Sunday, December 9, 2018

Advent '18 Series Week 2 | Magnify Jesus, Our Messiah, Prince of Peace + Saturday, December 8

God came to us because He wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Advent that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent His only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that He walks with us. The challenge is to let God be who He wants to be. A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain. Often we hide from Him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost. Thus we do not give Him a chance to be with us where we feel most alone. Advent is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let Him – whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend – be our companion.

+ Fr. Henri Nouwen, "We Are Not Alone on Our Journey"

Homily Scriptures | Isaiah 9:6-7; John 20:24-31

Homily Reading | Advent 2018 | The Prince of Peace Met Me in the Chaos

'18 Advent Prayer | Immanuel, Magnify Your Presence and Great Salvation!

Immanuel, reveal You are with us now. Don't hold back. Magnify Your presence and Your great salvation for us! Disrupt our way of life without You. If in the darkness of Mary's womb, the holy child grew, You can grow in us. If in the darkness of the world's pain, Your blessed light came and overcame, You can overcome the darkness in us and ignite Your light and love in us.

In our own doubting of You, and of ourselves, cause us to be born again to a living hope that begins to grow like a lump in the throat: the holy hope that You came and still come to us truly, that You will be born again in our midst. We need You, Jesus, our Messiah, the Prince of Peace in a world at war. You are our hope. We need You to ransom us and our beloved neighbors, friends, and enemies in the city of Worcester from the darkness of everything that we are selling ourselves short for.

Lord Jesus, our Savior, open our mouths and our hearts to sing like Your mother, Mary, did, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on me, His humble servant! ... " When people in the 1980s in Guatemala began to sing Mary's song, the government outlawed this first Advent hymn about God's preferential love for the humble, poor, and needy. It was deemed too dangerous and revolutionary because men, women, and children began to believe that freedom and change were indeed possible, and that following the way of Jesus would interrupt the flow of civilization as they knew it.

Holy Spirit of God, make us dangerous to believe the way of Jesus transforms our lives like that today. Make us believe the Magnificat's words (i.e. Luke 1:46-55) are true, that You look on us and intend to bring dynamic change in us and through us, Your poor and humble servants in Worcester, to bring Your resurrection power and life to people in our city. We pray all these things in confidence because we are praying in Jesus' mighty name. Amen.

+ Adapted from "Come and See" by Frederich Buechner & "A Divine Disruption" by Christiana Rice

A Day of Glory
Austin Stone Worship, 2012 A.D.

A day, a day of promise,
A hope to end our woe,
A day that tells of triumph
Against our vanquished foe!

In flesh His entrance humble,
The swaddling clothes His robe,
The meek displayed in power,
The Prince of Peace now known!

Let angels shout the triumph
As mortals raise their voice,
"Behold the Son of heav'n and earth,
The King of kings is born!"

A day, a day of glory,
When Jesus calls us home.
Our glorious King eternal
Returning for His own!

Gloria, gloria, gloria,
Our King has come!

Mosaic MSC, 2017 A.D.

Peace, bring it all to peace,
The storm surrounding me,
Let it break at Your name.
Still, call the sea to still,
The rage in me to still
Every wave at Your name.

Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble.
Jesus, Jesus, You silence fear.
Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble.
Jesus, Jesus.

Breathe, call these bones to live
Call these lungs to sing
Once again, I will praise …
(Chorus 2x)

Your name is a light that the shadows can't deny!
Your name cannot be overcome!
Your name is alive forever lifted high!
Your name cannot be overcome!

The Everlasting God
William Murphy, 2016 A.D.

The Lord is my Light and salvation.
Whom shall I fear?
Of whom shall I be afraid? (x2)

I will wait on You, I will wait on You.
I will trust in You, I will trust in You.

I will remain confident in this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord. (x2)

We set our hope on You,
We set our hope on Your love,
We set our hope on the One
Who is the everlasting God!
You are the everlasting God!
You are the everlasting! (x3)

I will remain confident in this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord. (x2)

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Charles Wesley, 1744 A.D.

Come Thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art.
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Joy to those who long to see Thee,
Day-spring from on high appear.
Come Thou promised Rod of Jesse,
Of Thy birth we long to hear.
O'er the hills the angels singing,
News glad tidings of a birth.
Go to Him your praises bringing,
Christ the Lord has come to earth.

Come to earth to taste our sadness,
He whose glories knew no end.
By His life He brings us gladness,
Our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
Born within a cattle stall.
This the everlasting wonder:
Christ was born Lord of all.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal spirit,
Rule in all our hearts alone.
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

You Are Holy (Prince of Peace)
Michael W. Smith, 2002 A.D.

You are holy (You are holy),
You are mighty (You are mighty),
You are worthy (You are worthy),
Worthy of praise (Worthy of praise)!
I will follow (I will follow),
I will listen (I will listen),
I will love You (I will love You),
All of my days (All of my days)!

I will sing to (You are Lord of Lords,)
And worship (You are King of Kings,)
The King who (You are mighty God,)
Is worthy! (Lord of everything!)
I will love and (You're Immanuel,)
Adore Him. (You're the Great I am,)
I will bow down (You're my Prince of Peace,)
Before Him! (Who is the Lamb!)
I will sing to (You're my living God,)
And worship (You're my saving grace,)
The King who (You will reign forever,)
Is worthy (You are Ancient of Days!)
I will love and (You are Alpha, Omega,)
Adore Him. (Beginning and End,)
I will bow down (You're my Savior, Messiah,)
Before Him! (Redeemer and friend!)

You’re my Prince of Peace
And I will live my life for You!

Corporate Prayer of Confession and Assurance
Is. 6:5-8Dan. 9:4-19Neh. 1:5-10Lk. 23:34

Call: Thank You, God, for promising to
send us Jesus, our Messiah, and that all
Your promises are, "Yes!" and "Amen!" in Him.
By His wounds we are healed.

Response: Help us to rest in Your promises
and in Your reign as our Messiah, Jesus.
May we let go of our sin and hold on to
You to heal us and make us whole.

Silent Personal Reflection and Confession

Thank You, Jesus, for being our
Prince of Peace. May we see Your shoulders
as strong enough and big enough to hold up
every burden in our life. We trust You praying:

Response: Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today 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
now and forever. Amen.

Prayers of Preparation for Eucharist
Matthew 26:26-291 Corinthians 11:23-26

Prayer seeking more from Jesus
Jesus, You claim to be the Way,
the Truth and the Life.
If what You claim is true,
please reveal to me who You are.
Give me an understanding of You
that is clear and convincing. Amen.

Prayer for Communion with Jesus
Jesus, grant that we may be filled
by You, the true Bread and Vine.
Be present with us, strengthen us,
and empower us to be Your witnesses
together as we seek first Your Kingdom
until You return and make all things new. Amen.

Eucharist | Thanking God for Communion with Christ and His Church

Benediction Based on 
John 14:27 & Matthew 28:20

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
And remember, I am with you always, to the end."

Next sermon audio and liturgy post: Advent '18 Week 3 | Magnify Jesus, Our Lord and Champion

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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