CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
In the tempting wilderness of the world, we become lost in sin, self-centeredness, and despair.
Come to us and forgive us, Lord.
In the noisy wilderness of the world, we fail to hear your call to be and act as your people.
Come to us and refine us, Lord.
In the confusing wilderness of the world, we lose our way and wander away from you.
Come to us and guide us, Lord.
In the empty wilderness of the world, we reach for things which do not satisfy.
Come to us and fill us, Lord.
The tender mercy of our God sends the rising sun to us from heaven, to shine on us
who live in darkness and in the shadow of death. In God's grace, through Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. May the Spirit strengthen you and guide your feet into the path of peace.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray. Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that binds us, that we may receive you in joy and serve you always, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
FIRST READING: Micah 5:2–5a
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth;
and he shall be the one of peace.
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
THE GOSPEL READING: Luke 1:39–55
The holy gospel according to Saint Luke. Glory to you, O Lord.
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.
And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?
For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment
of what was spoken to her by the Lord."
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."
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON Magnificat Pastor Phil Wold