• Pastor Jill

Worship - 4th Sunday of Advent

December 20, 2020


God had dangerous business in mind for the young Galilean girl who was betrothed but not yet married. She was chosen by the Most High God to carry, give birth, and raise the Lord’s Son. If anyone found out she was pregnant out of wedlock, she could have been stoned, or at the very least shunned and rejected. But Mary, who answered the call of God, instead is known for her unwavering faith and obedience.

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Opening Hymn:


God had dangerous business in mind for the young Galilean girl who was betrothed but not yet married. She was chosen by the Most High God to carry, give birth, and raise the Lord’s Son. If anyone found out she was pregnant out of wedlock, she could have been stoned, or at the very least shunned and rejected. But Mary, who answered the call of God, instead is known for her unwavering faith and obedience.

Prayer of the Day

Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. With your great might, give us your help, that whatever is hindered by our sins may be speedily accomplished by your grace; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 David’s Kingdom Will Reign Forever

King David had arrived! Once a shepherd boy, he was now the conquerer of nations and had a beautifully built cedar house to show for it. As he looked at his new home he felt compelled to build God a house worthy of his divine majesty. God had other plans, however. He never asked to have a house built, in fact God promised that it would be he who would build his house and establish David’s reign.

When the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I 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 for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” Now, 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, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And 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. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from 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.

‘“And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”

Psalm 89:1-5 (19-29) The Lord Anointed David

The Lord promised David that he would establish his descendants forever and put him on the throne. This promise was fulfilled in David’s life but extended for generations with the culmination of the covenant being realized in Jesus Christ.

Your love, O Lord, forever will I sing;

from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.

For I am persuaded that your love is established forever;

you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.

“I have made a covenant with my chosen one;

I have sworn an oath to David my servant:

‘I will establish your line forever,

and preserve your throne for all generations.’”

The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O Lord,

and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;

[You spoke once in a vision and said to your faithful people:

“I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people.

I have found David my servant;

with my holy oil have I anointed him.

My hand will hold him fast

and my arm will make him strong.

No enemy shall deceive him,

nor any wicked man bring him down.

I will crush his foes before him

and strike down those who hate him.”

My faithfulness and love shall be with him,

and he shall be victorious through my name.

I shall make his dominion extend

from the Great Sea to the River.

He will say to me, ‘You are my Father,

my God, and the rock of | my salvation.’

I will make him my firstborn

and higher than the kings of the earth.

I will keep my love for him forever,*

and my covenant will stand firm for him.

I will establish his line forever*

and his throne as the days of heaven.”]

Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27 There is One Who is Our Strength

Paul ended his letter to the believers in Rome with a final blessing. He reminded them that there is one who is able to give strength, it is the one about whom the apostle preached - Jesus Christ. What was once a mystery of faith is now known. What was once hidden has now been revealed through the prophets to all nations.

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith — to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38 Gabriel’s Message to Mary

To a young virgin girl an angel was sent with an incredible message. “The Lord is with you,” he said as he laid out for her God’s plan for the salvation of the world. This young girl, not yet married, would be the chosen vessel for God’s one and only Son. Mary would be the God-bearer and was instructed to name the infant Jesus, which means “God saves.”

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Next Week’s Readings:

Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 111; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40

The Sermon: Pastor Jill


During this time, it can be a strain on households, but please continue your giving as you are able. For now, send your offerings to: Raymond Sundrud, Treasurer at: 35563 300th Street SE, Fosston, MN 56542. Thank you for supporting the work of our church.

Prayers of the Church

For Faithful Witness

Emmanuel, God with us, through your Word you beckon all people to the light of your love. May your Spirit kindle in your church, and particularly this congregation, a desire and ability to carry the torch of faithful witness to a world in need of your message of hope and salvation. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer. For Safe Travel

Protecting God, grant safe journeys to those who will be traveling in the days ahead. May they be blessed with joyful home-comings. Bring us all to peaceful rest as we find ourselves at home in your presence. Grant that as we celebrate the nativity of our Lord, we would be filled with a renewed hope for the world you love. Let Christ’s love shine through us and illuminate a world in darkness and need. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer. For Leaders

Holy Lord, give your wisdom and compassion to all who rule and guide the nations of this world. Through their wise leadership may your saving justice be made known. Put an end to violence and destruction in the world and let your peace reign in every corner of the creation. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer. For Those in Affliction

God of healing and wholeness, grant the light of your healing presence to all who are suffering illness, loss, grief, or anxiety this season. Give to all in any kind of need the assurance of your life-giving presence in the midst of trials.[We pray particularly for …] Remind all who are facing troubles that you are God-with-us and that your promises of new life, here and now and in eternity, are trustworthy and true. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer. Lord’s Prayer

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 Song: Breath of Heaven

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!

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