Worship December 6, 2020
I welcome you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
In addition to acknowledging the second week of advent we also will join in Holy Communion.
This is a good time to gather your juice and bread for communion.
God is called by many names, but today we focus on Him as the Prince of Peace.
We long for peace: peace of mind, peace in our families, peace at work, peace in all the lands.
Today we leave our worries, fears, and doubts at His feet and breathe in His peace.
You are the God who gives peace. This second week of Advent cause us to remember that because of Jesus we can experience a Christmas free from turmoil and chaos. Regardless of our circumstances or our situations, you offer, and we accept the peace that passes understanding. Amen
Advent Wreath Candle Lighting
Today the Houglum children Tess, Nora, Jude, and Grandma Gail Bergloff are joining us for the lighting of the second Advent candle, the candle of peace.
Nora, a confirmation student at the Mora UMC, will continue the building of the manager scene that was started last week by another confirmation student, Lindsay Sigstad.
Nora adds Joseph to the scene.
Once the candle is lit, we will join in singing Love Came Down at Christmas
Now we continue with the lighting of the candle of peace
Reader 1: Today we light the second Advent candle.
Reader 2: Let us pray.
O God of our ancestors, you stand as a sign for the people;
O sovereign of all the earth:
Come and release from prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Amen.
Reader 3: The first candle reminded us of hope. The second Advent candle is the candle of peace — the peace we seek in our hearts as we await the coming of Christ and peace on earth as announced by the angels.
Reader 4: May the light of hope and peace burn brightly in our hearts all our days.
The second candle is lighted
Copyright © 2005 Preston Price. Published by Discipleship Ministries, this script may be reproduced and used in congregational worship — with the inclusion of the above copyright statement.
Hymn UMH #242 Love Came Down at Christmas
11 A shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse; a branch will sprout from his roots.
2 The Lord’s spirit will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of planning and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.
3 He will delight in fearing the Lord.
He won’t judge by appearances, nor decide by hearsay.
4 He will judge the needy with righteousness, and decide with equity for those who suffer in the land.
He will strike the violent with the rod of his mouth; by the breath of his lips he will kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be the belt around his hips, and faithfulness the belt around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; the calf and the young lion will feed together, and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow and the bear will graze. Their young will lie down together,
and a lion will eat straw like an ox.
8 A nursing child will play over the snake’s hole; toddlers will reach right over the serpent’s den.
9 They won’t harm or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain.
The earth will surely be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, just as the water covers the sea.
A signal to the peoples
10 On that day, the root of Jesse will stand as a signal to the peoples. The nations will seek him out, and his dwelling will be glorious.
11 On that day, the Lord will extend his hand a second time to reclaim the survivors of God’s people.
13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
Predictions, forecasts, insights, foresights, guesses, conjectures, premonitions, prognostication speculations, intuitions, hunches – what do all these words have in common?
Well one thing they have in common is that for many years I was asked to do this “thing” as it related to my role at the corporation I worked for.
You see I was regularly asked to give my projections about the pricing of the materials I was responsible for.
As the sourcing manager I was expected to know how much per pound, per square foot, per meter per whatever the purchase quantity and I was expected to look into the future and predict what the company would spend on those raw materials for the coming next year.
My report, plus the other elements that go into a business plan, went to our business leaders then to corporate and corporate took it to the Board of Directors who took it to Wall Street.
It was known that all this planning was for just the upcoming year.
I had a pretty good track record, and most years I was close.
BUT there were the years that the unexpected happened.
The unexpected might be an OPEC issue, a plant capacity issue, or once and awhile I just missed the mark.
From time to time I was asked to look into my crystal ball and project out five or maybe 10 years.
When that happened it was known by all that these projections were just my best guesses.
So that was my past and although at times I was guessing I never had it as challenging as this court astrologer I read about.
One day this court astrologer predicted that the Queen would die the next day.
When she really did died the next day, the King wanted to get the astrologer killed as he thought that he had purposefully conspired to kill the Queen to fulfill his forecast, his prophecy.
The guards brought the astrologer to the court and the King asked him: “You seem to predict very well.
Tell me, when are you going to die?”
The astrologer, with dead seriousness, said-“I shall die three days before you, Oh great king of kings!”.
His life was spared.
My life was never threatened when I missed the mark, but I did from time to time have to give creative answers to the prediction questions.
According to Ministry 127, which is a ministry of the Lancaster Baptist Church
“More than a fourth of the Bible is predictive prophecy.
Predictive prophecy is someone stating what is going to happen in the future.
Approximately one-third of the bible prophecy has yet to be fulfilled.
I am fascinated by the Old Testament promises of the coming of a king and that king being the baby Jesus. Prophecy fulfilled!
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible also contain hundreds of promises about the return of Jesus Christ. The second coming that we are waiting for.
The Old Testament promises the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ and the New Testament has much to say about the second coming of Christ.
Here we are in the church season of Advent, the season of preparing our hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus our King of Kings.
The first week of Advent, last week we lit the candle of Hope.
This hope was the hope of the coming of a Messiah. Scripture has much to say to bring us Hope.
You might want to get your Bible and turn to Matthew 1:1.
As I identify a few of the prophecy you will see the connection between scripture promises and the lineage of Jesus.
(1.1)The first promise is found in the first book of the bible, the book of Genesis 12:3 where we find God making a promise to Abraham: “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).
This promise is fulfilled because Jesus, a descendant of Abraham, was born and died to save all God’s people.
(1.2) Promise to Isaac: God promised an everlasting covenant with Isaac (Abraham’s son).
God said to Abraham,” ‘Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. He continues, I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him’” (Genesis 17:19). As with the fist promise to Abraham the birth of Jesus, a descendant of Isaac, fulfilled this promise.
(1.3) Promise to Jacob (also called Israel): In (Genesis 28:14) God promised Jacob that all people on earth would be blessed through him.
In Jesus, a descendant of Jacob, this promise was fulfilled.
(1.4) Promise to Judah: The Bible reveals that a descendant of Judah would be ruler over all the nations.
Jesus, a descendant of Judah, is this ruler. Genesis 49:10 says “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his” (Genesis 49:10).
(1.5) Promise to the people of Israel: God promised that a Righteous One would be born out of the line of David. Jesus, a descendant of David, fulfilled this promise. Jeremiah 33:14-15 reads “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land’”.
(1.6) Promise Fulfilled: Jesus descended from the exact lineage that God promised. “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham . . . there were fourteen 7 generations in all from Abraham to David, and 28 from David to Christ Jesus” (Matthew 1:1 and 1:17).
(1.7) Promise for All: The promise of Jesus is for all people; he offers hope! The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 3:6 “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus”.
Today we lit the second candle on the second Sunday of Advent.
The increase in light from week to week is meant to symbolize the coming of the light of the world, Jesus.
The second candle is said to represent peace and the prophecies of a coming Savior.
(2.1) Prophecy about a Man Who Will Crush Satan: In the first book of the Bible, written over 1400 years before the birth of Jesus, God told Satan that the son of a woman would crush his head.
“And I will put contempt between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
This scripture is written about how Jesus fulfilled this prophecy by overcoming Satan.
(2.2) Prophecy About a Virgin Birth: Over 700 years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah foretold that Immanuel (which means “God with us”) would be born of a virgin.
Therefor the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. Imagine 700 years before the birth it was told that a virgin would have a son and call him Immanuel.
(2.3) Prophecy About the Identity of a Child: Over 700 years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah described the identity of Jesus. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
(2.4) Prophecy About the Majesty of the Child: The prophet Isaiah further described Jesus and his majesty. “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
(2.5) Prophecy About the Birthplace of the Ruler: Over 600 years before Christ, the prophet Micah said that the Ruler would be born in Bethlehem.
Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. “But you, Bethlehem, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).
(2.6) Prophecy About John the Baptist: Over 400 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Malachi told how someone would come and prepare the way for Jesus. “‘See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Malachi 3:1). John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy.
(2.7) Prophecy Fulfilled: The Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that Jesus is the only one that can bring peace with God. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Here we are looking at what scripture says about peace.
Peace because of the Christ Child.
A child that came into the world so that we can live eternally.
We are reading words from accounts that are a few thousand years old. Long before the birth of Jesus it was told that it would happen.
And we believe!
Anyone can predict the future to a small degree. Mediums, psychics, fortunetellers, witches, stock market analysts, Christian “prophets” and even sourcing managers.
Anyone can hit by luck on predicting a future event based on a number of factors such as intuition, a careful study of trends, etc.
But no one, absolutely no one can, except can tell us when Jesus will come again.
Scripture tells us “only God knows’. So we celebrate the birth of Jesus and wait for the coming.
I grew up going to church and Sunday school, to youth group and confirmation but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I discovered the joy of reading about and knowing that the books of the Old and New Testament foretold the future. Prophecy, it is in scripture.
A future that for each of us gives us peace because of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amen
Please pray with me
God, you are called by many names, but our prayer today calls on you as the Prince of Peace. We long for your peace: peace of mind, peace in our families, peace at work, peace in all lands. We leave our worries, fears, and doubts at your feet and breathe in your peace. We know we are distracted by the “what ifs” of life, but we come to you in faithfulness to replace the “what ifs” with courage, strength, and hope, even in the chaos and frustrations of life. Our prayer is that we keep our eyes on you and not the things of the world. We pray our hearts will be at peace. When we arise each day with your peace in our hearts, we pray others will see in our words and deeds that our peace comes from you. Amen.
Hymn UMH # 620 One Bread, One Body
On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father,
now and forever. Amen.
The body of Christ, given for you. Amen. The blood of Christ, given for you. Amen.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come, Thy 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 thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen
Hymn UMH #216 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (verses 1&2)
Friends we are called to respond to an increasing awareness of the abundant generosity of God by sharing according to the desires of our hearts.
Not because we are told to give but because we desire to share from what we have been given.
As you plan your gift giving please also plan to give to the church.
The need is great, and we are called to meet the needs of the people.
The money you give to the church is joined with gifts from others and used by God where the need is greatest.
Please remember your church in your gift giving.
Prayer of Dedication
Holy One, this Advent season we wait in peace,
And we give in peace.
A peace deeper than our anxiety and fear.
A peace growing from our trust in your loving power.
Receive these generous offerings,
And use them to bring your peace to our world.
Hymn UMH #431 Let There Be peace on Earth
Be people of peace.
Let peace live in your heart and share the peace of Christ with all you meet.
Share peace by acting out of compassion and not fear.
Share peace by listening to all sides of the story.
Share peace by praying for our world.
In this Advent season, we need to see, feel, and share peace.
As you go out into the wonder of God’s creations, share peace and hope with those you meet. Amen.
- Thank you to the Houglum family and grandma Gayle Bergloff for participating in worship
- Each Wed. between now and Christmas the Mora Sanctuary will be open for personal prayer and communion from 2-6. And Each Sunday between 9-9:30 the Ogilvie sanctuary will be open for personal prayer
- Next week our worship service includes a hymn-sing. Send to the church your favorite Christmas hymn and why. We will try to include all that are sent to the office in the worship service December 13
- If you would like a hymnal and The Faith We Sing book call the church office and one will be delivered to you.
- A group of people have committed to pray for any/all concerns brought to them. Call Pastor Deb, 952-240-3836 or Ruth Smith, 763-302-9115