Welcome to worship. Join in Zoom worship on Sunday at 9:30 am by Zoom (christoncapitolhill.com/worship) or watch here anytime. Our theme this month is Where We Belong and today we’ll walk together as Travelers to Bethlehem.
God keeps the promise made to David to give him an everlasting throne. The angel tells Mary that God will give David’s throne to her son Jesus. She is perplexed by Gabriel’s greeting and by the news of her coming pregnancy, but she is able still to say, “Count me in.” With Mary today we hear the news of what God is up to and say, “Count us in.”
We give thanks today for the children and families who are participating in today’s Christmas program, sharing the good news of who is coming to our homes this Christmas!
December 20 – Fourth Sunday of Advent
Prelude – Welcome Christmas
Candle Lighting – Light One Candle, Worship 240
1 Light one candle to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
He shall bring salvation to Israel,
God fulfills the promise.
2 Light two candles to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
He shall feed the flock like a shepherd,
gently lead them homeward.
3 Light three candles to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
Lift your heads and lift high the gateway
for the King of glory.
4 Light four candles to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
He is coming, tell the glad tidings.
Let your lights be shining!
Text: Wayne L. Wold, b. 1954
Text © 1984 Fortress Press, admin. Augsburg Fortress.
Prayer of the Day
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that would obstruct your mercy, that willingly we may bear your redeeming love to all the world, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
O Come O Come Emmanuel Worship 257 v. 7 & 8 Jazz Ensemble
7 O come, O King of nations, come,
O Cornerstone that binds in one:
refresh the hearts that long for you;
restore the broken, make us new. Refrain
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
8 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear. Refrain
First Reading 2 Samuel 7:1-11
A reading from 2nd Samuel:
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.
Word of God, word of Life. Thanks be to God.
Hallelujah from All Creation Sings 912
Gospel Luke 1:39-55
The gospel from Luke:
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be* a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’
46 And Mary/Elizabeth* said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
46bMy soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
47my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for you, Lord, have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
49you, the Almighty, have done great things for me
and holy is your name.
50You have mercy on those who fear you,
from generation to generation.
51You have shown strength with your arm
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
52casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
53You have filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
54You have come to the aid of your servant Israel,
to remember the promise of mercy,
55the promise made to our forebears,
to Abraham and his children forever.
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Message – Children’s Program
Who is coming to our house?
Only a Star
A Child Is Born
Song – Unexpected and Mysterious Worship 258
1 Unexpected and mysterious
is the gentle word of grace.
Everloving and sustaining
is the peace of God’s embrace.
If we falter in our courage
and we doubt what we have known,
God is faithful to console us
as a mother tends her own.
2 In a momentary meeting
of eternity and time,
Mary learned that she would carry
both the mortal and divine.
Then she learned of God’s compassion,
of Elizabeth’s great joy,
and she ran to greet the woman
who would recognize her boy.
3 We are called to ponder myst’ry
and await the coming Christ,
to embody God’s compassion
for each fragile human life.
God is with us in our longing
to bring healing to the earth,
while we watch with joy and wonder
for the promised Savior’s birth.
Text: Jeannette M. Lindholm, b. 1961
Text © 2002 Jeannette M. Lindholm, admin. Augsburg Fortress.
Confession and Forgiveness
All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins.
Blessed be God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, whose forgiveness is sure and whose steadfast love endures forever. Amen.
Together let us honestly and humbly confess that we have not lived as God desires.
Silence is kept for reflection.
Loving and forgiving God, we confess that we are held captive by sin. In spite of our best efforts, we have gone astray. We have not welcomed the stranger; we have not loved our neighbor; we have not been Christ to one another. Restore us, O God. Wake us up and turn us from our sin. Renew us each day in the light of Christ. Amen.
People of God, hear this glad news: by God’s endless grace your sins are forgiven, and you are free— free from all that holds you back and free to live in the peaceable realm of God. May you be strengthened in God’s love, ☩ comforted by Christ’s peace, and accompanied with the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayers of the People
God of power and might, fulfill your promise and come quickly to this weary world. Hear our prayers for everyone in need.
A brief silence.
Gracious God, all generations call you blessed. In this holy season we pray for our neighbors of other denominations and faiths (Nearby churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues may be named). Inspire the faith of their people. Cultivate understanding among us and strengthen us in love and service to our community. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Creator God, you scatter the proud. Everything we have belongs first to you. Bless and protect the seas, mountains, plains, forests, skies, and soils that surround us. Give us humility as we tend them. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Righteous God, you humble the powerful and lift up the lowly. We pray for the leaders of all nations, that they amplify the voices of people in need. Guide all people entrusted with leadership, to create societies in which everyone can flourish. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Compassionate God, you fill the hungry with good things and send the rich away empty. Nourish those who lack access to adequate food and nutrition. Bless the work of advocates, community organizers, and food pantries. Encourage others to provide for their neighbors in need. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
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 (especially…………………..). Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
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 others with their steadfast witness. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Draw near to us, O God, and receive our prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Johm riab sua.
The peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.
Offering – Christmastime is Here
Generous God, you have created all that is, and you provide for us in every season. Bless all that we offer, that through these gifts the world will receive your blessing. In the name of Jesus, Emmanuel, we pray. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to God who is the giver of all good things and who revealed this abundance again with feeding the multitudes, who loved to the point of death and who beyond death, was raised from the dead and appeared to many, breaking bread with them in their homes, so that we might believe.
Remember, beloved ones… how in the night in which he was betrayed our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it and gave it to his disciples saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, Jesus took the cup, gave thanks and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
O God of resurrection and new life: pour out your Holy Spirit on us and on the gifts of bread and cup. Bless this feast. Grace our tables with your presence. Reveal yourself to us in the sharing of the bread. Raise us up as the body of Christ for the world. Breathe new life into us. Send us forth, burning with justice, peace, and love.
With your holy ones in all times and places, we praise you, O God, blessed and holy Trinity, now and forever. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
Even as we watch and wait, Christ is here. Come, eat and drink.
Now, if you are gathered with others, when the music begins, please share with one another first the bread and then the cup with the words,
The body of Christ, given for you. The blood of Christ, poured out for you.
If you are by yourself, I offer this invitation…
Receive the body of Christ, given for you.
Receive the blood of Christ, poured out for you.
And if for any reason you will not receive Communion bread & cup today, a blessing for you…
May God fill you up with the Holy Spirit and give you all that you need.
Communion Song – He Came Down Worship 253
1 He came down that we may have love; he came down that we may have love; he came down that we may have love; hallelujah forevermore.
2 He came down that we may have light; he came down that we may have light; he came down that we may have light; hallelujah forevermore.
3 He came down that we may have peace; he came down that we may have peace; he came down that we may have peace; hallelujah forevermore.
4 He came down that we may have joy; he came down that we may have joy; he came down that we may have joy; hallelujah forevermore.
Text: Cameroon traditional
Prayer after Communion
Gracious and abundant God, you have done great things for us, and we rejoice. In this bread and cup you give us life forever. In your boundless mercy, strengthen us and open our hearts to the world’s needs, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Cambodian Lord’s Prayer
May the God of all creation, in whose image we are made, who claims us and calls us beloved, who strengthens us for service, give you reason to rejoice and be glad! The blessing of God, Sovereign, ☩ Savior, and Spirit, be with you today and always. Amen.
Sending Song – Go Tell It on the Mountain Worship 290
Go tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and ev’rywhere;
go tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born!
1 While shepherds kept their watching
o’er silent flocks by night,
behold, throughout the heavens
there shone a holy light. Refrain
2 The shepherds feared and trembled
when, lo, above the earth
rang out the angel chorus
that hailed our Savior’s birth. Refrain
3 Down in a lonely manger
the humble Christ was born;
and God sent us salvation
that blessed Christmas morn. Refrain
Text: African American spiritual, refrain; John W. Work Jr., 1872-1925, stanzas, alt.
Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord. Thanks be to God
Postlude – Soon and Very Soon