New Covenant Community Church

Sermons

Tuning the Strings of Transformation – 12/13/20

by | Dec 13, 2020 | Sermons, All Posts

CALL TO WORSHIP AND THE LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE

Leader: As the Advent candles of hope and peace confront the world’s darkness, we now light the candle of joy.
People: We light this candle because we await the birth of the Anointed One, the Promised Child, who binds up our broken hearts and proclaims good news to the poor and oppressed.
Leader: The candle of joy is lit because we celebrate our identity as God’s beloved children.
People: This candle brightens the world because we anticipate the day when the Holy Child will embrace all humanity with love.
Leader: On this Third Sunday of Advent, we highlight the words of the psalmist – “May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home
with shouts of joy” (Psalm 126:5–6).
People: We light this candle to remember that God’s promised Deliverer will bring the gift of a new life and impart true and everlasting joy to all people.

HYMN           Song of Zechariah           Ken Heischamn
Blest be the God of Israel, Who comes to set us free,
Who visits and redeems us, Who grants us liberty.
The prophets spoke of mercy, Of freedom and release;
God shall fulfill that promise And bring the gift of peace.
God from the house of David a child of grace has given,
A Savior comes among us To raise us up to heaven.
Before Him goes the herald, Forerunner in the way,
The prophet of salvation, The harbinger of day.
On those who sit in darkness The sun begins to rise,
The dawning of forgiveness Upon the sinner’s eyes,
God guides the feet of pilgrims Along the paths of peace.
O bless our God and Savior With songs that never cease!

PRAYERS OF CONFESSION (Unison)
Gracious God, Liberator of the enslaved and Healer of the brokenhearted,
    during Advent we await the new beginnings that You are preparing for us,
        but we confess that our preparations are not focused on You.
You have summoned us to be merciful, but we often turn away from another’s misery.
    You have revealed the Sun of Righteousness, but we close our eyes to Your light.
        You have called us to trust Your word, but we prefer to follow our own way.
Forgive us, Lord, and cleanse us of our sin.
    Renew us with Your grace and joy,
        so that we would share Your light and life with the world,
            for we ask it in the name of the Holy Child of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Silent)

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS (adapted from 1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Leader: May the God of peace sanctify us completely.
People: Through God’s grace, may our spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

HYMN           Emmanuel           Ken Heischman
Emmanuel, Emmanuel
His name is called Emmanuel
God with us, Revealed in us
His name is called Emmanuel
(repeat)

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                   Luke 1:39-55
Luke 1 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country,
where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was
filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among
women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that
the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your
greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that
there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants
forever.”

MEDITATION                                                                           “Tuning the Strings of Transformation”

HYMN          Gentle Mary Laid Her Child           Ken Heischamn
Gentle Mary laid her Child Lowly in a manger;
There He lay, the undefiled, To the world a stranger:
Such a Babe in such a place, Can He be the Savior?
Ask the saved of all the race Who have found His favor.
Angels sang about His birth; Wise men sought and found Him;
Heaven’s star shone brightly forth, Glory all around Him:
Shepherds saw the wondrous sight, Heard the angels singing;
All the plains were lit that night, All the hills were ringing.
Gentle Mary laid her Child Lowly in a manger;
He is still the undefiled, But no more a stranger:
Son of God, of humble birth, Beautiful the story;
Praise His name in all the earth, Hail the King of glory!

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
CALL FOR THE OFFERING
BENEDICTION

 

 

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