Thursday, December 24, 2020

CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE
DECEMBER 24, 2020
7:00PM

 

Choral Prelude

 

Fairest Jesus (arr. Harlan)

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,

O Thou of God and man the Song;

Thee will I cherish,

Thee will I honor;

Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown/

 

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,

Holy wisdom, Love most bright.

Drawn by Thee our souls aspiring,

Soar to uncreated light.

Wor dof God our flesh that fashioned

With the fire of life impassioned.

Striving sill to Truth unknown,

Soaring, dying, round Thy throne.

 

Beautiful Savior,

Lord of all nations,

Blessed Son of God and Son of man!

Glory and honor,

Praise, adoration,

Now and forever more be Thine!

 

Myn Liking (Terry)

I saw a fair mayden sytten and sing.

She lulled a lyttel childe, a swete Lording.

 

Lullay myn lyking, my dere sonne, my sweetling.

Lullay my dere herte, myn own dere derling.

 

That same Lord is he that made alle thing;

Of alle lordis he is Lord, of alle kynges Kyng.

 

There was mickle melody at that chylde’s birth.

All that were in heuenly blisse they made mickle mirth.

 

Aungels bright sang their song to that chylde,

Blyssid be thou and so be sche so meke and so milde.

 

Welcome John Strawbridge, Lay Leader

 

Choral Introit “O Hearken Ye” (Burt)

O hearken ye who would believe,

The gracious tidings now receive:

Gloria! Gloria

in excelsis Deo!

The mighty Lord of heav’n and earth

Today is come to human birth!

Gloria! Gloria

In excelsis Deo!

 

Call to Worship

With eyes wide open and our ears on edge,

We look for shepherds and listen for the songs of angels.

In the light of winter’s moon, with the North Star lighting the way,

We gather outside the door of a mystery, wondering if we dare go enter.

With folks and friends we love, with strangers we have just met as we join virtually,

We gather, becoming the holy family for this time and in this place.


Opening Carol “O Come, All Ye Faithful”   Vs. 1, 3 & 6    UMH 234

1. 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;

Chorus: Oh, come, let us adore him; Oh, come, let us adore him; Oh, come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.

3. Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation; Sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above!

Glory to God, Glory in the highest; Chorus

6. Yea, Lord, we greet thee, Born this happy morning; Jesus, to thee be all glory giv’n. Word of the Father,

Now in flesh appearing; Chorus

 

Opening Prayer (All)

Gracious Lord, you have gathered the whole world around the manger in Bethlehem. Help the light of your love to shine brightly in all that we see, all that we hear, all that we smell, and touch, and taste, and feel that this holy child might transform our hearts into your likeness, made visible in this baby, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Lighting the Christ Candle

L: Today we remember the birth of the baby named Jesus – a tiny, fragile child.

P: God chose to come to us wrapped in a diaper and asleep in a trough.

L: This tiny child comes to us as a symbol of promise –

P: That God chooses to be with us.

L: As a symbol of courage –

P: That God’s strength takes the form of vulnerability.

L: As a symbol of trust –

P: That God protects us in our fragility.

L: As a symbol of comfort –

P: That God comforts us as Mary comforted Jesus.

L: On this Christmas Eve, we light the candle that represents Christ. May we open our hearts to the light of God’s Spirit which comforts and protects and heals. Come, Lord Jesus, into our world, and fill us with your love. Amen.

 

Choral Response “O Holy Night” (Adam)    Scott Nunn, Tenor

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 world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees!  Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine!  O night when Christ was born!

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 His 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, then ever praise we,

His power and glory evermore proclaim.

 

Old Testament Lesson Isaiah 9:2-7

2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 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.
7 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.

 

Carol “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”   UMH 240

1. 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 th’angelic host proclaim: “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Refrain: Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

2. 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 the incarnate Deity,

Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel. Refrain

3. Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of Righteousness!

Light and 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 them second birth. Refrain

 

Gospel Lesson Luke 2:1-20

The Message  The Birth of Jesus

2 1-5 About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

An Event for Everyone

8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

 

Christmas Meditation Rev. Debbie Scott

 

A Christmas Prayer

L: Let us affirm the love that God has for us – a love that was not, and cannot, be hindered.

P: We thank God for coming unto us; we praise him for Christ’s birth into our world.

L: It was cold and Mary and Joseph were fearful.

P: But that did not stop the birth.

L: They were poor and had no place fitting for their child.

P: But that did not stop the birth.

L: They were uncertain about what God wanted from them.

P: But that did not stop the birth.

L: And today we are still sometimes cold and fearful, certainly poor in many ways.

P: We often feel that we have no place and are unclear about what God wants of us.

L: But these things did not stop the birth of Jesus then, nor will they do it now. To all who are open to God’s leading, He comes.

P: Lord Jesus be born in us tonight.

 

Invitation to Christmas Offering

On-Line giving

 

Offertory  “What Shall I Give to the Child in the Manger?” (Butler)

What shall I give to the child in the manger?

What shall I give to the beautiful boy?

Grapes I will bring to him, hanging in clusters,

Baskets of figs for the Child to enjoy.

When the cherries have ripened, they will add to His joy.

 

What shall I give to the child in the manger?

What shall I give to the beautiful boy?

Garlands of flowers to twine in His fingers,

Cherries so big for the Child to enjoy.

When the cherries have ripened, they will add to His joy.

 

Offering Prayer

Thank you, God, for coming to us in a human life so expressive of love that two thousand years have not extinguished the flame. May that love burn so brightly in our lives that its’ fires will spread. Use our offerings to ignite in the world such caring and compassion that all your children may know joy and peace, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Service of Candle Lighting Choir will sing vs. 1 in German as Candles are being lit

 

Carol “Silent Night, Holy Night”

1. 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.

2. Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight; glories stream from heaven afar, Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

3. 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 they birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

4. Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light; with the angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King; Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

 

Prayer of Dedication (All)

O Christ, we ask, as we hold our candles, that you would dwell within us that we may go forth with the light of hope in our eyes, the fire of inspiration on our lips, your Word on our tongues, and your love in our hearts. Amen.

 

Closing Carol “Joy to the World”     Vs. 1, 2 & 4 UMH  246

1. Joy to the world! The Lord is come Let earth receive her King!

Let every heart prepare Him room And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and nature sing And heaven, and heaven and nature sing

2. Joy to the world! 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

4. 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 of His love

And wonders, wonders of His love

 

Benediction

 

Congregational Response “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”

We wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas

And a happy New Year!

Good tidings we bring

To you and your kin;

Good tidings for Christmas

And a happy New Year.

Repeat Chorus

 

Postlude Honegger – Von Himmel Hoch

 

Tower Lighting

Linda Webb is lighting the tower.

 

Poinsettia & Hymnal Donation List

Our Christmas Altar & Hymnals for the Sanctuary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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