Nov 30, 2020
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This may be the last Sunday in November, but it is also the first Sunday of the church year: the beginning of the season of Advent. Advent is usually observed as a season of confession, preparation, and anticipation, looking forward to the birth of Christ on Christmas Day. You’ll notice several added elements in the service this morning: lighting of candles during the Call to Worship, purple accents on the bulletin and the pulpit, and a time of silent prayer followed by a sung response where we cry out “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.” Each week, during communion, we will sing one unfamiliar Advent hymn or carol (this week, it’s the traditional Basque carol, The Angel Gabriel), to broaden our knowledge of the rich and varied music of the season. We have also included an insert in the bulletin with a series of daily scripture readings for Advent, which you can use at home with your families. As we enter this new season, I hope these added elements help us to prepare our hearts for the coming of our Savior—the Savior who comes as a Good Shepherd, revealed first to “certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay.” —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Shepherd, Want, Leads, Fear,
Comfort, Anoint, Dwell
Keystone Verse: I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)