- If you have not enjoyed a “carol sing” at your church yet, this is a great Sunday to do so. What a wonderful (and easy) way to “praise the Lord” (as the psalmist sings in Psalm 148)!
- Isaiah 63:7-9 invites us to “recount the gracious deeds of the Lord”. Since this is the last Sunday of the year, why not invite the congregation to reflect on all of the ways that God has worked in and through their lives over the past year? You could use fabric markers and decorative fabric to create a banner that lists all of the “gracious deeds” that the congregation shares.
- The Matthew 2:13-23 text could be presented as a dramatic reading. Recruit people from the congregation to act out the story – including a grumpy/angry Herod, a weeping Rachel, and a worried Joseph and Mary.
- Don’t forget – the Christmas season is not over yet! Leave your Christmas decorations up in your worship space until after next Sunday’s worship services!
Call to Worship (based on Isaiah 63:7-9)
Let us celebrate the wonderful deeds of the Lord.
Let us rejoice at the mercy and never-ending love of our Savior.
The Promised One has come to save us.
The Lord of Love carries us safely from this day forward.
Prayer of Confession (inspired by Hebrews 2:10-18)
Emmanuel, you came to live among us as a brother, and you proudly claim us all to be part of your family. But, we confess that we are reluctant to welcome and accept the same people you count as sisters and brothers. Forgive our dismissive ways, O Lord. Teach us to show your mercy and love to all people, that we may live as one family in your name.
Prayer for Illumination (inspired by Matthew 2:13-23)
Appear to us now, O Lord, in the hearing of your Word. Call us and guide us, that we may be saved.