heaven and a new earth.
This is the season for rebirth of our best selves.
God has gifted us for new opportunities.
God is making all things new.
Mourning, crying, and pain cannot prevail.
We are invited to find enjoyment in living.
We are meant to discover pleasure in our toil.
God is mindful of our needs and our strengths.
We receive resources for the tasks God gives us.
We are here to build up one another.
May our worship encourage each of us today.
OPENING HYMN …………………….. #146 From Heaven Above
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
Holy God, we greet you as the new year dawns. As centuries come and go, your presence is ever new when we open our senses to receive you. We ask now that you sharpen our awareness of your creative energy at work within and around us. Let us welcome you in the stranger who is not yet a friend, in the hungry who need the food and care we might provide, in the one who fulfills our need for kindness. Show us your expectations for us in the season. Amen.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Let us confess our sin before God and one another, and may God have mercy.
May Christ have mercy.
May God have mercy.
Holy God, we have been so busy with things that do not satisfy. We have tried to fill our emptiness with activities and possessions that drain our energies rather than give life meaning. We do not know how to live, and we are afraid to die. We excuse our own sin at the same time that we deplore the abuse and violence we see in others. We avoid the witness to your son, who shared our common lot, for we are not willing to take the risks of his love. O God, save us from our sin. Amen.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Hear now these words of assurance:
Jesus identified with us to show us whose we are. Jesus suffered for us to help us in our times of testing. Jesus died to lead us to life in all its fullness. Now he welcomes us to be at one with God and our own best selves. We are forgiven, we are redeemed, we are lifted up to life of true freedom. Praise be to God.
GLORY PATRI ………………………………………. #35
All readings are from the English Standard Version bible.
OLD TESTAMENT LESSON ………………………………… Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil — this is God’s gift to man.
PSALTER RESPONSE …………………………………………………………………… Psalm 8
Sing praise to God who reigns above, the God of all creation.
O LORD, our God,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
What is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our God,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Sing praise to God who reigns above, the God of all creation.about:blank
EPISTLE LESSON ………………………………………………….. Revelation 21:1-6a
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
HYMN …………………………………………… #163 Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
GOSPEL LESSON ………………………………………………… Luke 2:8-15
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
SERMON ………………….. Come and Adore Him………………….. Rev. Rebecca Clancy
SPECIAL MUSIC ………….Light of the World by Lauren Daigle
The Lord’s Prayer
TITHES AND OFFERINGS
For everything there is a season. Always there is occasion for gratitude. One expression of our thanks to God is this time of sharing. We give that God’s will may be more fully realized in our midst.
May our witness to your gift of newness help to make it real to those who still look backward. Help us all to face the future, trusting in you, as join you in wiping away tears and caring for the least and lost. Amen.
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CLOSING HYMN ……………………………………………….. #151 The First Noel
May the Lord watch between me and thee, while we are apart one from the other, Amen.
Please keep the following individuals in your prayers this week:
- The family of Marilyn Cuscaden (death of Marilyn);
- Jodi Holleran’s mom (illness);
- Mercedes Nuss (illness);
- Jess Reddy’s friend, Keeley (illness);
- Sue Cechner’s friend, John (Illness);
- Barb and Dick Sharp’s friend, Alice (illness);
- Barb and Dick Sharp’s nephew, Jeff (illness);
- Barb and Dick Sharp’s niece, Amy (illness);
- Carolyn and Gail’s son, Collin (unit deployed to Afganistan);
- Lisa Peterson (illness);
- Lisa Peterson’s niece-in-law, Wendy (illness);
- Linda Moran (illness);
- Faith DiMaria’s brother, Steve, and family (illness);
- The Connolly Family (lots of prayers);
- Lynnly & Dave’s friend Mark (illness);
- Wayne’s brother John and his family (death of his sister-in-law Teresa);
- Those affected by violence as well as those serving in the military;