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REFLECTIONS

Lo, in the silent night
A child to God is born
And all is brought again
That ere was lost or lorn. 

Could but thy soul, O man,
Become a silent night!
God would be born in thee
And set all things aright. 

-15th century poem
 


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 27th, 2015
First Sunday of Christmas

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

 

HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING

Hark the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King.
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled. 
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With h'angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem. "
Hark the herald angels sing, 
Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
Hail, th'incarnate Deity;
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel. 
Hark, the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace,
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light of life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings. 
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give us second birth. 
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"glory to the newborn King!"


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GREETING AND PREPARATION
Leader: The Lord be with you. 
People: And also with you. 

CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 
People: The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you. 
Leader: We praise you, Lord, who crowns us with love and compassion, who satisfies our desires with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagles!
People: From everlasting to everlasting your love is with those who fear you, O Lord, and your righteousness to their children's children, with those who keep your covenant and remember to obey your commandments. 

-from Psalm 102-103, NRSV


 


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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

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

CHORUS

 


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WE THREE KINGS

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

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


CHORUS

Born a king of Bethlehem plain
Gold I bring a crown him again
King forever ceasing never
Over us all to reign

CHORUS

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a deity night
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God on High

CHORUS

Myrrh is mine; it's bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,
Sealed in a stone cold tomb

CHORUS

Glorious now behold him arise,
King and God, and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia;
Earth to Heaven replies

 



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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

-Isaiah 30:15, 18, NIV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION 

People: God of love,

Our Father in heaven, we come to you now, as our King. And we can only come to you because you welcome the needy and the afflicted. And that is who we are.

Father, our central need is for your reign. Yet, we run from it. We are afraid of being weak, because we don’t trust you to carry us. We try to look out for our own well-being, because we don’t think you’re capable of doing that. Many are the times in this past week where we have wrestled control of our lives away from you. In those times, we have turned our hearts away from your heart and our feet away from your commandments.
So, receive us now as your children. Receive us, not because we’re good or because we vow to do better; but receive us because you rejected your Son in our place. We pray in His name. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus

-Acts 3: 18-20, NRSV

SONG OF RESPONSE-GLORIA PATRI

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

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


 
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THE WORD OF GOD


SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 2: 22-38, NRSV

 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’
 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
 ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;
 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.’
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

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: My Eyes Have Seen Salvation
Speaker: Jared Ayers
 


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APOSTLES CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe. 

People: 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
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.
 


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THE LORD'S TABLE

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: Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious 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: Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his ressurection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices.  
 


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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: Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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. 


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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.

 


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O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
 

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

CHORUS
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;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:
"Glory to God,
all glory in the highest!"


CHORUS

Yea, Lord we greet Thee,
Born that happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv'n.
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:

CHORUS



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COMMUNION PRAYER

People: O God, as you once claimed us in the Spirit's waters and number us among your own beloved, give us power to do your work, to show your love, and to live holy and joyful lives. Keep us faithful in your service until Christ comes in final victory and we shall feast with all your saints in the joy of your eternal realm. Through Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, now and forever. 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, 
n 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.


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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!

 

 


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BENEDICTION

Minister: Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way; the Lord be with you all: And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you now and always. 

People: Amen. 

DISMISSAL

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

 

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