Christmas Day Worship Service

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December 25, 2020

The Opening Words from the Prophet Isaiah

P: A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 
C: The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him –

P: The Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, 
C: The Spirit of counsel and of power, 

P: The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD –
C: And he will delight in the fear of the LORD. 

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!

P: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, 
C: And will call him Immanuel. 

Why lies he in such mean estate 
Where oxen now are feeding? 
Good Christians, fear; 
For sinners here 
The silent Word is pleading. 
Nails, spear shall pierce him through; 
The cross he’ll bear for me, for you. 
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, 
The babe, the Son of Mary!

P: In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; 
C: The nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. 

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!

The Blessing and Call to Worship

P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.
C: And also with you.

P: In the Name of the Father who sent his Son to save us
C: Let the heights of heav’n adore him, angel hosts his praises sing.

P: In the Name of the Son, who took on human flesh and blood
C: Let powers, dominions bow before him and extol our God and King.

P: In the Name of the Holy Spirit who brought forth life in the womb of a virgin
C: Let no tongue on earth be silent. Ev’ry voice in concert ring.

P: Let us worship and praise our Triune God. 

Of the Father’s love begotten 
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, 
He the source, the ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see 
Evermore and evermore.

Oh, that birth forever blessed 
When the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, 
Bore the Savior of our race,
And the babe, the world’s Redeemer, 
First revealed his sacred face
Evermore and evermore.

This is he whom heav’n-taught singers 
Sang of old with one accord;
Whom the Scriptures of the prophets 
Promised in their faithful word.
Now he shines, the long-expected; 
Let creation praise its Lord
Evermore and evermore.

Christ, to you, with God the Father, 
And the Spirit ceaselessly
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving 
And unending praises be,
Honor, glory, and dominion 
And eternal victory
Evermore and evermore.

Confession of Sins

P: Almighty Triune God, you have called us to glorify your name through our love for you and for one another.  We confess that because of our selfish love for self we have erred and strayed from your will. 
C: We have too eagerly followed the desires of our own sinful hearts.

P: We have offended you by disobeying your will and word.
C: We have not done what we ought. We have done what we ought not. 

P: For all this we deserve to be eternally separated from your love and goodness and punished forever.
C:  Lord, have mercy on us. 

P:  But in the Christ-Child we hope, we trust, we flee for mercy.
C: We trust and believe that the Christ-Child’s name is Jesus because he will save the people from their sins.

P: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” On the basis of the angel’s words to the shepherds, I proclaim God’s love for you through this infant Savior. And in his place and on his authority, I forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
C: We believe in Jesus who was born to save us from our sins.

P: In the peace of forgiveness let us praise the newborn King.

Family Choir – Joyful, Joyful to the World

Prayer 

P: Let us pray.
  Almighty God, grant that the birth of your only Son in the flesh may set us free from our old bondage under the yoke of sin; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  
C: Amen.

A Christmas Filled with Joy

As We Sing – Psalm 145:3-7

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; 
  his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another; 
  they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, 
  and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works, 
  and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness 
  and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Now Sing We, Now Rejoice

Now sing we, now rejoice, 
Now raise to heav’n our voice;
He from whom joy streameth 
Poor in a manger lies;
Not so brightly beameth 
The sun in yonder skies.
Thou my Savior art! 
  Thou my Savior art!

Come from on high to me; 
I cannot rise to thee.
Cheer my wearied spirit, 
O pure and holy Child;
Through thy grace and merit, 
Blest Jesus, Lord most mild,
Draw me unto thee! 
  Draw me unto thee!

Now through his Son doth shine 
The Father’s grace divine.
Death o’er us had reigned 
Through sin and vanity;
He for us obtained 
Eternal joy on high.
May we praise him there! 
  May we praise him there!

Oh, where shall joy be found? 
Where but on heav’nly ground?
Where the angels singing 
With all his saints unite,
Sweetest praises bringing 
In heav’nly joy and light.
Oh, that we were there! 
  Oh, that we were there!

In Our God – Habakkuk 3:17-18

Though the fig tree does not bud 
  and there are no grapes on the vines, 
though the olive crop fails 
  and the fields produce no food, 
though there are no sheep in the pen 
  and no cattle in the stalls, 
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 
  I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Peace Came to Earth

Peace came to earth at last that chosen night 
When angels clove the sky with song and light 
And God embodied love and sheathed his might – 
Who could but gasp: Immanuel! 
Who could but sing: Immanuel!

And who could be the same for having held 
The infant in their arms and later felt 
The wounded hands and side, all doubts dispelled – 
Who could but sigh: Immanuel! 
Who could but shout: Immanuel!

You show the Father none has ever seen, 
In flesh and blood you bore our griefs and pain, 
In bread and wine you visit us again – 
Who could but see: Immanuel! 
Who could but thrill: Immanuel!

How else could I have known you, O my God! 
How else could I have loved you, O my God! 
How else could I embrace you, O my God! 
Who could but pray: Immanuel! 
Who could but praise: Immanuel!

Is Complete – 1 John 1:2-4

The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. 

Where Shepherds Lately Knelt

Where shepherds lately knelt and kept the angel’s word,
I come in half-belief, a pilgrim strangely stirred;
But there is room and welcome there for me,
  But there is room and welcome there for me.

In that unlikely place I find him as they said:
Sweet newborn Babe, how frail! and in a manger bed,
A still, small voice to cry one day for me,
  A still, small voice to cry one day for me.

How should I not have known Isaiah would be there,
His prophecies fulfilled? With pounding heart I stare:
A child, a son, the Prince of Peace for me,
  A child, a son, the Prince of Peace for me.

Can I, will I forget how Love was born, and burned
Its way into my heart unasked, unforced, unearned,
To die, to live, and not alone for me,
  To die, to live, and not alone for me?

Confession of Faith

Explanation to the 2nd Article of the Apostles’ Creed

  I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord. 
  He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death. 
  All this he did that I should be his own, and live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness, just as he has risen from death and lives and rules eternally. 

Presentation of the Offering

Prayer of the Church for Christmas Day

P: Father, we praise you for proclaiming to us the message of Christ, your Son, born to redeem us.  We join the heavenly host of angels in lifting up our voices and shouting for joy at the good tidings of peace which you have brought us. We sing your praises for comforting us with the message of salvation.
C: Glory to God in the highest and peace on whom your favor rests.

P: Gracious Lord God, we thank you for fulfilling the message you spoke through the prophets to send your Son to be born of a virgin. We praise you for speaking to us through your Son who is the very radiance of your glory and the exact representation of your being. We rejoice that your Son provided purification for all sins and still sustains all things by his powerful word.
C: Glory to God in the highest and peace on whom your favor rests. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Sung to the melody of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Our Father, Lord, on heav’ns high throne, 
Most holy be your name. 
Your kingdom come; your will be done
On earth, in heav’n the same.
Give us this day the food we need,
Forgiven may we be;
Into temptation do not lead;
From evil set us free.

Yours is the kingdom, unto you
In grateful love we bow,
And yours the pow’r, Lord, let us view
Your mighty presence now.
The glory yours; your praise be sung
By angel hosts and men
In ev’ry land, by ev’ry tongue
Forevermore! Amen.  

The Christmas Benediction

P: May he who by his incarnation gathered into one, things earthly and heavenly, fill us with such joy that comes with the knowledge of the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life. And the blessing of God Almighty: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.
C: Amen.

Closing Hymn

Sung to the melody of God Rest You Merry Gentlemen

Oh, thank the Lord and sing his praise, 
What he has done proclaim!
Let all who seek the Lord rejoice
And proudly bear his name!
Who leads his thankful people forth 
His promises to claim. 
O tidings of comfort and joy,
  Comfort and joy, 
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Lord, let your servant go in peace,
Your Word has been fulfilled. 
My eyes have seen the saving work
Which for the world your willed.  
The glory of your chosen race
As light for all revealed,
O tidings of comfort and joy,
  Comfort and joy, 
O tidings of comfort and joy.