Growing in Faith: Our Redemptive Story

Dr. Jonathan Sloan brings together the various parts of this sermon series to show how we develop through our redemption and how are redeemed life shines out to others. Based on Matthew 1:18-24

The Service for the Lord’s Day 4th Sunday of Advent

“Growing in Faith:  Our Redemptive Story”

December 23, 2018 10:30 a.m.



Prelude                                    “Good Christian Men, Rejoice”                                  arr. C Miller

“What Child is This with Away In a Manger”                 arr. D Calhoun


News of the Church

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*The Greeting and Welcoming of One Another

(There are no strangers in God’s House, just friends we have not yet met.

Greet your neighbor with Christian love and let them know that you’re glad to see them!)


*Praise Hymn #110                                                                                  “Love Has Come”


*Call to Worship

Leader:     We gather this morning to prepare for the birth of Jesus;

People:    a birth that changed everything and everyone!

Leader:     We await the excitement;

People:    we look forward to growth and promise!

Leader:     While most births create more work, more responsibility and less sleep;

Jesus’ birth refreshes us, releases us and restores us.  We are


ALL:        Let us worship and praise God!


Lighting of the Advent Candle

He came down that we may have love; he came down that we may have

                        love; he came down that we may have love; hallelujah forevermore.  


*Prayer of Confession (Unison)

Dear Lord, most life stories begin with birth and include the day to day comings and goings. We boast of our accomplishments and diminish our short comings. We seek the lime light and hide our flaws in the shadows.  Help us to remember that our lives began with Your birth.  Remind us that our success is because of You and our failures are because we did not look to You.  Show us Your light and continue to lead us out of the darkness…(Silent time of prayer)


*Assurance of Pardon

Leader:     Jesus’ birth turns our story from a tragedy to a love story.  He redeems our

lives and loves us from beginning to end.

      ALL:          Thanks be to God!


* The Gloria Patri – Hymn Tune, 581

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.



Children’s Message


Anthem                                                “Advent Gift”                                            P Liebergen

Chancel Choir


Message     “Growing in Faith: Our Redemptive Story”    Dr. Jonathan Sloan

Matthew 1:18-24

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
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 fulfill 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,



Hymn #133                                                                                  “O Come, All Ye Faithful”


Prayers of the People and The Lord’s Prayer (Unison)

       Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come,

       thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily

       bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not

       into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the

       power and the glory, forever. Amen.


Offertory                                               “Emmanuel”                                              M W Smith

Adonai Singers


*Doxology (The Hymnal, p. 606)


*Prayer of Dedication



*Hymn #128                                                                                “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly”




Postlude                        Canzona on “Watchman Tells Us of the Night”          arr. G Macchia



*Please stand, in body or in spirit