December 3, 2017 Bulletin

Welcome to Caddo Mills UMC December 3, 2017

Greeting and Announcements – GAGE WARNER

Welcome!
Angel Adoption – to be announced by Shara Thomason
Confirmation – Parents and youth meet right after worship today
Mark Your Calendars NOW – Christmas Eve Service at 4:30

Call to Worship and Opening Prayer – CATHY PARTRIDGE

Leader: The angels that appear in the story of Jesus’ birth would have been very comfortable in our world of tweets and hashtags. Their messages were often short and to the point–their favorite line being #DoNotBeAfraid. As we look at the stories of these winged messengers to Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the Shepherds, we will contemplate what messages we can offer that will fly in the face of a culture of fear and bring more hope, more peace, more joy, and more love to the world.

We begin with an angelic visit to Zechariah. It was just another day at the temple for Zechariah. It was his priestly turn to make sure everything was done properly and in good order. But it turned into something quite different when an angel showed up at the altar.

“There are angels among us that may not meet the eye
There are messages of hope coming from a choir on high
But don’t just look up;
for the way God works
is to plant more hope right here on earth
just like it was with Jesus birth.
 
There are angels among us,
there are angels among us, t
here are angels among us,
bringing hope on earth.
 
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid

Prayer

Holy Living God, Blessed Jesus, Guiding Spirit,
alight within us your flame of hope this day.
Grant us openness to hear your message.
Grant us courage to be your messengers in the world,
creating more hope in the midst of fear.

Pastor: And with the angel messengers above us, among us and within us, we sing (or say)…

Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid

Lighting of Advent Candle – HOPE

Reader 1: What is hope? Modern culture tells us it is a “maybe,” a kind of unsure optimism. But in Scripture, hope is an indication of certainty. “Hope” means “a strong and confident expectation.”

The Israelites were hoping for a savior, their messiah. God had promised a messiah and they believed it. They didn’t know when or who, but they were waiting.

Zechariah was a Levite in the nation of Israel. He worked in the temple and was a God-fearing man. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were childless in a culture where children were considered to be a sign of God’s blessing. Zechariah had prayed and prayed to God, asking for a child, but God had not sent one. As Zechariah stood in the Holy of Holies that day, preparing to offer the sacrifices for the people, an angel appeared to him with a message from God:

Reader 2: Fear not, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son. You are to name him John. He will be a joy and delight to you and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord his God. He is never to take wine or fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go before the Lord to make ready a people.

Reader 1: But when Zechariah heard Gabriel’s words, his first reaction was not hope. It was doubt. He asked the angel, “But how can this be? I am an old man!” The angel responded,

Reader 2: I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.

Reader 1: Elizabeth did become pregnant, and Zechariah found himself wholeheartedly living in hope, in confident expectation that God would give him a son and that the long-awaited Messiah was soon to follow.

Today we too can live with Zechariah’s hope. We can live with the certainty and the confident expectation that Christ not only came to this world as a baby so long ago, but he will return and everything that God has promised will come true. What hope!

On this first Sunday of Advent, we light this candle as a symbol HOPE. (light one purple candle.)

Passing of the Peace

I invite you to pass the HOPE of Christ with your neighbors, for each time we connect with one another, hope grows!

* 348 – Surely the Presence

* 238 – Angels We Have Heard on High

Children’s Announcements and Birthdays – TERESA WHITNEY

Parent’s Night Out – December 15th
Christmas Program
Thank you to all who came out for the parade and supported the children!

BIRTHDAYS:

Debbie Williams – December 4th
Teresa Whitney -December 4th
Ron Hill – December 6th

Children’s Message – BRAD PARTRIDGE

Community Prayer and Offertory – CATHY PARTRIDGE

VIDEO: “Angels Among Us” by Alabama

* 95 – Doxology

* 454 Open My Eyes, That I May See

Sermon

Holy Communion

* 220 – Angels from the Realms of Glory

 

Benediction – CATHY PARTRIDGE