Bulletin for December 24, 2017
Morningside Staff

Pdf_36x36_thumb Download PDF



THE GATHERING  Rev. Mathew Frease 

Leader: The Lord be with you. 

People: And also with you. 


THE PRELUDE  Es ist ein’ Ros’ entsprungen  Johannes Brahms 



Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.8 Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10 Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16 He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” -Luke 1:1-17 


*THE HYMN  Angels, from the Realms of Glory  (Hymn 22) 

Angels, from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth; ye, who sang creation’s story now proclaim Messiah’s birth: Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the new-born King. 

Shepherds, in the fields abiding, watching o’er your flocks by night, God with us is now residing, yonder shines the infant light: Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the new-born King. 

to grant us 74 that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. 78 By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” 80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel. 


THE HYMN  Song of Zechariah  (Hymn 601) 

Blest be the God of Israel, the ever-living Lord. You come in power to save your own, your people Israel. For Israel you now raise up salvation’s tower on high in David’s house, who reigned as king and servant of the Lord. 

Of old you gave your solemn oath to father Abraham: whose seed a mighty race should be and blest forevermore. You vowed to set your people free from fear of every foe, that we might serve you all our days in goodness, love, and peace. 

O tiny child, your name shall be the prophet of the Lord; the way of God you will prepare to make God’s coming known. You shall proclaim to Israel salvation’s dawning day, when God shall wipe away all sins with mercy and with love. 



I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. 



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. 


THE OFFERTORY  In the Bleak Midwinter  Gustav Holst/Crutchfield 

Brandon Odom, baritone 

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, in the bleak midwinter, long ago. 

Though I am small, my God, my all, you work great things in me, and your mercy will last from the depths of the past to the end of the age to be. Your very name puts the proud to shame, and to those who would for you yearn, you will show your might, put the strong to flight, for the world is about to turn. My heart shall sing of the day you bring: Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn. 

From the halls of power to the fortress tower, not a stone will be left on stone. Let the king beware for your justice tears every tyrant from his throne. The hungry poor shall weep no more, for the food they can never earn: there are tables spread; every mouth be fed, for the world is about to turn. My heart shall sing of the day you bring: Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn. 

Though the nations rage from age to age, we remember who holds us fast: God’s mercy must deliver us from the conqueror’s crushing grasp. This saving word that our forebears heard is the promise which holds us bound, till the spear and rod can be crushed by God, who is turning the world around. My heart shall sing of the day you bring: Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn. 


THE HOMILY  “Favored”  Rev. Dr. Baron Mullis 


THE FIFTH LESSON  Luke 1:57-80 

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: 68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, 70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, 71that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. 72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, 73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, 

Sages, leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar; seek the great desire of nations; ye have seen his natal star: Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the new-born King. 

All creation, join in praising God the Father, Spirit, Son, evermore your voices raising to th’ eternal Three in One: Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the new-born King. 





Holy God as we come to the end of this season of waiting and expectation, as we have remembered the hope, love, and joy that underpin our lives together and our lives of faith, we come at the last to peace. Your son, whose birth we celebrate, is prince of peace. And yet, sometimes our peace is fleeting. We hear rumors of war, and we are filled with fear. We have unquiet minds, and peace is but a dream. Our lives are marked by relentless competition rather than with the knowledge that we are enough. We already have your favor. We are beloved. You invite us to the peace that passes understanding by resting in you. Forgive our fears and soothe our anxieties. Lead us forth in hope, love, joy and peace, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. 


A MOMENT OF SILENCE (for examination of conscience and personal prayers of confession) 



Daisy Ottmann 

Leader: Jesus Christ is the light of the world. 

People: Jesus Christ is the peace that passes all understanding. 

Leader: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will never overcome it. 

People: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 



Angels, announce with shouts of mirth Christ who brings new life to earth. Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming. People, look east and sing today: Love the Lord is on the way. 



Leader: The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all! 

People: And also with you. 





(Visitors and members are invited to sign the blue friendship register pad and pass it down the pew.) 


THE SECOND LESSON  Luke 1:18-25 

18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.” 19 The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.” 

21 Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. 23 When his time of service was ended, he went to his home. 

24 After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 25 “This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.” 


THE HYMN  The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came  (Hymn 16) 

(Solo) The angel Gabriel from heaven came, his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame; “All hail,” said he, “O lowly maiden Mary.” Most highly favored lady, Gloria! 

(all) “For know a blessed mother you shall be, all generations praise continually, your son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold.” Most highly favored lady, Gloria! 

(all) Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head, “To me be as it pleases God,” she said, “my soul shall laud and magnify God’s holy name.” Most highly favored lady, Gloria! 


THE THIRD LESSON  Luke 1:39-45 

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” 


THE HYMN  Watchman, Tell Us of the Night  (Hymn 20) 

Watchman, tell us of the night, what its signs of promise are. Traveler, o’er yon mountain’s height, see that glory-beaming star. Watchman, does its beauteous ray aught of joy or hope foretell? Traveler, yes; it brings the day, promised day of Israel. 

Watchman, tell us of the night, higher yet that star ascends. Traveler, blessedness and light, peace and truth its course portends. Watchman, will its beams alone gild the spot that gave them birth? Traveler, ages are its own; see, it bursts o’er all the earth. 


THE FOURTH LESSON  Luke 1:46-56 

46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home. 


THE HYMN  Canticle of the Turning 

My soul cries out with a joyful shout that the God of my heart is great, and my spirit sings of the wondrous things that you bring to the ones who wait. You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight, and my weakness you did not spurn, so from east to west shall my name be blest. Could the world be about to turn? My heart shall sing of the day you bring: Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn. 


*(The asterisk indicates parts of the worship when the congregation is invited to stand as they are able.)

Last Published: December 23, 2017 2:09 PM