Fourth Sunday of Advent
21 December 2014
THIS MORNING'S SONG'S OF PRAISE:
147 (v 3), 903, 17, 14, 10 (v 1, 5), 900.
THIS MORNING'S BIBLE READINGS:
Proverbs 8: 1-11, 22-31 'Wisdom from on High'
Does not wisdom call?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
"To you, O men, I call,
and my cry is to the children of man.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
O fools, learn sense.
Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right,
for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to him who understands,
and right to those who find knowledge.
Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is better than jewels,
and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
"The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
When he established the heavens, I was there;
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always.
Exodus 3:1-6 & 19:9, 16-20 'Mighty Lord'
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, "I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned." When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
'Israel at Mt Sinai'
The Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever."
On the morning of the third day there were thunder and lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.
The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
Isaiah 11: 1-5 'Root of Jesse'
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
Isaiah 22: 20-23 'Key of David'
In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe im with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand.
And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honour to his father's house.
Numbers 24: 14-17 'Dayspring, Light from the East'
And now, behold, I am going to my people.
Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days."
And he took up his discourse and said,
"The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
the oracle of him who hears the words of God,
and knows the knowledge of the Most High,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down with his eyes uncovered:
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near:
a star shall come out of Jacob,
and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel;
it shall crush the forehead of Moab
and break down all the sons of Sheth.
Jeremiah 30: 7-11 'King of the Nations'
Alas! That day is so great there is none like it;
it is a time of distress for Jacob;
yet he shall be saved out of it.
"And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him. But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
"Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the Lord,
nor be dismayed, O Israel;
for behold, I will save you from far away,
and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,
and none shall make him afraid.
For I am with you to save you, declares the Lord;
I will make a full end of all the nations
among whom I scattered you,
but of you I will not make a full end.
I will discipline you in just measure,
and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
Matthew 1:18-23 'Emmanuel, God with us'
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.
When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).
Bible readings for Sunday 28th December 2014:
Isaiah 61: 10 - 62 3, Galatians 4: 4-7, Luke 2: 22- 40.
This week in the Lord's Service -
21st - 28th December:
1. This morning - Sunday School.
Saturday - 10.00 am - 11.00 am - 'Sing - along' time.
11.00 am to 12 noon - Choir practice.
Next Sunday - 9.30 am - Public Divine service (H.C.).
2. Christmas Worship Services:
Christmas Eve - 7.30 pm - Reading/ Choral.
Christmas Day - 9.30 am - with Holy Communion.
Sunday 28th December - 9.30 am.
New Year's Eve - 7.30 pm - St Paul's Grovedale.
Coming up for your diary:
Friday 6th February - 9.30 am - Worship Team.
Tuesday 10th February - 7.00 pm - Church Council
Sunday 15th February - A.G.M. - (after worship)
Wednesday 18th February - 11.00 am Lenten mid - week worship service with Holy Communion,
followed by fellowship morning tea. All welcome!!