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The Fourth Sunday of Advent

  • Holy Trinity Lutheran Church 7220 Southeast Cesar E Chavez Boulevard Portland, OR, 97202 United States (map)

Today Isaiah prophesies that a young woman will bear a son and name him Emmanuel. The gospel is Matthew’s account of the annunciation and birth of the one named Emmanuel, God-with-us. During these final days of Advent we pray, “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” a beloved hymn based on ancient prayers appointed for the seven days preceding Christmas. On this final Sunday in Advent we prepare to celebrate the birth of the one born to save us from the power of sin and death.

Serving this Week:

Communion:  Betty B.

Reading:

Usher:

Communion Alter Care: Betty B.

Counter: Betty B.

Fellowship:

Readings this week:

First Reading: Isaiah 7:10-16

An Israelite and Aramean military coalition presented a serious threat to King Ahaz of Judah. In response, Ahaz decided to secure his throne and kingdom by seeking refuge in Assyrian help. Isaiah reminds Ahaz that human attempts to establish security will fail. The prophet gives the sign of Immanuel that is the only source of true safety: God is with us!

10The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, 11Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. 12But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. 13Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? 14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. 15He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.”

Psalm: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved. (Ps. 80:7)

 1Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph | like a flock;
  shine forth, you that are enthroned up- | on the cherubim.
 2In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, | and Manasseh,
  stir up your strength and | come to help us.
 3Restore | us, O God;
  let your face shine upon us, and we | shall be saved.
 4O Lord| God of hosts,
  how long will your anger fume when your | people pray? R
 5You have fed them with the | bread of tears;
  you have given them bowls of | tears to drink.
 6You have made us the derision | of our neighbors,
  and our enemies laugh | us to scorn.
 7Restore us, O | God of hosts;
  let your face shine upon us, and we | shall be saved.
 17Let your hand be upon the one at | your right hand,
  the one you have made so strong | for yourself.
 18And so will we never turn a- | way from you;
  give us life, that we may call up- | on your name.
 19Restore us, O Lord| God of hosts;
  let your face shine upon us, and we | shall be saved. R

Second Reading: Romans 1:1-7

Most of the Christians in Rome do not know Paul. In this letter’s opening he introduces himself as an apostle divinely appointed to spread God’s gospel. The gospel’s content is the promised coming of Christ, and Paul’s mission is to bring about the obedience of faith among all nations, including his Roman audience.

1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, 6including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
  7To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:
  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25

Matthew’s story of Jesus’ birth focuses on the role of Joseph, who adopts the divinely-begotten child into the family of David and obediently gives him the name Jesus, which means “God saves.”

18Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
 23“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
  and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.”24When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

 

Earlier Event: December 11
The Third Sunday of Advent
Later Event: December 24
Christmas Eve Worship