Call to Worship
Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son,
and name him Immanuel.
The Advent wreath is a circle with no beginning and no end. It is a symbol of God’s unending love and faithfulness.
The shepherds were the first to hear
the joyful announcement of Christ’s birth—
the good news of great joy for all the people.
Upon seeing the baby Jesus, the shepherds spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed.
We have also heard this wonderful news.
We welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
Though we have not seen Jesus, we love him;
and even though we do not see him now, we believe in him.
And we are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy.
—based on Luke 2:10, 17-18; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:8, NIV
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.