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
The Lord is king!
Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
Let the whole earth quake!
The Lord sits in majesty in Jerusalem,
exalted above all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
Your name is holy!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established fairness.
You have acted with justice
and righteousness throughout Israel.
Exalt the Lord our God!
Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!
Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the Lord for help,
and he answered them.
He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud,
and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.
O Lord our God, you answered them.
You were a forgiving God to them,
but you punished them when they went wrong.
Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,
for the Lord our God is holy!
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
Those who reject what they are taught will pay for it,
but those who obey what they are told will be rewarded.
The teaching of a wise person gives life.
It is like a fountain that can save people from death.
People with good understanding will be well liked,
but the lives of those who are not trustworthy are hard.
Every wise person acts with good sense,
but fools show how foolish they are.
A wicked messenger brings nothing but trouble,
but a trustworthy one makes everything right.
A person who refuses correction will end up poor and disgraced,
but the one who accepts correction will be honored.
It is so good when wishes come true,
but fools hate to stop doing evil.
Spend time with the wise and you will become wise,
but the friends of fools will suffer.
Trouble always comes to sinners,
but good people enjoy success.
Good people leave their wealth to their grandchildren,
but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for good people.
A poor person’s field might produce plenty of food,
but others often steal it away.
If you do not punish your children, you don’t love them,
but if you love your children, you will correct them.
Good people have enough to eat,
but the wicked will go hungry.
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…)
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. Amen
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 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.