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Dec 6, 2021

In this morning’s sermon text from the Gospel of Matthew, an angel appears to Joseph to announce that the miraculous child in Mary’s womb “will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Many of the elements in the service today likewise focus on Christ’s coming as a Savior. Our Call to Worship is taken from Zechariah’s prophecy in Luke 1 (known historically as the “Benedictus”), in which he looks forward to God visiting and redeeming Israel, delivering them from the hands of their enemies. We read responsively from Psalm 80, asking the Lord to look down and see our great need, repeating the refrain of “let Your face shine that we may be saved!” The Christmas hymns Come All You Worthy Gentlemen, Infant Holy, Infant Lowly, and Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence remind us that Christ is our “blessed Savior,” that He was “Lord of all” and “born for You,” and that at His coming “the powers of Hell may vanish.” The service is framed by the three verses of the Medieval Carol Good Christian Men, Rejoice, which deftly walk us through the essentials of the Gospel. Jesus was really born in a manger. He blessed mankind by opening heaven’s door to us. Now we need not fear the grave—because “Christ was born to save!” —Henry C. Haffner

Key Words: Birth, Name, Jesus, Save, Holy Spirit, Joseph, Just, Son of David, Sins Keystone Verse: She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)


Matthew 1:18-21 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”