December 16, 2018
This week, we’ll wrap up our Fall study of Ephesians with Jesus’ letter to the church in Ephesus from Revelation 2. It’s also week three of Advent. Read more about Advent here and visit The Christian Year for our creative accompaniment to the season!
Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:
1. Read through our text, Revelation 2:1–7.
Something like 20 years after Paul writes his letter to the Ephesians, John is imprisoned on the island of Patmos when Jesus appears to him as a part of his Revelation. John is given seven letters by Jesus to be sent to seven different churches, one of which is the church in Ephesus. Although the Ephesian church is commended by Jesus for their “patient endurace” and lack of tolerance for evil, Jesus warns them that they have “abandoned the love [they] had at first.” This lovelesness warrants a stern warning from Jesus that He will remove them as a church unless they repent, remember where they came from, and return in heart.
2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:
CALL TO WORSHIP: From Psalm 130; The Apostles’ Creed
ADVENT CANDLE THREE
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate;
was crucified, dead and 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 shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
I believe in the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
The forgiveness of sins;
The resurrection of the body;
And the life everlasting.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel (John Neale, Henry Coffin, arr. Chichi Agorom, The Christian Year)
Come Thou Fount (Advent) (Luke Brawner, Robert Robinson, John Wyeth)
CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook
There are many times we think we love You well, O God.
But upon hearing Your call to love You with all our heart,
and all our mind, and all our strength,
we confess that our love for You is a diluted love,
made insipid and flat by lesser loyalties and a divided heart.
Our love seems pure only for brief moments;
soon our affections are drawn away.
How easily our devotion dies.
in deep mercy spare us, despite our lost first love for You;
in grace rekindle our love for You
in seeing anew Jesus’ love for us. Amen.
Better (Pat Barrett, Ed Cash, Chris Tomlin)
Fall Afresh (Jeremy Riddle)
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 John 4:10–17
GREETING, SERMON, & COMMUNION
RESPONSE: Song & Prayer
O Lord, You’re Beautiful (Keith Green)/I Love You Lord (Laurie Klien)
Joy To The World (Isaac Watts)