December 4, 2022



Passing of the Peace: Though we are separated by distance our hearts are one in Christ. The peace of Christ be with you!  And also with you!


Welcome New Members (Matthews)


Lighting of the Advent Candle



Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

Praise him all creatures here below,

Praise him above, ye heavenly host;

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.



Call to Worship:   John 6:27-35

Leader:  Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

Congregation:  Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”

Leader:   Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

Congregation:  So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Leader:  Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Congregation:  They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

ALL:  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.





Songs of Praise:

Once in Royal David’s City (Cecil Francis Alexander, 1848; tune Henry Gauntlett, 1849) (#225)

Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed,

Where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed:

Mary was that mother mild,

Jesus Christ her little child.


He came down to earth from heaven who is God and Lord of all,

And his shelter was a stable, and his cradle was a stall:

With the poor, and mean, and lowly

Lived on earth our Savior holy.


And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love;

For that child so dear and gentle is our Lord In heav’n above,

And he leads his children on

To the place where he is gone.


Gentle Mary Laid Her Child (Joseph Cook, 1919; tune Piae Cantiones, 1582) (#229)

Gentle Mary laid her child lowly in a manger;

There he lay, the Undefiled, to the world a stranger.

Such a babe in such a place, can he be the Savior?

Ask the saved of all the race who have found his favor.


Angels sang about his birth, wise men sought and found him;

Heaven’s star shone brightly forth, glory all around him.

Shepherds saw the wondrous sight, heard the angels singing;

All the plains were lit that night, all the hills were ringing.


Gentle Mary laid her child lowly in a manger;

He is still the Undefiled, but no more a stranger.

Son of God of humble birth, beautiful the story;

Praise his name in all the earth, hail the King of glory!


I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Henry Longfellow; tune, Jean Calkin)

I heard the bells on Christmas day

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet the words repeat

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.


I thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along th’unbroken song

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.


And in despair I bowed my head:

“There is no peace on earth,” I said,

“For hate is strong, and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.”


Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With peace on earth, goodwill to men.”


Then ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day—

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!

Respond in Praise:   Providence Choir

All Praise to Thee, Eternal Lord (Providence Choir)

(Martin Luther, 1524; music and arrangement by Renee Allsbrook)

All praise to thee, Eternal Lord,

Clothed in a garb of flesh and blood;

Choosing a manger for thy throne,

While worlds on worlds are thine alone.


Once did the skies before thee bow;

A virgin’s arms contain thee now:

Angels who did in thee rejoice

Now listen for thine infant voice.


A little child, thou art our guest,

That weary ones in thee may rest;

Forlorn and lowly is thy birth,

That we may rise to heaven from earth.


Thou comest in the darksome night

To make us children of the light,

To make us, in the realms divine,

Like thine own angels, round thee shine.


Glory to God, glory to God,  glory to God in the highest!


All this for us thy love hath done;

By this to thee our love is won:

For this we’ll sing for endless days,

Shouting our thanks in ceaseless praise.

Glory to God, glory to God,  glory to God in the highest!


Apostles Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;

and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, dead and buried;

He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand

of God the Father Almighty.

From there he will come to judge the living and dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.   Amen



Scripture Reading:   Matthew 2:1-12


The Visit of the Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men[a] from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose[b] and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.  And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”   After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.    When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.   And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.   And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

This is the Word of the Lord.   Thanks be to God!

Sermon:   Jesus the Bread of Life”                                                                                                           


Communion Hymn


What Child is This (Traditional English carol) (#213)

What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping.

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing:

Haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.


Why lies he in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christian, fear, for sinners here the silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear, shall pierce him through; the cross be borne for me, for you:

Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the son of Mary.


So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh: come, peasant, king, to own him;

The King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone him.

Raise, raise the song on high, the virgin sings her lullaby:

Joy, joy for Christ is born, the babe, the son of Mary.


What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping.

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing:

Haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.


Confession/Assurance    Select verses from 1 Corinthians 15


For this is what the Lord himself has said about his Table, and I Paul, have passed it on to you before: That on the night when Judas betrayed him, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks to God for it, he broke it and gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and you that has been established and set in motion by my blood. Do this in remembrance of me whenever you drink it.”   For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are retelling the message of the Lord’s death, that he has died for you. Do this until he comes again.


So if any eat this bread and drink from this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, they are guilty of sin against the body and the blood of the Lord.   That is why each one should examine their heart carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the cup.    For if they eat the bread and drink from the cup unworthily, not thinking about the body of Christ and what it means, they are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon themself; trifling, as it were, with the death of Christ.    That is why many of you are weak and sick, and some have even died.


But if you carefully examine yourselves before eating you will not need to be judged and punished.   Yet, when we are judged and punished by the Lord, it is so that we will not be condemned with the rest of the world.    So, dear ones, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper—the communion service—wait upon each other.





Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil:

for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory.  Amen


Hymn of Thanksgiving

O Little Town of Bethlehem (Phillips Brooks, 1868; tune Lewis Redner, 1868) (#201)

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by:

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.


For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,

While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars, together, proclaim the holy birth!

And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth.


How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven.

No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.


O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;

Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;

O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.,





Welcome to Providence Church! We are glad that you are here, joining us in person or via Zoom!.

Sunday School:   Adult and Youth Sunday School is at 11:15. Paula Rhodarmer will be teaching.   Will/Christina are leading a study in Exodus.  Children’s Sunday School – K-3 downstairs and 4-6 upstairs at the end of the hall.

Children of all ages are invited to participate in the entire service of worship.  Childcare for children up to 6 years of age, in our downstairs Christian Ed wing (on the left) at the end of the hallway.

Potluck Sunday, TODAY!

Potluck today after the worship service we’ll gather in Fellowship Hall for a soup-themed potluck. There will be no Sunday School today. See you all there!

Giving: thank you all for your faithful giving so far this year. We have financial needs in order to end the year in the black. As you consider giving in this season please include Providence in your prayers and giving.



Women’s Prayer Group – 10:15am Tuesday mornings, contact Linda Roberts,  828) 506-3101

Men’s Prayer Group – 6:45am Thursday mornings, contact Sam Mitchell,        (828) 734-1392



Salvation Army Bell Ringing:  It’s that time of year! We have the privilege of ringing the bell for Salvation Army donations.  Providence has the date of December 6th, from 10:00am to 8:00pm.  Location will be Wal-Mart, pharmacy/grocery entrance. Each slot is for one hour, preference is 2 volunteers each hour.  The sign up sheet is available today.  If we have a large turn-out, time slots can be shortened to 30 minutes. Let’s show up with Providence pride!

Prayer Requests:   Healing: LuAnn Davis surgery recovery, Tim and Becky Brittain illness recovery    For Mercy and Grace:  Bill Silverthorne, Glenda White, Robbie Hargrove, Mike and Rhonda Lear, Chuck & Carole Torpy