"What Are You Looking At?"
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First Presbyterian Church of Homewood
P.O. BOX 1519
Homewood IL 60430
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WE GATHER IN GOD’S NAME
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF HOMEWOOD
Through the grace of God, faith in Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we prayerfully seek to discern God’s will for this congregation and to reach beyond ourselves to feed the hungry, body and soul. Adopted by Session 7/31/17
PRAYER FOR PEACE Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
PRELUDE ||| Seasonal Favorites ||| Various Composers
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” The world says, “Worry,” and we say, “Rejoice.” The news says, “Fear,” and we say, “Rejoice.” The world says, “Be happy,” and the church says, “Be faithful.” As we light our third Advent candle,
We pray for hope, peace, and joy.
Come now, O child of Mary.
Come now, O Prince of Joy.
*CALL TO CONTINUING WORSHIP
Into the dry and desolate places of our lives, God brings salvation.
The desert rejoices and blossoms, the wilderness teems with life.
Sorrow and sighing will flee:
let us come into God’s presence with singing!
*HYMN 87 ||| Comfort, Comfort Now My People ||| Genevan 42
CALL TO CONFESSION
The life of faith is not only about being faithful to God. It is knowing that God is faithful to us.
*PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Magnificent God, it is easy to rejoice at the wilderness bursting into bloom and the hungry being filled with good things. We may not want the powerful to be brought down or the rich to be sent away empty. We know that sometimes, we are the powerful. Sometimes, we are the rich. Sometimes we are the ones with privilege, ignoring and harming those you would lift up. Forgive us, humble us, and refocus us that we may follow your way of life and truth.
*DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
There is nothing and no one that is too far gone for God to redeem. There is no land too parched that God cannot make streams of living water flow. Beloved, we are forgiven!
Alleluia! Thanks be to God!
*THE GLORIA 581
MOMENT WITH OUR CHILDREN ||| Rev. Matt Lang
WELCOME AND CHURCH COMMUNICATIONS
WE HEAR GOD’S WORD
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING Isaiah 35:1-10
1The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus 2it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God. 3Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.” 5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 8A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. 9No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. 10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING ||| Matthew 11:2-11
2When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” 4Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” 7As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 8What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. 9What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God!
SERMON ||| "What Are You Looking At?" ||| Rev. Matt Lang
WE RESPOND TO GOD’S WORD
*HYMN 86 ||| The People Who Walked in Darkness ||| Isaiah 9
*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH ||| The Brief Statement of Faith 1983
In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE LORD’S PRAYER
…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.
OFFERING OF OUR GIFTS
*DOXOLOGY 606 ||| Old Hundredth
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
*PRAYER OF DEDICATION
For the blessings of this and all our days, we thank you, gracious God. Accept, we pray, not just this money but also our lives freely offered in gratitude for all you have done for us. Use them both, in this place and wherever you might take us. Amen.
WE GO IN GOD’S NAME
*HYMN 140 ||| Once In Royal David's City ||| Irby
BLESSING & CHARGE
May the God of peace make you holy and the power of the Spirit sustain you until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prepare the way of the Lord!
POSTLUDE ||| Recessional on "I Saw Three Ships" ||| Douglas E. Wagner
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord! Thanks be to God!
Rev. Matt Lang, Pastor
Mrs. Mary Ann Wenzelman, Interim Organist/Pianist
Worship Liturgist: Charlene Hansen
Usher: Charlene Hansen, Bob James, Eleanor Steiner.
Web Technicians: Shirley Armistead, Nancy Beaudoin, Phil Dillman, Kathie Hazlett
SCRIPTURES IN WORSHIP – Next Sunday we will be reading Isaiah 7:10-16 and Matthew 1:18-25.