Advent 4 – 12/23/2018

Collect of the Day
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us;
and as we are sorely hindered by our sins from running the race that
is set before us, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help
and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you
and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament Reading
Micah 5:2-5a
Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against
us; with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek. 2
But you,
O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans
of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler
in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. 3
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in
labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the
people of Israel. 4
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the
strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD
his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to
the ends of the earth. 5
And he shall be their peace.
Reader: The word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

Psalter Verses
Psalm 80:1-7
1 Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, you that lead Joseph like a sheep; *
show yourself also, you that sit upon the cherubim.
2 Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, *
stir up your strength, and come and help us.
3 Restore us again, O God; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be whole.
4 O LORD God of hosts, *
how long will you be angry with your people that pray?
5 You feed them with the bread of tears *
and give them plenty of tears to drink.
6 You have made us a derision unto our neighbors, *
and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
7 Restore us again, O God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be whole.

New Testament Reading
Hebrews 10:1-10
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come
instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same
sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those
who draw near. 2
Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be
offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no
longer have any consciousness of sins? 3
But in these sacrifices there
is a reminder of sins every year. 4
For it is impossible for the blood of
bulls and goats to take away sins.
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you
prepared for me; 6
in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will,
O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”
When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure
in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings”
(these are offered according to the law), 9
then he added, “Behold,
I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order
to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The Holy Gospel
Deacon: The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to
St. Luke.
People: Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Luke 1:39-56
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of
Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with
the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are
you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And
why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come
to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my
ears, the baby 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
from the Lord.”
46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit
rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked on the humble estate
of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me
blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and
holy is his name. 50 And 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 mighty from their thrones and exalted those of
humble estate; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the
rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in
remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned
to her home.


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