FOR REFLECTION | 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith.  Be strong and have courage. Let all that you do be done in love.”

ADVENT WREATH LIGHTING | “Candles of Hope” With the Ludwig Family

SPECIAL MUSIC | “O come, O come, Emmanuel”

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

CALL TO WORSHIP | Psalm 89:1-4

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;
in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”
You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn to David my servant:
‘I will establish your offspring forever, 
and build your throne for all generations.’”

OPENING HYMN | “People Look East”

CHRISTIAN READING | Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”. But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

SERMON
“Candles of Courage for Fears Ever Present
By Rev. Don Ludwig

Read Don’s Sermon by clicking here.

RESPONSIVE HYMN | “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”

PRAYER FOR THE COMMUNITY | Psalms 46:1-2

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear”.

O Ultimate mystery,
who comes to us in many pictures,
grant that the story of Advent and Christmas may
awaken the child within us, so that we may
experience child-like beauty and joy,
despite the sadness and destruction which
often surrounds us. Give us courage to face 
each day with confidence and fairy. May we 
be enabled to let go of our desire to acquire, 
to abandon our misuse of power and cease to view 
life in segments, instead of as a whole. This we
pray in the spirit of the Babe of Bethlehem,
symbol of the eternal child. 

AMEN.

KEEPING IN PRAYER

With the community of Southminster, take a moment to offer up your own prayers of joy and concern (take a moment to silently pray)… Spirit of Life and Love, empower each of them with strength and joy and purpose.  May the winds of your flame provide the spark of peace and comfort

  1. Marilyn Arthur had surgery on her humerus bone and is now recovering.
  2. Margaret Shearer is recovering from a recent hospitalization. She will be moving into Rock Creek Adult Living this week.
  3. Karen Wittenburg continues treatment for cancer. She is currently at her home and increasing her activity. Bob Buell continues to be at Maryville and hopes to transfer back to Hearthstone soon. 
  4. Bert Schmidt’s biopsy procedure has been rescheduled to this coming week. Please keep him and Sue Chandler, daughter, in prayer.
  5. Please keep the PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee) in prayer as they discern the future of Southminster

TIME FOR OFFERING AND DOXOLOGY

As we reflect on all of our blessings, individually and as a community, may we consider how we may give of ourselves so that the work of Christ’s love and peace may continue throughout our world.  Thank you for supporting the on-going ministries of Southminster Presbyterian Church.

Through all our living, we our fruits must give.
Good works of service are for offering.
When we are giving, or when receiving,
We belong to God.
We belong to God.
We belong to God.
We belong to God

FINAL BLESSING AND BENEDICTION

May the God of hope go with us every day,
Filling all our lives with love and joy and peace and courage.
May the God of justice speed us on our way,
Bringing light and hope to every land and race.
Praying, let us work for peace, Singing, share our joy with all,
Working for a world that’s new, Courageous when we hear Christ’s call.

A-men.