- Handbell Prelude – Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. Arr. Larry Sue
- Welcome and Invitation to Worship – Carole Spencer
- Congregational Songs (inserts) Worship Songs
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- Once in Royal David’s City
- What Child Is This
- Heir of All the Waiting Ages
- The Star Filled the Sky with Light (Quiandra’s Song)
- Scripture: Esther 4:8-17 – Bob Smith
8He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people. 9Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11“All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” 12When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” 15Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” 17So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.
- Message: The Sacrifice of Speaking Up – Eric Muhr
Eric Muhr lives in the town where he was born and works as a writing coach, a part-time publisher and editor. He’s interested in experimental community, progressive theology, wild places, quiet spaces and small-time adventure. Back in junior high, he was nicknamed The Brain.
7. Open Worship
- In the silence, open yourself to God and let God guide your thoughts.
As you listen the Spirit may direct you to share what you have received.
For helpful guidelines, see the brochure in the pew rack.
(If you feel God leading you to share,
wait for the microphone to come to you.)
8. Offering: What Child Is This? English Melody, Arr. Brendlinger
- Reflection: Who is this Child?
The One who lights a path for us,
a prophetic star, piercing our darkness.
One who heals what is frightened in us
and helps us to see the things we really need to see.
– Taken from a poem by Macrina Wiederkehr, On Being a Star
9. Prayer and Announcements – Dwight Kimberly