Watchword for the Week

“I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the

praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the

Lord has done for us.” (Isaiah 63:7)

(Moravian Daily Texts 2013)

ORGAN PRELUDE

WELCOME and CALL to WORSHIP

(from Psalm 90)

Lord God, you have been

our dwelling place in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth,

or ever you had formed the earth and the

world, from everlasting to everlasting

you are God.

A thousand years are like one day to you.

They are like yesterday when it is past,

or as a watch in the night.

For all our days pass away under your wrath;

Our years come to an end like a sigh.

Seventy years are all we have, or eighty years if

we are strong. Yet their span is but toil and

trouble. Life is soon over, and we are gone.

So teach us to number our days

that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Hymn 161 * O God, our help in ages past

People’s Choice Hymns are marked with an asterisk (*)

PRAYER of APPROACH

Almighty God, daily you bless us with the gift of

living in your universe, breathing air, and being

awake. On this first Sunday in our new

Christmas reality, we share the divine life of

Jesus the Christ who came to share our

humanity, and who now lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and

forever. Amen.

Holy God, with bright wrappings strewn about

and holiday dishes stacked around us, we

confess that we fail to recognize that anything is

different or reoriented after this holiday season.

Holy God, forgive our weary dreaming that

gives up on the hope of seeing justice roll

down like waters, a peaceable kingdom, and

truth to set us free. Holy God, forgive our

tired singing that sets no rafters ringing;

help us to remember with hearts that dare to

believe, that your Spirit reigns within us,

around us, and between us.

Forgive us when, like Herod, selfish ambition

makes us willing to hurt and destroy others.

Forgive us when, unlike Joseph, we refuse to

follow the direction you give us.

Give us grace, O God, that these days of our

lives be filled with vision of your new

orientation, through Jesus the Christ. Amen.

ASSURANCE of FORGIVENESS

In light, truth, and grace, God surrounds us with a

love that will not let us go. Today God calls every

star, every planet, every tree and every animal,

and every one of us by name; welcomes us into

the family of faith and grants us peace that the

world cannot give. Thanks be to God. Amen.

CHILDREN’S TIME

Hymn 291 When out of poverty is born

(Hymn of the Month, December 2013)

SCRIPTURE READINGS