Sunday Service, December 20, 2020 – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2020

Jmiller   -  


The Essence of Love

All the best things in life come packaged in a ribbon of risk.

You untie the gift, you assume the risk, and equally, the joy.

Parenthood is like that.  Marriage is like that. Friendship is like that.

In order to experience life in the full sense, you expose yourself to a bottomless pit of vulnerability.

That is the essence of true love.            ~ Kristin Armstrong

Prelude                                               “Silent Night” – organ

                                                         “Christmas Wishes” – solo by Enid Rank

                                                      “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” – Jack Feather and Nora Feather

Welcome                     No matter who you are or where you are on your journey,        you are welcome here!

We are gathered and ready and aware of God’s presence




Gathering Song            “Prepare the Royal Highway” – led by Sandy Richard and Chris Sem


Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16                                       Deborah Martin

Instead of David building a house or temple for God, God promises to establish David’s house or dynasty forever.  Centuries later, after the Babylonian exile, 600BCE, no king sat on the throne in Israel.  However, the people of Israel remembered this promise and continued to hope for a king, the messiah, God’s anointed, that would once again rule over Israel.

1Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 3Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”
4But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 8Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 16Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

Advent Wreath Lighting—The Candle of Love

Music                             Joy to the World” ~ verses 1 and 4 – led by CLC Praise Band

Gospel:  Luke 1:39-56             Mary’s Song or The Magnificat

In the Roman Catholic Tradition The Ave Maria, or Hail Mary prayer is based on these verses from Luke.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen
39  In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40  where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  41  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42  and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  43  And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?
44  For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.
45  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
46  And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47  and my spirit rejoices in God

my Savior,
48  for he has looked with favor on the

lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations

will call me blessed;
49  for the Mighty One has done great

things for me,

and holy is his name.
50  His mercy is for those who trust him

from generation to generation.
51  He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the

thoughts of their hearts.
52  He has brought down the powerful

from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;
53  he has filled the hungry with

good things,

and sent the rich away empty.
54  He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,
55  according to the promise he made to

our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants


56  And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Help us God, as we seek to interpret what this means for our lives.


Message Song                                        “ADVENT HYMN” – led by CLC Praise Band

Prayers                                                                                              Enid Rank

God of power and might, fulfill your promise and come quickly to this weary world. Hear our prayers for everyone in need.  We begin with our personal private prayers. A brief silence.

Gracious God, all generations call you blessed. In this holy season, we pray for our neighbors of other denominations and faiths.  Inspire the faith of their people.  We will work to develop understanding among us. Strengthen all of us as we look for even more ways to provide love and service to our community.

God of love, we will be your light in the world.

Creator God, everything we have belongs first to you. Bless and protect the seas, mountains, plains, forests, skies, and soils that surround us. Give inspiration and humility to those in positions of power and to us as together we tend to the marvel of your creation.

God of love, we will be your light in the world.

Righteous God, you humble the powerful and lift up the lowly. We pray for the leaders of all nations.  Guide them to listen to the voices of people in need. We pray especially for those of our country who have been entrusted with leadership.  Be near to them and inspire them to create a society in which everyone can flourish and live in freedom and equity.  We will support those leaders who show compassion and love.

God of love, we will be your light in the world.

Compassionate God, you fill the hungry with good things and send the rich away empty. Strengthen those who lack access to adequate food and nutrition. Bless the work of advocates, community organizers, and food pantries. We know that you challenge and encourage us to care and provide for our neighbors in need. We will answer that challenge.

God of love, we will be your light in the world.

Healing God, you pour out mercy to all who cry out to you. Surround everyone in need of healing in body, mind, or spirit with your tender presence.  Today we pray especially for: Mary Ann & Esther, Geoff Baer, Neil McCardle, Diane Voron, Timmy Henn, Jr.,  Andrea & Jerry, Kyle, Rod, Ruth, Linda, Rudy, Hugh, Joanne, Sean, Courtney, Lorraine, Kay, Cathy, Kristen, Lorane & Larry, Debbie Riegel, Wendy, Tony & Karen, Gene Heft, Molly, Carol Mitchell, Joe Kupsky, Teri, Patti Ruth, Melissa, Megan, Kathleen, Theresa Sherwin, Jane Atherholt, Donna Rader, Jackie & Jess, The Miliren  Family & Sue, Janet Mills, Dan, Emily, Wesley, Kevin, Lauren, Linda, Leo, Don Ratushney, Bryan Gerhab, Kelly & Mike, Mel, Joann & James Koller and Marie.

Condolences to the family of Jim Lambert who passed away on December 17, 2020.

Hospitalized this week: Marie Predmore and those we name silently in our heartsA brief silence

Eternal God, you are faithful to the promises you made to our forebears. We give thanks for the ministry of Katharina von Bora Luther and other ancestors who organized, planned, dreamed, encouraged, and reached out as they served you. We give thanks for the bold leadership of female leaders in our own time. Inspire us and others with their steadfast witness.

God of love, we will be your light in the world.

Loving God, be with us as we celebrate the birth of Jesus this week.  Help us to see in him and his life the great example of a life lived for you and for others.  We promise to do our very best to live true to that example.

God of love, we will be your light in the world.

Draw near to us, O God, and receive our prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Lord’s Prayer

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 and ever.  Amen.

Closing Hymn                                  “O Little Town of Bethlehem”  – led by Caitlin McNeish                              

Benediction                                               “Edelweiss” – led by Ann Borovies

Dismissal:    Go in peace.  Serve the Lord.  Thanks be to God.