Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Advent Magnificat Series | Luke 1:45-48a: Blessed to Believe, Magnify & Rejoice! + Saturday, November 30

Advent 2019: The Magnificat for Every Tribe, Tongue, and Nation (Luke 1:45-55)

Mary’s whole life was one of enfleshing the Word and being a true servant to the World. Mary is the first Christian and the model of what it means to follow Jesus. She left us an enduring example of what it means to be a disciple and a community of disciples – making Jesus present. Individually and collectively we are to let God’s Word become enfleshed in us so that we can bring Christ to the world. We are to be Christ-bearers as Mary was, open to receive the message of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. + Fr. William F. Maestri

Sermon Scriptures | Luke 1:45-48

Sermon Film Illustration | A Quiet Place Illuminates The Magnificat

Call to Worship | Isaiah 7:14

Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: 
See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, 
and name Him Immanuel.

Monk hymn translated by J.M. Neale
800s A.D., 1800s A.D. 

O come, O come, Immanuel
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight. (Chorus)

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In One the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace. (Chorus)

King of Kings
Hillsong, 2019 A.D.

In the darkness we were waiting
Without hope without light,
Till from heaven You came running
There was mercy in Your eyes.
To fulfil the law and prophets
To a virgin came the Word
From a throne of endless glory
To a cradle in the dirt.

Praise the Father, Praise the Son,
Praise the Spirit, three-in-one!
God of glory, Majesty,
Praise forever to the King of kings!

To reveal the Kingdom coming
And to reconcile the lost;
To redeem the whole creation,
You did not despise the cross.
For even in Your suffering,
You saw to the other side.
Knowing this was our salvation,
Jesus, for our sake You died. (Chorus)

And the morning that You rose,
All of heaven held its breath
Till that stone was moved for good,
For the Lamb had conquered death.
And the dead rose from their tombs,
And the angels stood in awe,
For the souls of all who’d come
To the Father are restored!
And the Church of Christ was born,
Then the Spirit lit the flame!
Now this Gospel Truth of old
Shall not kneel shall not faint.
By His blood and in His Name,
In His freedom I am free
For the love of Jesus Christ
Who has resurrected me! (Chorus)

Kim Walker Smith, 2015 A.D.

Our Father, all of Heaven roars Your name
Sing louder, let this place erupt with praise
Can you hear it?
The sound of Heaven touching earth,
The sound of Heaven touching earth!

Spirit break out, break our walls down!
Spirit break out, Heaven come down!

King Jesus, You're the name we're lifting high,
Your glory, shaking up the earth and sky.
Revival, we want to see Your Kingdom here;
We want to see Your Kingdom here!

City Alight, 2018 A.D.

What gift of grace is Jesus my Redeemer!
There is no more for heaven now to give.
He is my joy, my righteousness, and freedom,
My steadfast love, my deep and boundless peace.
To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus,
For my life is wholly bound to His.
Oh how strange and divine, I can sing: all is mine!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

The night is dark but I am not forsaken
For by my side, the Savior He will stay.
I labor on in weakness and rejoicing
For in my need, His power is displayed.
To this I hold, my Shepherd will defend me,
Through the deepest valley He will lead.
Oh the night has been won, and I shall overcome!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

No fate I dread, I know I am forgiven.
The future sure, the price it has been paid.
For Jesus bled and suffered for my pardon
And He was raised to overthrow the grave.
To this I hold, my sin has been defeated,
Jesus now and ever is my plea!
Oh the chains are released, I can sing: I am free!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

With every breath I long to follow Jesus
For He has said that He will bring me home;
And day by day I know He will renew me
Until I stand with joy before the throne.
To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus,
All the glory evermore to Him!
When the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat:
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

People & Songs, 2018 A.D.

The Lord is my Shepherd.
He goes before me,
Defender behind me, I won't fear.
I'm filled with anointing,
My cup's overflowing.
No weapon can harm me, I won't fear.

Hallelujah, I am not alone!
He's my comfort, always holds me close!

He always guides me
Through mountains and valleys.
His joy is refreshing, restores my soul.
Mercy and goodness
Give me assurance
That I'll see His glory face to face! (Chorus)

Your Spirit lives within me
So I will walk in Your peace!
Your Spirit lives within me,
My victory, my victory! (Repeat 3x)

Prayers of Confession and Assurance

One: Jesus, You are our Immanuel, God with us. We confess we need You and magnify You alone today ...

Congregational Prayers

One: And now we pray together, Jesus, as You taught us to pray ...

All: Our Father who is 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.

Pass the Peace | In the Story of God, Jesus declared, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you" (John 14:26) during humanity's darkest, most tragic weekend of His death. And then after Jesus was crucified and resurrected, defeating evil and death, He said, "Peace be with you ... Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:21-22). Somehow, with Jesus, peace is possible even in our darkest moments. During this time, we desire to share with each other peace that passes understanding, empowered by the Spirit of Christ.

The peace of the Lord by always with you.
And also with you.

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

Prayer Asking for Jesus' Help
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.
I want to see. Please reveal to me who You are.
Give me ears to hear You, and understanding for
the Good News You are saying to me today. Amen.

Prayer for Communion with Jesus and Each Other

Jesus, by Your Spirit, fill us with Yourself,
the true Bread and Vine. We turn to You now to
unite us, strengthen us, and empower us
to be Your Kingdom family of servants and witnesses
together until You return and make all things new. Amen.

'19 Advent Prayer | We Magnify You, Jesus!
Jesus, our Immanuel, God with us, reveal You are here now. 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 spark Your light and love to spread through 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, that You will be born again in our midst. 
When people in the 1980s in Guatemala began to sing Mary's Magnificat song, the government outlawed this first Advent hymn. It was deemed too dangerous and revolutionary because children, women, and men 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. Lord Jesus, our Savior, open our mouths and our hearts to sing with them the words of Your mother, Mary, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked with grace and favor on us, His humble servants! ... The Mighty One has done great things for us and holy is His name! ... ' 
Holy Spirit of God, make us believe the Magnificat's words are true, that You look on us and intend to bring the same dynamic change in us and through us. Make us good like You and beautifully dangerous, embodying the words, works, and way of Jesus that transform lives in Worcester and beyond. We pray all these things in humble, hungry, holy, and hopeful confidence because we are praying in King Jesus' almighty name. Amen.
+ Prayer adapted from "A Divine Disruption" by Christiana Rice & "Come and See" by Frederich Buechner

Our World Belongs to God Q&A 23 | 2008 A.D.

Q. Why do we magnify the Lord and rejoice 
with Mary that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is born?
A. Remembering the promise
to reconcile the world to Himself,
God joined our humanity in Jesus Christ—
the eternal Word made flesh.
He is the long-awaited Messiah,
one with us and one with God,
fully human and fully divine,
conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.

Benediction Based on The Magnificat

Go with our Lord Jesus Christ and and be blessed.
Magnify Him and rejoice that He is Immanuel, God with us.
Hallelujah! We are not alone! God's mercy and favor on
us is displayed in the birth of Jesus. God is revealing
peace on earth in all of us who are willing to be born again
in Christ. Be full, be lifted up. As you have freely received,
freely give for the glory of God, for the love of others, and
for the life of the world.

Next sermon audio + liturgy notes post: Magnificat: Blessed to Be a Blessing to the Next Generation

Emmaus City Church is a local church made up of Micro City Groups.

A Micro City Group (CG) is a growing group that begins with 3+ people – children, women, and men included – who are befriending, serving, and loving a community together in Jesus' name in Worcester. Micro CGs start small enough that people can know you and value you, but seek to grow large enough (10-30 people) to make an impact in communities throughout Worcester. Each CG gets together throughout a month (i.e. dinners, times of prayer or learning from the Story of God in the Bible, acts of service, parties, etc.) to see Worcester become a city of neighbors and friends that showcase Jesus' love and compassion to all. Those who are cautious or curious to hear and see what it means to follow Jesus are just as welcome as those who believe Jesus is Lord and God and seek to follow Him in every area of life.

Current Micro City Groups: Lincoln Village | W.R.A.P. | Recovery | YMCA | Route One | Westside 

To connect with one of the City Groups above, please contact

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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