Fourth Sunday of Advent 2021

Link to Sermon

Fourth Sunday of Advent


                   December 19, 2021

Focus:  “The Lord is coming, always coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognize him at any moment of your life. Life is Advent; life is recognizing the coming of the Lord.” – Henri Nouwen

Welcome:  This has been an Advent season of prophets: Jeremiah, Baruch, Isaiah, Micah. And now the prophet is Mary–the woman who was the original home for the holy. With all her heart, she proclaims that the lowly are lifted, the hungry are fed, mercy reigns. Like Mary, we must envision, must see, must prophesy and act on that vision for the world that God continues to call us to co-create. What is the view from the room that God has prepared?

Gathering Music: Hey Moon (by Sidewalk Prophets) 

                                                                        -Jen Comeau

Lighting the Advent Wreath:  Today we offer the Light of Love to illumine the Door of Welcome. May this light shine in our hearts, in our lives, and in our church.  May Love awaken us to possibilities and lead us to greater hospitality.  There IS room in this Inn, a House for the Holy.

Call To Worship:

L: God promised to save God’s world.
P: And the people believed.
L: God sent the prophets to remind them of the covenant of trust and love.
P: And the people believed.
L: In the fullness of time, God’s promise became incarnate in the life of Mary.
P: And Mary believed.
L: Those who were the least and the lost received good news.
P: And they believed.
L: We are called to open our hearts, spirits, and minds to God’s Good News
P: That, believing, we may be witnesses to God’s great love. AMEN.

Opening Hymn: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus     #82

Opening Prayer: 

Lord, be with us this morning as we encounter Mary and hear of the wondrous news that she received. Remind us that, like Mary, each one of us is a bearer of your Good News. We are called to proclaim hope, peace, joy, and love in your name. Open our hearts and our spirits today to receive with great joy the love that you have for us. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Lord’s Prayer

Awakening:  All Is Well at Christmas (by Mark Harris)

                                                                              -Jen Comeau

Scripture:  Micah 5:2-5a, Luke 1: 46-55 

                                                                  -Patricia Mulholland

Sermon:    Entering The Story                Rev. Paula Norbert

Music:  Mary Did You Know (by Buddy Greene)

                                                                          -Michelle Currie

Musical call to Prayer:  (two times)  Hush now in quiet peace, be still your mind at ease. The Spirit brings release, so wait upon the Lord.

                          Prayers of the People

             Silent Prayers            Pastoral Prayer

Closing Music:  O Come All Ye Faithful    #133   vs. 1-3


May God’s Door of Welcome

swing open in your heart and in your life.

May Christ’s humble first dwelling

remind you of the plenty you already know.

And may the Spirit lead you into

more possibility and hospitality than you can imagine,

making room in The Inn for all.

May it be so for you.

May it be so for us.

May it be so for this church.


Postlude:  We Need a Silent Night In Here

We need a silent night in here.

We need your presence to come near.

Give us the hope we seek

and the peace we need.

We need a silent night in here.

Give us the hope we seek

and the peace we need.

We need a silent night in here.

First Reading

Micah 5:2-5a (CEB)

As for you, Bethlehem of Ephrathah,

    though you are the least significant of Judahs forces,

        one who is to be a ruler in Israel on my behalf will come out from you.

    His origin is from remote times, from ancient days.

Therefore, he will give them up

        until the time when she who is in labor gives birth.

        The rest of his kin will return to the people of Israel.

He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,

        in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.

        They will dwell secure,

        because he will surely become great throughout the earth;

        he will become one of peace.

Second Reading

Luke 1: 46-55

Mary got up and hurried to a city in the Judean highlands. She entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. With a loud voice she blurted out, God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry. Why do I have this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her.”

Mary said,

With all my heart I glorify the Lord!

    In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.

He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.

    Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored

        because the mighty one has done great things for me.

Holy is his name.

    He shows mercy to everyone,

        from one generation to the next,

        who honors him as God.

He has shown strength with his arm.

    He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.

    He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones

        and lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things

    and sent the rich away empty-handed.

He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,

        remembering his mercy,

    just as he promised to our ancestors,

        to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.