We’re in Week Two of Advent and our Echoes of a Voice series. In this series we’re focusing on paying attention to our haunted longings as they point us to Jesus for ultimate fulfillment. Last week we sang and learned about our longing for justice. This week we’ll look at our hunger for relationships.
Two quick reminders before we move forward in this post…
- The Advent Hymn Sing happens a week from today on Thursday, December 10. It’s online-only, but that’s given us the opportunity to create something new and different that we’re so excited to share with you. Get together with your quaranteam or your household, make some warm winter beverages, get the kids in their PJ’s (No judgement if you do the adult onsie thing, too), and join us on our streaming platform for some songs of longing and adoration.
- Our Advent Guide for the season is available for digital download right here. If you want a physical copy, you can still request one and we’ll mail it to you early next week (this would be the fastest way to get a physical copy, since we’ll still be out of them come this Sunday’s in-person services).
Okay—here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday’s service!
1. Read our text, Genesis 1:26–27.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
Did you notice in the text above where it says “let us” and “after our likeness”? God exists in relationship with Himself (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and has patterned us after Himself. God is a relational God and therefore we are also created for relationship.
We search for relationships and connections with others. We want to be seen and valued; known and loved.
We seek out relationships with others because God created us for relationships. This desire is an echo of God’s voice calling us into a relationship with Him.
2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:
Don’t use Spotify? Click the song title below to see song on YouTube.
CALL TO WORSHIP: Isaiah 40:3–5
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
— Advent Candles One & Two —
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Felix Mendelssohn, Charles Wesley, George Whitefield addl. verse JD Raab)
CONFESSION OF SIN: from The Worship Sourcebook:
God of grace,
we confess that we have elevated
the things of this world above You.
We have made idols of possessions and people
and used Your name for causes
that are not consistent with You and Your purposes.
We have permitted our schedules to come first
and have not taken the time to worship You.
We have not always honored those who guided us in life.
We have participated in systems
that take life instead of give it.
We have been unfaithful in our covenant relationships.
We have yearned for, and sometimes taken, that which is not ours, and we have misrepresented others’ intentions.
Forgive us, O God,
for the many ways we fall short of Your glory.
Help us to learn to live together according to Your ways
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: Colossians 1:17–20
And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.”
Nothing But The Blood (Robert Lowry addl. verse Joel Limpic)
PASSING THE PEACE
(Click to Read)
When we’ve met as a large group on Sundays, we’ve always had a time of greeting one another after singing. Many churches call this time “passing the peace.” In some church traditions, one person will say to another, “The peace of Christ be with you” to which the other person responds, “And also with you.”
While potentially unfamiliar for some, we felt that “passing the peace” during greeting times at home could be a powerful act in this age marked by very little external peace. In Isaiah 9, Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace. He wants His kingdom to be marked by this very peace! We want to “pass” to one another this peace that only Jesus can give, especially at a time like this.
It might feel a bit cheesy, but we encourage you to actually pray the peace of God over each other during our times. We encourage you to look into each other’s eyes as you say, “The peace of Christ be with you!” and have others respond with, “And also with you.” Be open-hearted to Jesus, asking Him to fill you with His peace.
MISSIONARY COMMISSIONING: Hanna Sise to Granada, Spain
SERMON & COMMUNION
(Click to Read)
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 (“universal”) church;
the communion of saints;
The forgiveness of sins;
The resurrection of the body;
And the life everlasting.
King Of My Heart (John Mark McMillan, Sarah McMillan)