Advent 4 Preview

Andreas Wohlfahrt

“…and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”

Matthew 1:23

During these final days of Advent we pray, “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” a beloved hymn based on the O Antiphons, ancient prayers appointed for the seven days preceding Christmas.

Never is God so with us as in Jesus of Nazareth. Here is God-made-flesh, and in his very name, the Son of God proclaims just how with us and for us God really is. This fulfillment of prophetic promise offers us a delicate and dramatic reality: God has slipped into skin and walks among us in a totally new way, offering us life and salvation.

On this final Sunday of Advent we prepare to celebrate the birth of the one born to save us from the power of sin and death.

Sunday’s Worship Music

The Traditional Worship Hymn of the Day is Unexpected and Mysterious. We focus today on the role of Joseph in today’s Gospel reading and today’s hymn of the day draws us into the mystery and surprising appearance of God in the form of a poor child. We may feel lost and deserted at times, but as we sing in the hymn “If we falter in our courage and we doubt what we have known, God is faithful to console us as a mother tends her own.” In what surprising ways does God meet us?

One of the New Day Praise songs will be Angels We Have Heard On High
The scripture we hear at New Day on Sunday features angels playing an important role as messenger and guide. Two of the songs we sing feature the role of angels in the Nativity. We get to join in the song of the angels and praise the Lord.

For Further Reflection

We hold a lot of emotions together during this season of Advent. As we round the corner and slide into Christmas, some of those emotions, worries, and anxieties can be a bit overwhelming. If you are feeling worried this season, please know you are in good company.
Rather than denying those feelings, what if we hold them up and hand them to the Lord? 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to “cast all your cares on the Lord.”

Sharing Prayer

Think of a specific care, concern, worry, or anxiety that you have that you may hand off to the Lord. Then think of someone you worry about and lift this person up to the Lord, as well.

Perhaps this season, ask someone how you may pray for them or pray for a worry they may have, and perhaps share with them a worry or concern that you have for which they can pray, as well.

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Rev. Sarah Teichmann

Pastor of Christian Formation

Pastor Sarah served as Pastor of Christian Formation at St. Peter’s from 2014 – 2021. She now serves the wider church as a partner at Kirby-Smith Associates.

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