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Please Enjoy our Children's Christmas play for your worship today! 

Today our kids will lead us as we wait for the coming of our lord. 

Cory: Welcome, fellow sinners!

Bryce: Hey, that’s not very nice!

Cory: Well, it’s true. Ephesians chapter 2 says we’ve all sinned. Here, read it. (Hand Bryce the Bible)

Bryce: Verse 3 says, “At one time we all lived among them. We tried to satisfy what our sinful nature wanted to do. We followed its longings and thoughts. God was angry with us and everyone else because of the kind of people we were.” Wow! We really have messed up!

Cory: Keep reading. There’s good news!

Bryce: Verses 4 through 10 say, “But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you. God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom because we belong to Christ Jesus. He has done it to show the riches of his grace for all time to come. His grace can’t be compared with anything else. He has shown it by being kind to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. 9 It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it. God made us. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good things. Long ago God prepared them for us to do.”

Cory: See, I told you! God sent His Son to save us!

Bryce: For the next hour we will be exploring Advent through Bible readings and songs. Please join us on this “Advent Adventure.”

 Choir sings “Come, Come Emmanuel.” Brennen, Kamran, and Elijah will sing the ensemble part.

Lauren: The Israelites were waiting for their King to arrive. Emmanuel means “God with us.”

Nadia: By the time David wrote Psalm 27, God’s people were still waiting for their Messiah. I’ll read some of its verses now.  “1 The Lord gives me light and saves me. Why should I fear anyone? The Lord is my place of safety. Why should I be afraid?…7 Lord, hear my voice when I call out to you. Show me your favor and answer me. 8 My heart says, “Look to him!” Lord, I will look to you. …10 My father and mother may desert me, but the Lord will accept me. 11 Lord, teach me your ways. Lead me along a straight path.…13 Here is something I am still sure of. I will see the Lord’s goodness while I’m still alive. 14 Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord.”

Lauren: The choir will now sing “My Deliverer,” a song about waiting on the Lord.

Choir sings “My Deliverer.” Josh and Brian will sing the ensemble/solo parts.

Generic Advent Adventure slide here

Bryce: God heard His people. He knew they needed a Savior.

Cory: But who would imagine Him sending a King like that?

Bryce: A King like what?

Cory: A little baby in his mother’s arms. Can you believe God sent His Son for Mary and Joseph to raise so that he could be the King we needed?

Bryce: Girls, can you share a song with us that helps to describe what Mary might have been feeling about having God’s Son?

All Girls sing “Who Would Imagine A King.” There are no ensemble/solo parts.

Lauren: Galatians chapter 4 verses 4 through 7 declare, “But then the right time came. God sent his Son. A woman gave birth to him. He was born under the authority of the law. He came to set free those who were under the law. He wanted us to be adopted as children with all the rights children have. Because you are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. He is the Holy Spirit. By his power we call God “Abba.” Abba means Father. So you aren’t slaves any longer. You are God’s children. Because you are his children, he gives you what he promised to give his people.”

Nadia: Just as the Israelites were imperfect, so are we.

Lauren: We need a deliverer from our sins today just as much as the Israelites did back then.

Nadia: We know that this Deliverer, Jesus, has brought peace and joy and hope to all mankind. Boys, will you sing us a special song about that hope?

All Boys sing “When Hope Was Born.” Cory and Bryce will sing the verses.

Bryce: Hope came in the form of a child who will save us of our sins and bring peace to earth. Here is Micah chapter 5 verses 2 through 5

Cory: “The Lord says, ‘Bethlehem, you might not be an important town in the nation of Judah. But out of you will come a ruler over Israel for me. His family line goes back to the early years of your nation. It goes all the way back to days of long ago.” …The promised ruler will stand firm and take care of his flock. The Lord will give him the strength to do it. The Lord his God will give him the authority to rule. His people will live safely. His greatness will reach from one end of the earth to the other. And he will bring them peace.’

Bryce: God’s children knew their Savior would be born in Bethlehem, be a great ruler, and take care of His flock.

Cory: What does it mean, “take care of His flock?”

Bryce: Jesus’ flock are the people who follow Him, like sheep who follow the shepherd.

Cory: The offering will be taken while we sing “Away in a Manger.”

Prayers and Offering

Choir sings “Away in a Manger.” Ryann will sing the solo part.

 Everyone goes to sit with their parents.

Sermon and Lord's Supper

John 1

 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

After the volunteers have taken communion, Madelyn begins to play the piano (“Away in a Manger”) Away in a Manger - Madi Taglauer. When she finishes, Nadia and Lauren will come up to begin singing their song (“When Love Was Born”) When Love Was Born - Lauren Casto & Nadia Akbar.

 Prayers and Announcements 

Nadia: Before we go, can you read this verse, Jeremiah chapter 33 verses 1 through 16?

Lauren: [The Lord] said, 2 “I made the earth. I formed it. And I set it in place. The Lord is my name. 3 Call out to me. I will answer you. I will tell you great things you do not know. You will not be able to understand them.”

4 The Lord is the God of Israel. He speaks about the houses in Jerusalem. He talks about the royal palaces of Judah. The people had torn many of them down. They had used their stones to strengthen the city walls against attack. 5 That was during their fight with the armies of Babylonia. The Lord says, …6 “But now I will bring health and healing to Jerusalem. I will heal my people. I will let them enjoy great peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from the places where they have been taken. I will build up the nation again. It will be just as it was before. 8 “I will wash from its people all of the sins they have committed against me. And I will forgive all of the sins they committed when they turned away from me. 9 “Then this city will bring me fame, joy, praise and honor. All of the nations on earth will hear about the good things I do for this city. They will see the great success and peace I give it. Then they will be filled with wonder. And they will tremble with fear.” 10 The Lord says, “You say about this place, ‘It’s a dry and empty desert. It doesn’t have any people or animals in it.’ The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem are now deserted. So they do not have any people or animals living in them. But happy sounds will be heard there once more. 11 They will be the sounds of joy and gladness. The voices of brides and grooms will fill the streets. “And the voices of those who bring thank offerings to my house will be heard there. They will say, ‘Give thanks to the Lord who rules over all, because he is good. His faithful love continues forever.’ says the Lord....14 “A new day is coming,” announces the Lord. “At that time my gracious promise to my people will come true. I made it to the people of Israel and the people of Judah.15 “In those days and at that time I will make a true and rightful Branch grow from David’s royal line. He will do what is fair and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved. Jerusalem will live in safety. And it will be called The Lord Who Makes Us Right With Himself.”

Nadia: Wow, that was one of the best verses I’ve ever read because it summarizes what we’ve been talking about today. The world now knows that Jesus has come to save us from our sins, but we also know that he will come again! God will one day completely restore the earth, not just Jerusalem but everywhere. But while we wait, we know there is difficulty to go through.

Lauren: Yeah, it really connects with this last song. Listen to how the choir sings “peace on earth” as if it’s God’s promise to us.

Choir sings “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Lauren and Brian will sing the solo parts.