December 20

Service of Word
Fourth Sunday in Advent


CCLI license #1913561

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Questions for Reflection:
Mary’s song proclaims that God is lifting up the lowly while scattering the proud, and feeding the hungry while sending the rich away empty. Who has encouraged you when you felt lowly? In whom have you seen God at work in someone the world does not honor?

Prelude     Comfort, Comfort You My People”     Ps 42       Johannes Olearius, 1671 words by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette © 2015 *    sung by Keisha Prime

Sung by Keisha Prime

Comfort, comfort you my people,
Tell of peace, thus says our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness
Bowed beneath oppression's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell them that their sins I cover,
And their warfare now is over.

For the herald's voice is crying
In the desert far and near,
Bidding us to make repentance
Since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise in meeting
And the hills bow down in greeting.

Make you straight what long was crooked,
Make the rougher places plain:
Let your hearts be true and humble,
As befits God's holy reign,
For the glory of the Lord
Now o'er earth is shed abroad;
And all flesh shall see the token
That God's word is never broken

Call to Worship

My soul magnifies the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my savior. For the Mighty One has done great things, and holy is God’s name. Let us worship the Lord our God.

Opening Prayer

Mighty God, your faithfulness is made known in the coming of your Son, in the long-awaited birth of the promised Messiah. May we, like Mary, proclaim your greatness as we rejoice in our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Advent Candle Lighting
Watch and wait for Christ’s coming! We light candles of hope, peace, joy and love, remembering the promises of God with prayer.

          We light this candle in hope.

          We light this candle for peace.

            We light this candle in joy

            We light this candle with love


God of hope, God of peace, God of joy, you are love, and those who abide in love abide in you. Teach us how to love one another as reflections of your light in the world.

God of promise, God of joy, into our darkness come.

Music “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”      Edmund Hamilton Sears, 1859  sung by Keisha Prime

Sung by Keisha Prime

It came upon the midnight clear
That glorious song of old
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold

Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven's all-gracious King
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
Over all the weary world

Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing
And ever over its babel-sounds
The blessed angels sing

O ye, beneath life's crushing load
Whose forms are bending low
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow

Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing
For lo,the days are hastening on
By prophets seen of old
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold

When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing

Prayer for Illumination
God of Wonder, send your Holy Spirit upon us as we await the coming of your Son once again. Fill us with good things that we may rejoice in your reign on earth and give glory according to your Word; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Reading from the Gospel of Luke  4: 14—21

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 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. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"
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 born1 will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 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. For nothing will be impossible with God." 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. In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Music              “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”            Charles Wesley, 1747 sung by Keisha Prime

Sung by Keisha Prime

Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling, All Thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation, Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit, Let us find the promised rest;
Take away the love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning, Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver, Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return, and never, Nevermore Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, Serve Thee as Thy hosts above;
Pray, and praise The without ceasing, Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation; Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see Thy great salvation Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love and praise.

Reading from the Gospel of Luke  1: 46—56

And Mary said, "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." And Mary remained with [Elizabeth] about three months and then returned to her home.

Sermon    " Blessed Are You "   The Rev. Russell Lehman

Sermon by The Rev. Russell Lehman

Music             “Mary Did You Know”    Words and Music by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene

Sung by Keisha Prime

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know.

The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am

Sharing of Joys and Concerns

Prayers of the People

Lord’s Prayer (Ecumenical Version)
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as in heaven
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen

A Statement about Offering our Gifts 

Joining in Mary’s joyful song, our souls proclaim the greatness of the Lord and our spirits rejoice in God our Savior. With humble and grateful hearts, let us share what has been given to us to continue the ministries of this church and our mission partners.

Donations can be mailed to Lakeview Presbyterian Church at 1310 22nd Av S, St Petersburg, FL, 33705 or given online through our website @lakeviewpresbyterianchurch.org

Prayer of Dedication

Holy God, your love is magnified in the gift of your Son. Bless these gifts that we offer, to lift up the lowly and fill the hungry as we prepare for your coming reign of justice and peace; in Christ’s name. Amen.


Do not be afraid, for God is with you and will strengthen you in your journey through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever!


Magnify the Lord and rejoice, for nothing is impossible with God. And the blessing of God, who creates, redeems, and restores, be with you now and always.

Postlude       "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”     Latin c 12th century   sung by Keisha Prime

Sung by Keisha Prime

O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight, refrain


O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace. Refrain