God Is Near: We Believe
Weekly Prayer focus: Pray that your heart will be open to belief in that which you have not seen, that your faith would increase, and that you would live lives of faith. Pray the same for your neighbors, friends and family.
Scripture: Luke 1: 68-79
“Bless the Lord God of Israel because he has come to help and has delivered his people.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house, just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.
He has brought salvation from our enemies and from the power of all those who hate us.
He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and remembered his holy covenant, the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham.
He has granted that we would be rescued from the power of our enemies so that we could serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes, for as long as we live.
You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
You will tell his people how to be saved through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace.”
Carol: Blessed Be the God of Israel
Scripture: Malachi 3: 1-4
Look, I am sending my messenger who will clear the path before me; suddenly the Lord whom you are seeking will come to his temple.
The messenger of the covenant in whom you take delight is coming, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can withstand his appearance?
He is like the refiner’s fire or the cleaner’s soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver. He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.
They will belong to the Lord, presenting a righteous offering.
The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in ancient days and in former years.
Carol: Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice
Scripture: John 3: 31-33
The one who comes from above is above all things. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all things. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever accepts his testimony confirms that God is true.
Carol: Glory on High https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FI9ntAo3CVz_HqQD6Wr6vdqH2CjIS3L9/view?usp=sharing
Scripture: John 18: 36-37
Jesus replied, “My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn’t have been arrested by the Jewish leaders. My kingdom isn’t from here.”
“So you are a king?” Pilate said.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.”
Carol: Will You Come and See the Light https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k_QkXiadli-zWgkYc7A5TJzfAqPswzHH/view?usp=sharing
Scripture: Isaiah 12: 2-6
God is indeed my salvation; I will trust and won’t be afraid.
Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my shield; he has become my salvation.”
You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation.
And you will say on that day: “Thank the Lord; call on God’s name; proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples; declare that God’s name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things; proclaim this throughout all the earth.”
Shout and sing for joy, city of Zion, because the holy one of Israel is great among you.
Carol: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming https://drive.google.com/file/d/1y_a_a9HruKbf5AN9gP8j9XQfPTIxNZUP/view?usp=sharing
Scripture: Philippians 4: 4-7
Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.
Carol: There’s a Song in the Air https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qDY3nxH1gIH1UPuriOAWSsuYhE0A9mhP/view?usp=sharing
Scripture: Luke 3: 7-18
Then John said to the crowds who came to be baptized by him, “You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire.”
The crowds asked him, “What then should we do?”
He answered, “Whoever has two shirts must share with the one who has none, and whoever has food must do the same.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
He replied, “Collect no more than you are authorized to collect.”
Soldiers asked, “What about us? What should we do?”
He answered, “Don’t cheat or harass anyone, and be satisfied with your pay.”
The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.” With many other words John appealed to them, proclaiming good news to the people.
Carol: O Come, All Ye Faithful https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EnCicU7Dg8sznYZGy0AoTp2BcZKh6CFx/view?usp=sharing