PAGE 2

And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all, Seen in a stained-glass window's hue, A Baby in an ox's stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea Become a Child on earth for me ?
And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things, Bath salts and inexpensive scent And hideous tie so kindly meant,
No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare — That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

-John Betjeman, from the poem “Christmas”
 


PAGE 3

 


GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 20, 2015
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Main Line

 

OPENING SENTENCES
Leader: Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. 

 

COME THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS

Come Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the saints Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Come to earth to taste our sadness,
He whose glories knew no end;
By His life he brings us gladness,
Our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
Born within a cattle stall;
This the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King.
Born to reing in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you. 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. 
People: Those who lived in a land of deep darkness-on them have shined. 
Leader: A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 
People: And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. 

-From Isaiah 9:2; 11:1-3, NRSV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

 

GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMAN/ WE THREE KINGS

God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born upon this Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God our heavenly Father this blessèd angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

CHORUS
Oh star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.


Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

CHORUS

Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Halleluia, Alleluia,
Worship him God most high.

CHORUS

 


 


PAGE 6

 

THE FIRST NOEL

The first Noel the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winters night that was so deep

CHORUS
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel.


They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.

CHORUS

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind hath bought.

CHORUS




 


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. 

-Proverbs 28: 13, NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
People: Father, we come to you this morning as people who need to be redeemed. We need to be made whole. We confess that we need You to heal us for we cannot heal ourselves. We confess our faithless hearts. We have looked for redemption everywhere but in your arms. We haven't looked there because we doubt your love for us. Forgive us we pray. Now, Father, accept our confession and receive us gladly. We ask this upon our deserving it, or even the honesty of our confession, but for the sake of Jesus. 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Through Jesus Christ forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches office grace. 
-from Acts 13: 38, Ephesians 1:7, NRSV


SONG OF RESPONSE-GLORIA PATRI

Glory be to the Father
Glory be to the Son
Glory be to the Spirit Three in One
As it was in the beginning
It will be forever
Amen, Amen, Amen

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING
John 1:1-5, 10-18, NRSV
 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being. In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Minister: This is the word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God! 

SILENT REFLECTION
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION & SERMON
Sermon Series: Responding to Christmas
Sermon Title: We Have Seen His Glory
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9

APOSTLES CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

eople: 
We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living
and the dead.
We 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.
 


 

PAGE 10

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.
 

Minister: With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us —even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the glory of your name, saying:  

Holy, Holy, Holy, God of power and might. 
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, Holy, Holy, God of power and might. 
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister: You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Born in humility, he came to rule over all. Helpless as an infant, he showed the power of your love. Poor in things of the world, he brought the wealth of your grace. Rejected by many, he welcomed all who sought him. In his dying and rising, you gave birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ, we take from your creation this bread and wine and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we offer our very selves to you to be a living and holy sacrifice, dedicated to your service. 


PAGE 11

Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith. 

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim!
Your rising celebrate!
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new.
(REPEAT)

Minister: Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope and love.Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your kingdom. 

Praise to the Father,
Praise to the Son,
Praise to the Spirit,
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION
Minister: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
People: Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION
Minister: The gifts of God for the people of God. 


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION
If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.
 

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen.


PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.


PAGE 13
 

LOVE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS
 

Love came down at Christmas
Love incarnate, love divine
Love was born at Christmas
Star and angels gave the sign

CHORUS
Emmanuel
Our God with us
Emmanuel
Our hope, our trust

Worship we the Godhead
Love Incarnate, Love Divine
Worship we our Jesus
But wherewith for sacred sign

CHORUS

 


COMMUNION PRAYER

People: Father, may we who share Christ's body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world. Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so that we and all your children shall live in perfect freedom, and the whole earth live to praise your name; through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:

People: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen. 


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD'S WORLD

OFFERING


O HOLY NIGHT
O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need - to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!


 

 


PAGE 16

Minister: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
People: Amen. 

DISMISSAL

Minister: Let us go forth in the name of Christ!
People: Thanks be to God!








Comment