Service for December 20, 2020 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Featured art is The Holy Family, by Allan Rohan Crite, (1936).

Download a PDF of this service’s bulletin here or follow along below.

Call to Worship

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Luke 1:46b-55

Welcome and Announcements

Invocation

The Lighting of the Fourth Advent Candle – The Candle of Love

The Peace of Christ

May God grant us courage to change the things need changing,
the peace to accept the things we cannot change,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Scripture Lesson

Luke 1:26-38

  1. In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,
  2. to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
  3. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
  4. But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
  5. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
  6. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
  7. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.
  8. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
  9. Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
  10. The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
  11. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.
  12. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
  13. Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Pastoral Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

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
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever.
Amen.

Homily

Finding God’s Favor – Rev. Nicolas Mumejian

Christmas at Riverside
The Riverside Choir

Tidings of Joy
We Wait for Thee
What Child is This? – Solo, Kevin Howard

Isaiah 9:6 – Jonathan Holley

Breath of Heaven
Thank You – Terryn Nelson, solo
Silent Night

Luke 2:15-19 – Jonathan Holley

Change – Solo, Vivian Taylor
This Christmas – Solo, Jonathan Holley

Matthew 2:1-12 – Jonathan Holley

Child of the Promise

Benediction

Go Now In Peace – Riverside Choir


In the Life of the Church

Welcome to Riverside Baptist Church, where our one law is love of God and neighbor. Justice and peace matter to us. So we celebrate racial diversity, gender equality, and inclusion of all persons no matter their sexual orientation. We draw the circle of God’s love large here. You’re included. Christ is the center here. No one more and nothing less.

With the continued recommendation from the CDC and local authorities Riverside’s building will remain closed until further notice. While the building is closed, we gather online to worship. We will keep you updated through the newsletter and the website on the status of the building. Please do not hesitate to contact our staff should you need anything.

Visitors – please go here to let us know that you were online with us today.

Every Sunday at 11:00 am we gather online via Zoom to fellowship and pray. Information is available on the website. Please join us!

Bible Study and Safe Space Chat are on break until January.

Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent!

Our choral Christmas program is presented today, December 20 during the Sunday online service.

This Thursday, Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm, we will have a live service of lessons and carols via Zoom. Please visit the website for details on joining in this celebration.

We extend our deepest Christian sympathy to Lynda Gyles and Lydia Young in the passing of their sister, Lil.

Pray For: Lynda Gyles and family; Danielle Ford’s aunt, Connie Jasper; Danielle Ford and Laurel Eierman; Derek Ford and his sister, Misha Reed; Annie Abbott; Brenda Rozier-Clark and the family of Rev. Paul Clark; Anthony Maimer’s sister, Davi Stuhlsatz; Denise Bennett’s sister, Dyanne Smith; Tanya Bethel’s mother, Ruby McCrary; Pamela Maimer’s sister, Monica Thomas and mother, Clara Jefferson; Bob Nelson; Laurel Eierman’s mother, Marcia Tringali; Tanya Bethel; Gale Miller’s mother, Marian Miller; Karl Maxwell; Edith Booker; Emma Wright’s sister Sallie Williams; Lillie Ransom’s sister Teriea and her husband, Jerry; Sheba Greene’s daughter Donna; Dr. Bledsoe’s mother, Peggy Bledsoe

Download a PDF of this service’s bulletin here or follow along below.

Gates of Prayer

Please practice silence and contemplative prayer, as we prepare our hearts to come before the LORD.

Silence is the mother of speech.

Brother Thomas Merton

[If you are unsure what to pray, pray this: “Lord Jesus Christ, Light of the world, enlighten me.”]

Call to Worship

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.
On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 138

Welcome and Announcements

The Gate of Peace

Invocation for Peace

Music

The Peace of Christ

May God grant us courage to change the things need changing,
the peace to accept the things we cannot change,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Gates of Offering and Thanksgiving

Scripture Lesson 1

Matthew 16:13-20

  1. Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
  2. And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
  3. He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
  4. Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
  5. And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.
  6. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
  7. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
  8. Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Gates of Prayer

Pastoral Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

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
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
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 Gate of Proclamation

Scripture Lesson 2

Romans 12:1-8– Selected and read by Deacon Vincent Haskell

  1. I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
  2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  3. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
  4. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function,
  5. so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.
  6. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith;
  7. ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching;
  8. the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Sermon

Living Sacrifices and Renewed Minds – Rev. Nicolas Mumejian

Gate of Consecration

Benediction


In the Life of the Church

Welcome to Riverside Baptist Church, where our one law is love of God and neighbor. Justice and peace matter to us. So we celebrate racial diversity, gender equality, and inclusion of all persons no matter their sexual orientation. We draw the circle of God’s love large here. You’re included. Christ is the center here. No one more and nothing less.

With the continued recommendation from the CDC and local authorities Riverside’s building will remain closed until further notice. Please do not hesitate to contact our staff should you need anything.

Visitors – please go here to let us know that you were online with us today.

While the building is closed, we gather online to worship. We will keep you updated through the newsletter and the website on the status of the building.

Every Sunday at 11:00 am we gather online via Zoom to fellowship and pray. Information is available on the website. Today, October 4, we will celebrate virtual communion at the conclusion of the prayer meeting. Bring some bread or a cracker and a cup to your table. Please join us!

Bible Study continues on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm via Zoom. We are studying the book of Luke. For information and to join the Zoom session, visit the Online Community Services page here.

Riverside Social Events Team (RiSET) invites you to join in a series of virtual conversations, Safe Space Chat, this Friday September 25 at 7:00 pm. Themes for the series include: Justice, Antiracism, and Living Together. This month, RiSet welcomes a guest speaker, Rev. Robin Williams Evens, who will share on “Choosing a Happy Life.” Please e-mail Jonathan to RSVP for this fantastic discussion!

Pray For: We extend our deepest Christian sympathy to Cheryl Parham and Irving Williamson in the loss of Cheryl’s mother, Rose Parham; Danielle Ford and Laurel Eierman; Derek Ford and his sister, Misha Reed; Annie Abbott; Brenda Rozier-Clark and the family of Rev. Paul Clark; Anthony Maimer’s sister, Davi Stuhlsatz; Denise Bennett’s sister, Dyanne Smith; Tanya Bethel’s mother, Ruby McCrary; Eleanor Troutman; Pamela Maimer’s sister, Monica Thomas and mother, Clara Jefferson; Bob Nelson; Laurel Eierman’s mother, Marcia Tringali; Tanya Bethel; Gale Miller’s mother, Marian Miller; Karl Maxwell; Edith Booker; Emma Wright’s sister Sallie Williams; Lillie Ransom’s sister Teriea and her husband, Jerry; Sheba Greene’s daughter Donna; Dr. Bledsoe’s mother, Peggy Bledsoe