Saint Alban's Anglican Church

Committed to sharing Christ's Commandments: To love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves, through worship, education and outreach.



The Fourth Sunday of Advent

12/22/2013 - Advent Service


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THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT: LOVE


THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT: LOVE

Celebrant - Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Love.

First Voice - Jesus shows us God's perfect love. He is God's perfect love in human form. Those who believe in him and live in him, live in love. Love transforms and perfects all things. It never ends.

Second Voice - We light these candles today to remind us that God is love. We thank God for hope he gives us, for the peace he bestows, for the joy he pours into our hearts, and for the love that redeems us and shows us the way.

Light the First, Second, Third and Fourth Candle

Together - Let us pray -- O God of Love, Emmanuel, send your light into our hearts at this time. Help us to be ready for the time of Christ's appearing. Grant that we may so dwell in him that his perfect love fills our entire being. Make our worship a time in which we celebrate your love and are made ready to show that love to the whole world - both today - and forevermore. Amen.

Old Testament Lesson


Isaiah 7:10-17
7:10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test. 13 Then Isaiah said: ''Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. 17 The LORD will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah-the king of Assyria.''


Psalm 24


Psalm 24
1The earth is the LORD''S and all that is in it, *
the world and all who dwell therein.
2For it is he who founded it upon the seas *
and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
3""Who can ascend the hill of the LORD? *
and who can stand in his holy place?""
4""Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, *
who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
    nor sworn by what is a fraud.
5They shall receive a blessing from the Lord *
and a just reward from the God of their salvation.""
6Such is the generation of those who seek him, *
of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
7Lift up your heads, O gates;
    lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the King of glory shall come in.
8""Who is this King of glory?"" *
""The LORD, strong and mighty,
    the LORD, mighty in battle.""
9Lift up your heads, O gates;
    lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the King of glory shall come in.
10""Who is he, this King of glory?"" *
""The LORD of hosts,
    he is the King of glory.""

New Testament Lesson


Romans 1:1-7
1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, 6 including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

7 To all God''s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Gospel


Matthew 1:18-25
1:18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ''Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.'' 22 All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 ''Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
   and they shall name him Emmanuel'',
which means, ''God is with us.'' 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

Sermon



New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of Ameria. Used by permission. All rights reserved.