The church lives in Advent. That is to say, the church lives between two advents. Jesus Christ has come; Jesus Christ will come. We do not know the day or the hour. If you find this tension almost unbearable at times, then you understand the Christian life.
– Fleming Rutledge
To practice Advent is to lean into an almost cosmic ache: our deep, wordless desire for things to be made right and the incompleteness we find in the meantime. We dwell in a world still racked with conflict, violence, suffering, darkness. Advent holds space for our grief, and it reminds us that all of us, in one way or another, are not only wounded by the evil in the world but are also wielders of it, contributing our own moments of unkindness or impatience or selfishness.
– Tish Harrison Warren
The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.
God invites and calls us into His presence to worship Him. He enters into our busy lives to speak to us.
—Psalm 98:1-3 ESV
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of God’s unchanging love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Words: Robert Robinson; Tune: Folk Song
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 and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
The Lord Cleanses Us
God cleanses and restores us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We fight the temptation to hide our sin and instead acknowledge it openly to God, but we do so in light of the grace that is ours in Jesus.
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appears.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.
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.
O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
The Lord Converses with Us
God speaks to us by His Word, and we respond with prayer, gratitude, and offerings.
The Old Testament Lesson
God speaks to us by His Word.
1:1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. 2 He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD. 4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7 So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8 And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
12 As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD.”
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
To give online click: here.
The Prayers of the People
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which Your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
1:5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
“Longing for Joy“
Pastor Brian Davis
The Lord Communes With Us
God invites us to feast with Him at His Table.
Pastor: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Pastor: Lift up your hearts!
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Pastor: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Pastor: Let us proclaim the mystery of the faith:
People: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. Hallelujah!
Pastor: Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us. Hallelujah!
People: Therefore, let us keep the feast.
Pastor: The gifts of God for the people of God.
How long? Will You turn Your face away?
How long? Do You hear us when we pray?
On and on, still we walk this pilgrim way – How long?
How long ’til Your children find their rest?
How long ’til You draw them to Your breast?
We go on holding to Your promises – How long?
’Til You wipe away the tears from ev’ry eye
‘Til we see our home descending from the sky
Do we wait in vain? Jesus, give us hope again!
How long ’til Your word will still the storm?
How long ’til You bare Your mighty arm?
How we groan ’til You snatch us from the thorns – How long?
How long? Sweet the dawn that ends the race.
How long? Weak our hearts but strong our legs.
Looking on – great that cloud of witnesses! How long?
Words: Samuel John Stone; Music: Brian Moss
Our mouths they were filled,
filled with laughter;
Our tongues they were loosed,
loosed with joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!
Although we are weeping,
Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
for the day You will reap them!
Your sheaves we will carry;
Lord, please do not tarry!
All those who sow weeping
will go out with songs of joy!
The nations will say,
“He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!
Words & Music: Bifrost Arts
The Lord Commissions Us
God blesses us and sends us out to be a part of His mission to Fort Worth & the world.
But for you who fear my Name,
The son of righteousness will rise,
With healing in his wings
And you shall go forth again,
And skip about like calves coming from their stalls at last
You shall be my very own
On the day that I cause you to be My special home
I shall spare you as a man
Who has compassion on his son,
who does the best he can.
Words: Lenny Smith; Music: Lenny Smith; arr. by The Welcome Wagon
Pastor: Let us go forth to serve Fort Worth and the world as those who love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
People: Thanks be to God!
* CCLI #5043663 – all songs used by permission
Men’s Book Discussion
Our next discussion on “Raising Worry-Free Girls” by Sissy Goff will be Tuesday, December 6 at John Allison’s home (3952 Bishops Flower Rd 76109) at 730pm. Please bring some beverages to share. Join us if you’re a dad, grandpa, or single guy!
Local Missions Angel Tree – Due December 10
Trinity is delighted to again serve our local ministry partners this Christmas with gifts for their clients, residents, teachers, and students. If you picked up an ornament or two on Trinity’s Local Missions Angel Tree in the church foyer, please bring your gift items to the church by Sunday, December 10. Questions? Contact Sherry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Budget Update through October
Our fiscal year runs June – May. Here’s where we are through Oct:
Total Income* Actual Expenses Net Income
$386,891.33 $487,229.96 ($100,338.63)
As a reminder, your faithful giving sustains not only our church but also supports other churches and ministries such as RUF. If you’d like a YTD statement, please contact Courtney (email@example.com). *Income does not include capital fund giving.
Christmas Cards for the Krumms
Let’s bless the Krumms with our family Christmas cards! You can get special postage at USPS and mail to: Soddo Christian Hospital, Attn Jason & Ellisa Krumm, PO Box 305, Soddo Walaitta Ethiopia or drop yours off in the foyer and we will mail it for you!
Trinity Christmas Party
We are excited to celebrate together again this year! Invite a friend and join us at Mary Bates’ home (3760 Country Club Cir) on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7pm. Sorry, kids, this one is college-age and up! Want to help? It’s a great way to get to know other Trinity folks! You can sign up in the Church Center app under “events”!
Tea and Open House
Girls of all ages! Please join us for a Christmas tea at Mary Bates’ Magical Christmas House (3760 Country Club Cir) on December 17 from 130-330pm. Friends and family are welcome to come and get a taste of Trinity fellowship!
Save February 16-17 for our annual winter conference. We will hear from Tim Lane on marriage. Details to come.
Young Adult Dinners
Trinity Young Adults is a group for post-undergrad, in grad school, career, single, or young marrieds. Come join us after church on the 1st and 3rd Sundays after worship. Today we will eat at Central Market. Details about dinners and other events are in the Church Center app or contact Rachel (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jeff (email@example.com).
Advent & Christmas at Trinity
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