This daily worship guide for the 4th week of Advent reflects the theme of Jesus as the redeemer who delivers from sin and its evil effects and renews all things from the sermon on Romans 8:18-25 in corporate worship on December 21. Using this worship guide will help us extend and deepen the focus of corporate worship over the course of a whole week. (This guide can be downloaded as a PDF or Microsoft Word document file here.)
Key themes: Salvation from the evil effects of sin in all creation; the cosmic scope of Jesus’ power and authority to save; the renewal and glorification of the whole creation
(If you use this guide with a group, the leader can read the words in light print and the whole group can respond with the words in boldface print.)
GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP from Isaiah 9:6
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
O come let us adore him!
WE PRAISE GOD: “Joy to the World”
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n, and heav’n, and nature sing.
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ;
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found,
far as, far as, the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness
and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love,
and wonders, wonders of his love.
(Free prayers of praise and thanks)
WE CONFESS OUR SIN
Lord, you have promised to lift our heads in hope
by resurrecting our ravaged world into glory.
But we confess that we forget
the sure hope of heaven coming to earth
and so we live in fear because we do not trust you.
We hope in schools, jobs, governments, and armies,
trusting our feeble strength more than yours for peace and security.
We eat, drink, and seek our own pleasure
as if our present desires matter more than your holy mission.
(Silent prayers of confession)
Forgive us for forgetting and ignoring the new creation to come.
Forgive us for heeding false and fleeting hopes.
Forgive our short-sighted living, and our fear born of unbelief.
Fix our eyes firmly on Jesus, who has swallowed up death’s sting,
and lives that death may die.
GOD DECLARES OUR FORGIVENESS from Romans 8:31-32; Colossians 1:12-14
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? God the Father has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
GOD INSTRUCTS US
WE PRAY FOR THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD
Almighty God, you have made all things to serve you;
now prepare the world to receive your rule.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, to end war and oppression,
to cleanse all corruption, to crush the head of Satan,
to wipe away every tear, to heal every pain
to destroy death, and to make all things new
so that your glory will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
(Free prayers of petition)
Eternal King and Father of all mercies,
we bless you for the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
Give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips but with our lives,
by giving up ourselves to your service,
and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness;
through Jesus Christ, our risen and reigning Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
GOD BLESSES AND SENDS US from 2 Corinthians 13:14
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil,
and bring us to everlasting life.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God the Father
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.