Bulletin for Dec. 23

Fourth Sunday of Advent

PRELUDE
In the Bleak Midwinter by Rob Johns, Pianist

THE LIFE AND WORK OF THE CHURCH
Glenda Manus, Liturgist

ENTERING GOD’S HOUSE

CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: We come to glorify God, to rejoice in the One who saves us.
People: God comes, so we might believe, so we might be blessed.
Leader: Our hearts leap for joy! For God is coming to us in a child.
People: God comes for those who hunger for hope, for those who thirst for grace.
Leader: Holy is the One who comes in God’s name, who fulfills every promise of God.
People: God comes to walk with those who follow in faith, to bring peace to a shattered world.

*HYMN No. 38 It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

*CALL TO CONFESSION
Leader: Every notion we have about power, success, wealth and achievement God takes and tosses out the window. More importantly, God comes to us, to upset our idea that we have to save ourselves. In Jesus, God comes to us, removing our sin, our failures, our expectations, so we might have life.
Please join me as we pray together, saying,

PRAYER OF CONFESSION (Unison)
We confess we are not the people you hope us to be, Advent God. The very ones you favor? All too often, we ignore them, or worse, fill them with ridicule. The ones you knock off their pedestals? We continue to admire them, seeking to emulate their ways. The drumbeat for more and more? We live into that rhythm so easily, we risk being sent away empty.
Forgive us, Mighty God who comes in the weakness of a baby.
Look with grace upon us, so we might see your love shining down.
We could live secure in your hope, we could be the ones of peace for our world, we could learn to do your will, if we but welcome Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, into our hearts and into our lives. Amen.

*KYRIE ELEISON
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Amen.

*ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Leader: God passes the heirloom of mercy down from generation to generation, always loving, always forgiving, always calling us to new life.
People: As we open our hearts to God, we are filled with the Joy that was sung at the Birth, with the Hope that walked among us, with the Peace that awaits us, and with the Love that sustains us.
Thanks be to God, we are forgiven! Amen.
(adapted from Lectionary Liturgies, Year C, Advent 4)

*GLORIA PATRI No. 579

ANTHEM
This Peaceful Night by the Adult Choir
Savannah Bean. Soloist, Emily Helms, Flutist

MOMENT WITH THE CHILDREN by Pat Oglesby

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE
Tommy, Faith and Betty Broome

LIGHT ONE CANDLE

Following the verse being sung by the choir, the congregation is asked to join in the singing of the chorus.

Advent candles warm and bright,
Fill the world with radiant light.
Help us find the Promised One;
Guide us to the child who will come.

HEARING GOD’S WORD

*HYMN No. 23 Angels We Have Heard on High

(Please pass prayer cards to the end of the pew so they may be collected as we sing.)

SCRIPTURE
“….be filled with the spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 18b-20)

CAROLS, HYMNS AND SONGS OF CHRISTMAS

THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
Come, they told me, (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
A new-born King to see; (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Our finest gifts we bring (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
To lay before the King, (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-
pum-pum)
So to honor Him (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
When we come.
Little Baby, (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
I am a poor boy too; (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
I have no gift to bring (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
That’s fit to give our King, ){Pa-rum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-
pum
Shall I play for You (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
On my drum?
Mary nodded; (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
The ox and lamb kept time; (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
I played my drum for Him; (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-
pum-pum-pum)
Then He smiled at me, (Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Me and my drum.

THE CHRISTMAS SONG
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping at your nose,
Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.
Ev-rybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.
They know that Santa’s on his way;
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And ev-‘ry mother’s child is gonna spy—
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.
And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two;
Although it’s been said many times, many ways,
“Merry Christmas to you.”

GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN
God rest ye merry, gentlemen; let nothing you dismay.
Remember, Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r when we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy!
O tidings of comfort and joy.
In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessed Babe was born,
And laid within a manger upon this blessed morn;
The which His Mother Mary did nothing take in scorn.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy!
O tidings of comfort and joy.
From God our heav’nly Father, a blessed angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy!
O tidings of comfort and joy.

I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.
I thought as now this day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rung so long the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.
And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN
You better watch out; you better not cry;
Better not pout; I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is comin’ to town.
He’s making a list and checking it twice;
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice:
Santa Claus is comin’ to town.
He sees you when you’re sleepin’; He knows when you’re awake;
He knows if you’ve been bad or good; so be good for goodness sake.
Oh! You better watch out; you better not cry;
Better not pout; I’m telling you why;
Santa Claus is comin’ to town.

*RESPONDING TO GOD’S WORD

*DECLARATION OF FAITH
The people of God have often misused God’s promises as excuses for doing nothing about present evils. But in Christ the new world has already broken in and the old can no longer be tolerated.
We know our efforts cannot bring in God’s kingdom. But hope plunges us into the struggle for victories over evil that are possible now in the world, the church, and our individual lives. Hope gives us courage and energy to contend against all opposition, however invincible it may seem, for the new world and the new humanity that are surely coming.
He has been Lord from the beginning. He will be Lord at the end. Even now he is Lord. ( A Declaration of Faith, Chapter 10 (5))

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE LORD’S PRAYER

THE OFFERING

OFFERTORY by Carol Medley, Emily Helms, Flutist

*THE DOXOLOGY NO. 592

*PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

*HYMN OF RESPONSE NO. 41 O Come, All Ye Faithful

*BENEDICTION

*POSTLUDE

*Please stand.

___________________________________________________

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

As we pray today we will be remembering Purity Presbyterian Church in Chester, SC and its 186 members.

The Christmas Eve offering will be divided between Lancaster HOPE and the Greater New Hope Christian Association Soup Kitchen (providing food assistance for the poor in our county).

RECENT HONORIUM
Given to the Choir Robe Fund in honor of Julia Willingham by VWPW Food Group II (Eloise Williams, Chairperson; Toug Brunson; Betty Broome; Carol Johns; Camille Dunlap; Shirley Wilt)

GREETERS AND USHERS
Jeff and RoseMary Bean

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