Advent 4 Worship

Welcome to Advent 4 Worship with HomeFaith! Today’s worship is based on the ‘Lessons & Carols’ format and will also include some carols from the ‘Carols at Cootamundra 2021’. We have assembled some videos, music, stories and prayer, as well as some fun activities for the young at heart to enjoy anytime. 

I suggest people participating in this worship read or pray out aloud the words in black. 

Song

Let us worship God in the first song, which is ‘O little town of Bethlehem.’ The video is in the window below and if you have problems connecting you can go directly to Youtube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAU5Xg-o-eM&t=7s

Call to worship

The prophet Micah said,

O Bethlehem, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.

Let us go with the poor in spirit: to find the Glory of God born in a stable and placed in a feeding trough. Let us go with friends and family, with neighbours and strangers, to find the One who comes to lead us home to God’s kingdom.

Our Advent journey is almost complete, and Christmas Day will soon be here. As we light the fourth Advent candle, let us remember the love that was meant for everyone.

[You may like to light a candle at this point. This candle in Advent is often called ‘the Advent candle of Love ’, and is usually coloured purple]

As we begin our worship, let us also acknowledge the Wiradjuri people. They are the earliest known inhabitants of our region, and part of God’s good creation.

Opening prayer

Let us pray. Most Gracious God, we have come because we need to be reminded of your love and your expectations for our living. We are like the vine you planted, watered and protected. We know in our hearts that we need, want and desire your presence in our lives. So we come in prayer and listen for your Word; may it speak to our hearts and reveal your desires for us. May we never forget that you became like us, to live and die for us, and that you live again, and now breathe new life into all those that follow you. In your name, Emmanuel, Jesus, God with us, the one who saves, we pray. Amen.

FIRST LESSON & CAROL

The first reading is from Micah 5:2-5a, “The birth of Jesus foretold”, and this is followed by the carol, “Once in Royal David’s City”, which is sung by the Coota Combined Churches choir.

Micah 5:2-5a

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.

Children’s story

The story of the good news to Mary when the Angel Gabriel appears to her. Sourced from Quizworx.

Second lesson & carol

Luke 1:39-55

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

And/or video of reading

Here is a dramatic re-enactment of today’s reading from Luke 1:26-55. It was recorded by a group called the ‘Lumo Gospel’ that have created videos of the four Gospels. If you have trouble connecting you can go direct to YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INgCwqWgUik

The song is, ‘’Mary did you know?”, sung by Pentatonix.The video is in the window below and if you have problems connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE&t=52s

Message

The speaker for today’s message is Peter Overton from the Saltbush Community. Mary’s response to the news of pregnancy is to invite a new way of being in the world.

Prayer & blessing

The prayers and blessing for today are in a video by Ros and Keith Robinson. Please join in with saying the Lord’s Prayer. 

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

Song

The closing song is “O Holy Night”, sung by Josh Grogan. The video is below & a separate link is provided if you are asked to go directly to YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjOMoZe9wg4

Fun activities

Advent Calendar

Select the link below and it will take you to an Advent Calendar. It is seems more suited to adults and was prepared by the Canadian Presbyterian Church. A calendar will appear on your screen and when you select the day it will take you to a variety of different things depending on the day: a short video, a recipe, a reflection, game of cards (you make the cards!), etc. An enormous effort went into making this, so why not check it out. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/17HgdR37Kec0tcTN6YQNFkSE5W8oiVH96rpbPhDydZ-g/present?slide=id.p


RESOURCES – 

All music excerpts in the Vimeo videos were Creative Commons or purchased as royalty free and did not require acknowledgment.

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