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December 26, 2010 Christmas 1

December 26, 2010 Christmas 1

 

WE GATHER TOGETHER

MUSIC IN PREPARATION

TRINITY IN ACTION

 

WE GATHER TO WORSHIP

 

CALL TO WORSHIP:

The season of hope, peace, joy and love is upon us.

We celebrate Christ’s birth.

Let us also honour the re-birth of The Holy One deep in our hearts.

It is a glorious time! Praise be to God!

 

HYMN : Joy to The World 59

 

PRAYER OF APPROACH: God of Joy, the spirit of Christmas lingers and the festivities continue so it is good to slow down and reflect on the meaning and impact of the season. As we sing the timeless carols, help us to hear the message with clarity and as we reflect on the reason for our gathering may we realize the connection between Bethlehem and Calvary. Help keep the message alive in our hearts, as we pray: Our Father....JESUS’ PRAYER

 

THE CHRIST CANDLE IS LIT

The light of Christ brings joy and hope to our world.

On this Holy Christmas Sunday we rejoice as we proclaim "Christ is born."

I light the Christ candle giving thanks that the babe of Bethlehem and the Saviour of Calvary is with us still.

Thanks be to God!

 

HYMN: Unto Us A Boy is Born 54

 

WE LISTEN TO GOD'S WORD

Old Testament: Isaiah 63:7-9

Psalm: 148

New Testament Reading: Hebrews 2:10-18

Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:13-23 Reader: Joy BarrREFLECTION

 

AND WE RESPOND

 

HYMN:  What Child is This? 74

 

PRAYERS FROM OUR HEARTS

 

OFFERTORY:

"As With Gladness" (81 VU v.3)

As they offered gifts most rare

at that manger crude and bare,

so may we with holy joy,

pure and free from sin's alloy,

all our costliest treasures bring,

Christ, to you, our heavenly King.

 

PRAYER DEDICATING OUR GIFTS:

Gracious God, amidst the tinsel and glitter stands the manger and the empty cross. The gifts that we offer are but a portion of our resources, yet they represent our commitment to your way. May we direct our lives to honour Jesus Christ and spread the news of his glory. To you be all honour and glory. Amen.

 

COMMUNION

 

THE INVITATION

Prayer of Confession

The year is fast ending, O God, and we seek a new beginning. Gracefully grant us the gift of careful reflection. Where we have harboured bitterness,

give us the ability to put into words our deepest feelings.

Where we have nursed grudges,

give us the strength to let them go.

Where we have lacked the courage of our convictions,

give us the ability to stand up and be counted.

Where we have failed to work with others in community,

give us the sense of joy in a common cause.

Where we have questioned our life of faith,

give us the insight to turn doubts into fresh commitment.

Your grace is sufficient for us, O God. And as we look to a new year, gracefully grant us a new vision.

A vision of friendships deepened;

a vision of care, for ourselves and our relationships;

a vision of renewed service within the faith community;

a vision of a world where your realm is worked into reality.

Time of silent reflection

Assurance of Forgiveness

As we let go the past, O God, enable us to face the future with confidence:

ready to be open to new truths,

ready to accept fresh opportunities,

ready to seek new friendships,

ready to broaden our horizons,

ready to put aside old grudges,

ready to renew our faith in Jesus Christ.

The peace of Christ is yours.

Thanks be to God! Amen.

 

HYMN: O Little Town of Bethlehem 64

 

LITANY OF REMEMBRANCE AND CONSECRATION

God of light, in whom there is no shadow, your gifts to us are from the very beginning of time.

They began with creation when your Spirit gave form to the chaos of energy and matter, and when your word brought forth light on the face of the earth.

They continued with our ancient ancestors, like Noah, whom you blessed with a colourful rainbow,

And like Sarah and Abraham, whom you blessed with a child, whose descendants, as many as the stars of the sky, were to be a light to the nations.

In the desert, you gave gifts of manna and of living water to the weary pilgrims whom you led by a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.

At last, you sent your light into the world in the form of a tiny child, fragile and vulnerable, who grew to be the very Light of Light, full of grace and truth, revealing your glory on earth.

On the night he was born the angels praised God saying "Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among those whom God favours!"

It is to Bethlehem, the city that means "house of bread" that we too must travel. We journey with the Holy family.

Yet, it is not an easy venture. Not only will we encounter the child lying in the manger, but we will be confronted by the man of Calvary.

But we are ready to make the journey.

We take bread and break it, remembering that Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life. We take the cup and lift it remembering the New Covenant which is ours.

We thank you, O God, that you have sent Jesus Christ to bring life and immortality to light. Help us to receive your gifts with joy and humility: as we receive this bread and this wine, may we open our hearts to receive your love and grace in Jesus Christ, and receive the love and support of one another. Be born among us, that we may give Christ's love to the world, through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

DISTRIBUTION OF THE ELEMENTS

 

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING:

We give you thanks, O God, that you have come to us through Jesus Christ, both in the midst of time and history in the city of Bethlehem, and in the timeless presence of Christ's Spirit as we receive the gifts of bread and wine. Send us out into the world rejoicing, ready to share your love with the people we meet; through the grace of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

WE ARE SENT OUT INTO THE WORLD

 

BLESSING AS WE GO OUT TO BE GOD’S PEOPLE

God grant us the light of Christmas, which is faith,

the warmth of Christmas, which is love,

the radiance of Christmas, which is purity,

the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice,

the belief of Christmas, which is truth,

and the all of Christmas, which is Christ.

 

HYMN: Good Christian Friends, Rejoice 35

 

Today we Welcome Matthew Lawrence as our Organist and

thank you!

 

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