FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT
December 19, 2021

OPENING HYMN: #347 - Comfort, Comfort Ye My People

INVOCATION
Pastor:            In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People:          Amen.

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT WREATH
All four Advent candles are lit.
Pastor:            Let us pray.
O Lord, let the lighting of these candles signify that You are the light that shines in all the darkness of our lives. As we wait, watch, hope, and pray, guide us all to reflect Your light and let it shine; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
People:          Amen.

OPENING SENTENCES      Luke 1:49–51, 54, adapt.
Pastor:             The mighty Lord has done great things and holy is His name.
People:          We thank You, O Lord!

Pastor:             The Lord’s mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation.
People:          We adore You, O Lord!

Pastor:            The Lord has shown the strength of His arm.
People:          We praise You, O Lord!

Pastor:             The Lord has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy.
People:          We worship You, O Lord!

CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION           Psalm 25:6–7
Pastor:            Having emerged from the waters of Baptism as God’s new creation in Christ, we confess our sins to God and one another.

A time of silence is observed.

Pastor:            We confess to You, O Lord, that we are captive to sin in thought, word, and deed. We have not always been instruments of Your peace. Our homes have at times been places of strife and turmoil by our own fault. Even in the church sometimes we have chosen to fight rather than to make peace.
People:          Remember Your mercy, O Lord, and Your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.

Pastor:            Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
People:          according to Your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of Your goodness, O Lord!

Pastor:            Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People:          Amen.

+ WORD +

INTROIT        1 Samuel 2:1b, 2, 5b–7; antiphon: Luke 1:46b–47
Pastor:            My soul magnifies the Lord,
People:          and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

Pastor:            My mouth derides my enemies,
People:          because I rejoice in Your salvation.

Pastor:            There is none holy like the Lord;
People:          there is none besides You; there is no rock like our God.

Pastor:            The barren has borne seven,
People:          but she who has many children is forlorn.

Pastor:            The Lord kills and brings to life;
People:          He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

Pastor:            The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
People:          He brings low and He exalts.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Pastor:            My soul magnifies the Lord,
People:          and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

KYRIE
Pastor:      In peace let us pray to the Lord.
People:    Lord, have mercy.

Pastor:      For the peace from above and for our salvation let us pray to the Lord.
People:    Lord, have mercy.

Pastor:      For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all let us pray to the Lord.
People:    Lord, have mercy.

Pastor:      For this holy house and for all who offer here their worship and praise let us pray to the Lord.
People:    Lord, have mercy.

Pastor:      Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.
People:    Amen.

SALUTATION and PRAYER OF THE DAY
Pastor:            The Lord be with you.
People:          And also with you.

Pastor:            Let us pray.
Into this world of turmoil, You, O Lord, bring peace. Let the peace that calmed the troubled heart of Mary so rule in our hearts and minds that by Your power we may all become peacemakers in our homes, in our community, and in our church; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
People:          Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT READING         Micah 5:2–5a
(Out of little Bethlehem will be born a ruler for God’s people, a Good Shepherd, who will bring peace.)
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
3Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5And he shall be their peace.

Lector:            This is the Word of the Lord.
People:          Thanks be to God.

PSALM           Psalm 80:1–7; antiphon: v. 7
Pastor:            Restore us, O God of hosts;
People:          let Your face shine, that we may be saved!

Pastor:            Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
People:          You who lead Joseph like a flock!

Pastor:            You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Your might and come to save us!
People:          Restore us, O God; let Your face shine, that we may be saved!

Pastor:            O Lord God of hosts, how long will You be angry with Your people’s prayers?
People:          You have fed them with the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in full measure.

Pastor:            You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
People:          and our enemies laugh among themselves.

Pastor:            Restore us, O God of hosts;
People:          let Your face shine, that we may be saved!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Pastor:            Restore us, O God of hosts;
People:          let Your face shine, that we may be saved!

 

EPISTLE         Hebrews 10:5–10     
(Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we live.)
5When Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
6in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”
8When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Lector:            This is the Word of the Lord.
People:          Thanks be to God.

VERSE   Matthew 1:23a
Alleluia! Alleluia! Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel. Alleluia! Alleluia!

HOLY GOSPEL          Luke 1:39–56
(Even while in Mary’s womb, the presence of Jesus caused Elizabeth and the baby in her womb to rejoice!)
Pastor:            The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the first chapter.
People:          Glory to You, O Lord.

            39In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
46And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

Pastor:            This is the Gospel of the Lord.
People:          Praise to You, O Christ.

HYMN OF THE DAY: #356 - The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came

SERMON

Apostles' Creed                                                                                                                                              
I 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, died and was buried.
     He descended into hell.
     The third day He rose again from the dead.
     He ascended into heaven
     and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
     From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
     the holy Christian Church,
          the communion of saints,
     the forgiveness of sins,
     the resurrection of the body,
     and the life + everlasting. Amen.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
After each petition:
Pastor:      … we pray:
People:    hear us, coming Lord.
At conclusion:
Pastor:            … in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
People:          Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER      Matthew 6:9–13
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 PRAYER
Pastor:            Let us pray.
Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
People:          Amen.

BENEDICTION         Luke 1:54–55; Numbers 6:24–26

Pastor:            The Lord has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.
People:          Amen.

DISMISSAL
Pastor:            Go in peace! Serve the Lord!
People:          Thanks be to God.

CLOSING HYMN: #357 – O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish, Series C, Quarter 1. Copyright © 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission.