Year V: Week 4 of Advent

Monday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All:
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 24 (Domini est terra)

All:

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

All:
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


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 132

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

Lord, remember David
    and all that he suffered.
He made a solemn promise to the Lord.
    He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel,
“I will not go home;
    I will not let myself rest.
I will not let my eyes sleep
    nor close my eyelids in slumber
until I find a place to build a house for the Lord,
    a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.”

We heard that the Ark was in Ephrathah;
    then we found it in the distant countryside of Jaar.
Let us go to the sanctuary of the Lord;
    let us worship at the footstool of his throne.
Arise, O Lord, and enter your resting place,
    along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.
May your priests be clothed in godliness;
    may your loyal servants sing for joy.
For the sake of your servant David,
    do not reject the king you have anointed.
The Lord swore an oath to David
    with a promise he will never take back:
“I will place one of your descendants
    on your throne.
If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant
    and the laws that I teach them,
then your royal line
    will continue forever and ever.”

For the Lord has chosen Jerusalem;
    he has desired it for his home.
“This is my resting place forever,” he said.
    “I will live here, for this is the home I desired.
I will bless this city and make it prosperous;
    I will satisfy its poor with food.
I will clothe its priests with godliness;
    its faithful servants will sing for joy.
Here I will increase the power of David;
    my anointed one will be a light for my people.
I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but he will be a glorious king.”

All:
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


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Almighty God, we thank you for the blessings of the weekend and the promise of this new week. Come and fill our hearts with confidence as we continue our journey this day…
             – Lord, hear our prayer
  • For wisdom, faith, endurance and the power to overcome sin, self and Satan…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For provision for our needs, health to our bones and joy in our hearts…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.

Family and Friends

  • Father of all, we ask for our families that they may be preserved from all harm, that every need shall be supplied and that your blessing may be upon them…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For those who don’t yet know you, that you would draw them by your love…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For those who struggle and suffer, that you would comfort them by your Spirit…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your Bride, the Church; that in this Advent season as we consider your arrival in Bethlehem, she may be found ready for your second coming at the end of the age…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For the members of our church, as they head to their places of work…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For our children and young people that they might be protected in their schools…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.

The World

  • Heavenly Father, we bring our nation to you. Have mercy upon her sins, grant wisdom to her leaders, give peace to our streets and favour to your people.
             – Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For our Government, our Prime Minister David Cameron, his cabinet and all in parliament…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.
    For Local Councils and all those who work and labour in our communities…
             – Lord, hear our prayer.


THE LORD’S
PRAYER

Reader:
And so we pray…

All:
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever, Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Matthew 1:18-25

The Birth of Jesus Christ

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, but before they married, she learned she was pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a good man, he did not want to disgrace her in public, so he planned to divorce her secretly.

While Joseph thought about these things, an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this happened to bring about what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be pregnant. She will have a son, and they will name him Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the Lord’s angel had told him to do. Joseph took Mary as his wife, but he did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to the son. And Joseph named him Jesus.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of the Gentle Footprint.

Conscious that the human race is fast destroying the natural habitat we all rely on for survival, I choose to live in such a way that reduces the suffering of all living creatures, healing and preserving our precious planet. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will guard the creation entrusted to us, and consume in such a way that is mindful, ethical and sustainable.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of the Gentle Footprint.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader:
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting. Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets,
To preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,
That we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our
Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may God himself, the God of peace, make you perfect and holy,
And keep you safe and blameless in spirit, soul and body,
For the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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