Good morning. The bells of Peebles Old Parish Church ring out to welcome you to worship.
This is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. In just a few days now Christmas will be with us. For many of us it will be different from the usual time of celebration. Sadnesses over absent friends.
We pray that as you take part in this service among good friends from our community, and others far distant who we probably will never know - you may be aware of the tremendous significance of what God does at Christmas.
A poor village girl was made aware of God’s overwhelming plan. An angel brought the news. And she said - “let it be with me according to your word.”
When the bells finish we shall sing those exultant words of that young girl - Mary. “Tell out my soul the greatness of the Lord.”
4th Sunday in Advent
Loving God - as we approach the day of Christ's birth help us to throw
wide the doors of our hearts in preparation. Help us to sense the
importance of what happened so long ago when Mary was visited by the
angel Gabriel, to remember the words of the angels and the prophets
and the teachers of old, and to celebrate all the promises that you made
through them. Help us to take firm hold of the meaning of all these
things and to know in the depths of our being that even now you are
seeking to work in us and through us to fulfil the promises you have
O God of Elizabeth and Mary,
you visited your servants with news of the world's redemption
in the coming of the Saviour.
Make our hearts leap with joy,
and fill our mouths with songs of praise,
that we may announce glad tidings of peace,
and welcome the Christ in our midst. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Luke 1: 26-38
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, favoured one! The Lord is
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
favour 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 born
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.
Lord - may this Christmas season be for us and for those around us a season of healing, may it be a season of hope and of love and of joy, may it be a time of true sharing and of rejoicing in all the earth…. Lord hear our prayer…
We pray O God for those in need around us: for those who need a second birth, for those who need a tender touch and a healing word…. Lord, hear our prayer…
We pray too, O God for the children of our world - and all those of tender faith, all those who have no home to call their home, all those who are hungry and thirsty.
Bless we pray the innocent of the earth and all those who trust in you. Bless the humble and the powerless and bring down from their thrones those who full of pride and those who are indifferent… Lord, hear our prayer….
Bless we pray, too, each special one we name before you now….. Lord hear our prayer….
We ask these things O God, with hope and praise in our hearts, our minds, and our souls, through Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Lift our minds in watchful hope to hear the voice which announces his
glory and open our minds to receive the Spirit who prepares us for his
coming. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
And the Blessing of God, Father, Son and Spirit, be with you this day and in
all the days to come. Amen
Don't forget our Festival of Lessons and Carols tonight at 6pm