Christmas Eve Worship Service

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December 24, 2020

Pastor Bodden’s Welcome

P: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

Hymn

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful

Oh, come, all ye faithful, 
Joyful and triumphant,
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him, 
Born the King of angels.
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

God from true God, and 
Light from Light eternal,
Born of a virgin, to earth he comes,
Only begotten 
Son of God the Father.
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

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

Confession and Absolution

P: God, the Light of the World, came to us who were lost in the darkness of this world. Let us confess our sins to our Savior and ask his forgiveness.
C: Almighty God, as I gather to hear your Word and to praise you for your goodness with my fellow believers, I confess that I have sinned. By my thoughts, my words, and my actions I have fallen into temptation and failed to do what is good. I have not shown love to you or others as you have called me. I know I deserve nothing good and that my sins demand punishment, but I am sorry for my sins, and I trust in Jesus Christ my Savior. I pray: Heavenly King, have mercy on me, a sinner. 

P: Our Eternal Lord has been merciful to us. In fact, it is for this very reason that he sent his one and only Son to be the sacrifice for our sins. By his birth, life, and death, he has made the full payment for our failures. Therefore as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

Responsive Psalm – Psalm 96

P: Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth. 
C: Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day. 

P: Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 
C: For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods. 

P: For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens. 
C: Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 

P: Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth. 
C: Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it. 

P: Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. 
C: Let all creation rejoice before the Lord,
for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. 

P: He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness. 

Prayer of the Day

P: Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true light. Grant that, as we have known on earth the wonder of that light, we may also behold him in all glory in the life to come; through your only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 
C: Amen. 

Hymn

Comfort, Comfort All My People

“Comfort, comfort all my people; 
Speak of peace,” so says our God.
“Comfort those who sit in darkness, 
Groaning from their sorrows’ load.
Speak to all Jerusalem 
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell them that their sins I cover, 
That their warfare now is over.”

All their sins our God will pardon, 
Blotting out each dark misdeed;
All that well deserve his anger 
He no more will see or heed.
They have suffered many a day; 
Now their griefs have passed away.
God will change their aching sadness
Into ever-springing gladness.

John the Baptist’s voice is crying 
In the desert far and near,
Calling people to repentance 
For the kingdom now is here.
Oh, that warning cry obey! 
Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise to meet him 
And the hills bow down to greet him.

Straighten out the crooked highway; 
Make the rougher places plain.
Let your hearts be true and humble,
Ready for his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord 
Now o’er earth is spread abroad,
And all flesh shall see the token 
That his word is never broken.

Genesis 3:1-24

  Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 
  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” 
  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 
  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 
  Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 
  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
  And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 
  The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.” 

  Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
  So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Devotion – Darkness

Hymn – Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel (Koine)

Please refer to the screens in front for the lyrics.

Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

The people walking in darkness 
  have seen a great light; 
on those living in the land of deep darkness 
  a light has dawned. 

For to us a child is born, 
  to us a son is given, 
  and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called 
  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Of the greatness of his government and peace 
  there will be no end. 
He will reign on David’s throne 
  and over his kingdom, 
establishing and upholding it 
  with justice and righteousness 
  from that time on and forever. 
The zeal of the Lord Almighty 
  will accomplish this. 

Devotion – Promise of Light

Hymn

Silent Night! Holy Night!

Silent night! Holy night! 
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon virgin mother and child. 
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace, 
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night! 
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar; 
Heav’nly hosts sing, Alleluia;
Christ, the Savior, is born! 
Christ, the Savior, is born!

Silent night! Holy night! 
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face 
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, 
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Prayer

P: Lord you are the light of the World just as you have shown us: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Fill us with the light of your Love tonight and every day of our lives; for you have shown the love you have for us and have promised that you will never leave us nor will you abandon us. Fill us with light and use us to show your light to others. 
C: Amen.

At this time the pastor will light his candle from the Advent candle and light the ushers’ candles. In turn the ushers will light the end of each row’s candles and members should do the same down the pews.

Note: Do not tip the lit candles. Instead tip the unlit candles into the flame. Be careful to keep the candles upright at all times!

Luke 2:1-7

  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Devotion – Light Comes to the World

The offering is brought forward during the next hymn.

Hymn

O Little Town of Bethlehem

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 wond’ring love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing 
To God the King 
And peace to all the earth.

How silently, how silently 
The wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts 
To human hearts 
The blessings of his heav’n.
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;
Oh, come to us, 
Abide with us, 
Our Lord Immanuel!

Luke 2:8-20

  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 
  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 

Devotion – Promise for Us

Hymn

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels we have heard on high,
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply,
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo;
  Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heav’nly song?
Gloria in excelsis Deo;
  Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria in excelsis Deo;
  Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Prayer of the Church and the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen. 

Closing Prayer

P: Light of the World, we thank you for coming to us. All believers rejoice that you have kept all of your promises to us. Though the world was lost in darkness, your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. As we leave here this evening, we look forward to celebrating your birth, knowing that Salvation has come, and the Savior of the World has arrived. 
C: Amen.

P: Now we extinguish our candles, knowing that our God dwells with us and that he will lead us with his righteousness.

Extinguish your candle.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.”

Closing Hymn – Behold, a Branch Is Growing (Koine)

Please refer to the screens in front for the lyrics.