In the bleak mid-winter
All creation groans
For a world in darkness
Frozen like a stone
Light is breaking
In a stable for a throne

(And) He shall reign forevermore forevermore
And He shall reign forevermore forevermore
Unto us a Child is born
The King of kings and Lord of lords
And He shall reign forevermore forevermore

If I were a wise man
I would travel far
If I were a shepherd
I would do my part
But poor as I am
I will give to Him my heart

Here within a manger lies the One
Who made the starry skies
This baby born for sacrifice
Christ the Messiah
Into our hopes into our fears
The Savior of the world appears
The promise of eternal years
Christ the Messiah

CCLI Song # 7050416 CCLI License # 349090
Chris Tomlin | Matt Maher © 2015 S. D. G. Publishing


CALL TO WORSHIP                                   from Psalm 96
L: Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity.

P: Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, 
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.

L: Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; 
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

P: Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for He comes, He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, 
O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, 
O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above; 
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning, 
O Jesus, to thee be all glory giv’n; 
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing; 
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.

Covenant Hymnal, #147

Psalm 32:1-2

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

(verses 1 & 4)
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to all
From heav’n’s most gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

For lo, the days are hast’ning on,
By prophets long foretold,
When with the ever circling years
Comes round the age of gold:
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

*John 1:19-34

19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said,

“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’”

as the prophet Isaiah said.

24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands One whom you do not know, 27 the One who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of His sandal.” 28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who ranks ahead of me because He was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know Him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that He might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him. 33 I myself did not know Him, but the One who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Leader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God

(verse 1 only)

Beautiful Savior! King of creation!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I’ll love thee, truly I’ll serve thee,
Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.

Covenant Hymnal, #317

Who (or what) were you expecting?
Pastor Phil

When love came down to earth
And made His home with men
The hopeless found a hope
The sinner found a friend
Not to the powerful
But to the poor He came
And humble hungry hearts
Were satisfied again

What joy what peace has come to us
What hope what help what love

When sent to die upon
The cross Jesus did give
His life for sinners lost
So we might fully live
He died and lives again
And with our flesh he raised
Forever now with God
For us he always prays.*

Come lay your heavy load
Down at the Master’s feet
Your shame will be removed
Your joy will be complete
Come crucify your pride
And enter as a child
For those who bow down low
He’ll lift up to His side

CCLI Song # 3359138 CCLI License # 349090 
Stuart Townend © 2001 Thankyou Music

*with substituted words in the second verse 

We continue to pray for: the family of Kari Hutson, Ernesto Galaviz, Kristine Brandel’s friend Terrie, Nikolas Arden, the family of Katie Collier, Chuck & Shirley Nicholas, Art & Rosa Hamilton, Esther Stoel, the Koeller family, Joyce Andrews, Brianna Randall, Mary Smith, Steve Hoden, Devencie Ervin and his family, Delores Staurseth, Tom Kelly, Brian Alnes, Tom Spriggs, Jane Auger, Mary McKirchy, Jolie Fisher, and Brian Finnegan.

Ministries & Mission
Phillip & Stephanie Voland, serving in Germany; Renee Nicholas, serving local graduate students and faculty with InterVarsity

giving opportunities:
Zelle® to:


Praise God from whom all blessings flow 
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. 

Joy to the World! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns;
Let all their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse if found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders of His love. 

Covenant Hymnal, #146

L: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
P: Thanks be to God

Von Himmel
led by Cynthia

with Beautiful Savior by Max
music by maxeltoft
We’ll be back here next Sunday.
We hope you can join us. 
Information on

Children’s Sunday School
Children’s Sunday School and Confirmation classes will not meet again until Sunday, January 9.

Christmas season thank-yous
We would like to thank the many people who have helped organize, prepare, present, and participate in the many facets of our church’s Christmas season activities, including Sankta Lucia, the Axiom Brass concert, the Parenting ProGRESS giving tree and holiday party, Christmas Carol Jeopardy, the “Simple Christmas” children’s Christmas program, and Cupcake Sunday, as well as those who have decorated the church for the season.

New Covenant Home Altar available
The new edition of the Covenant Home Altar is available for free in the narthex and in the lobby. The Covenant Home Altar is the devotional periodical of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Join Us in Sponsoring a Student in the NPTS SRA Program
North Park’s School of Restorative Arts offers a MA in Christian Ministry and Restorative Arts, allowing free and incarcerated students to study together. This unique degree program is designed to prepare individuals for ministries of restoration in contexts susceptible to violence and includes courses in trauma, race relations, nonviolent communication, conflict transformation, restorative practices, and transformative justice, in addition to Bible, theology, and history.  In partnership with the Illinois Department of Corrections, this four-year degree is currently offered at Stateville Correctional Center with 80 incarcerated men and a first cohort of 20 women at Logan Correctional Center.

We, Ravenswood Covenant Church, have partnered with North Park Theological Seminary by committing to sponsor a student in this program. To help us support an SRA student please send a check to church or give online and in the memo line write: “SRA Sponsorship.”

Covid restrictions for in-person worship
Chicago is now requiring the use of masks for indoor public gatherings, so Ravenswood Covenant has reinstated safety protocols for Sunday morning worship. This means that within the building masks are required at all times, regardless of vaccination status; seating is socially distant; and handshakes and hugs are avoided.

We are still observing precautions regarding children, specifically with regard to the cry room. As was the case before, if you and your family would like to worship in the cry room, please reserve it in advance by contacting Gregory Sager at or 773-784-7091. One family may choose to use the cry room upon arrival if it hasn’t already been reserved. Children of all ages are always welcome to be in the sanctuary with their parents for the worship service!

Free masks available
The church is offering free masks to anyone in the congregation who is in need of one. If you would like, you may make a donation to our benevolence fund when you come to the church building to pick yours up. Please contact the church office at or 773-784-7091 for more information.

Thursday evening adult Bible study
Our adult Bible study will be on hiatus for the holidays until January 6. The adult Bible study meets on Thursday evenings at 7 pm.

We are now welcoming anybody to the lounge on Thursday evenings who wants to take part in the Bible study. Please wear a mask. If you would prefer to participate remotely, or if you are out of town, the Bible study will continue to provide Zoom access as well for online participants.

Join Zoom Meeting

The Zoom meeting ID for the Bible study:  972 871 4458
The Zoom passcode for the Bible study: 1qa3CD

Scripture for next Sunday
Psalm 66:1-5
John 1:35-51

Art Used in this Bulletin: Steve Erspamer, SM Clip Art for Year A © 1992, Archdiocese of Chicago.

Our church exists to love and worship God, and love and care for others. By God’s grace, we commit to help people find and follow Jesus Christ through the guidance of His Spirit and His word.

"With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." (Mark 4:30-32 NRS)