As we enter the final countdown to Christmas, our Gospel readings begin telling the great story of our Lord’s birth. The Psalms continue their crescendo through the Songs of Ascent and our readings in the book of Revelation begin to draw to a climax in the Second Coming of Christ.
CALL TO WORSHIP
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Simple Trust in the Lord
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
Lord, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)
OLD TESTAMENT READING
The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them.
Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit
gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Pause for Reflection…
(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)
Lord Jesus we thank you for the many blessings of this day,
Give us eyes to see the path ahead,
And faith to reach towards the prize. Amen
(If these prayers are taking place before food, you may like to say the Grace here instead.)
Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen
Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.