MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


A Christmas Hymn
by Richard Wilbur

A stable-lamp is lighted
Whose glow shall wake the sky;
The stars shall bend their voices,
And every stone shall cry.
And every stone shall cry,
And straw like gold shall shine;
A barn shall harbor heaven,
A stall become a shrine.

This child through David’s city
Shall ride in triumph by;
The palm shall strew its branches,
And every stone shall cry.
And every stone shall cry,
Though heavy, dull, and dumb,
And lie within the roadway
To pave his kingdom come.

Yet he shall be forsaken,
And yielded up to die;
The sky shall groan and darken,
And every stone shall cry.
And every stone shall cry
For stony hearts of men:
God’s blood upon the spearhead,
God’s love refused again.

But now, as at the ending,
The low is lifted high;
The stars shall bend their voices,
And every stone shall cry.
And every stone shall cry
In praises of the child
By whose descent among us
The worlds are reconciled.


Greeting
Leader:
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!
Do not be afraid;
for see—I am bringing you good news of a great joy
for all the people:

All:
to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,who is the Messiah, the Lord.

Leader:
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

All:
And the Word became flesh and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory.


Leader:
The light shines in the darkness

All:
And the darkness has not overcome it.

Opening Prayer
Beloved in Christ,
this Christmas Eve it is our duty and delight
to prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the angels,
and to go in heart and mind to Bethlehem,
and see this thing which is come to pass,
and the Babe lying in a manger.
Therefore let us hear again from Holy Scripture
the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our sin
until the glorious redemption brought us by this holy Child;
and let us make this house of prayer glad with our carols of praise.


O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

O come, all ye faithful Joyful and triumphant
O 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

Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, Glory In the highest;

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born that happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing.


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 th’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 the favored one
Veiled in flesh the God head see; Hail th’incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell; Jesus, our Immanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun 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.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!"


JOY TO THE WORLD

Joy to the world The Lord has 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

Joy to the earth The Savior reigns Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods Rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

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, and wonders of His love


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

Shepherds why this jubilee, why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be, which inspire your heav’nly song?

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

See Him in a manger laid, Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph lend your aid, while our hearts in love we raise

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Acts

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Read Acts With Us Starting January 1!

"Jesus was a teacher and miracle worker who spent nearly all of his brief ministry in the tiny and obscure province of Galilee, often preaching to outdoor gatherings. A few listeners took up his invitation to follow him, and a dozen or so became his devoted disciples, but when he was executed by the Romans his followers probably numbered no more than several hundred.

“How was it possible for this obscure Jewish sect to become the largest religion in the world?”

—Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity

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Slide LC2020

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OH HOLY NIGHT

Oh 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 His 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!
Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born;
Oh night divine, Oh night, Oh night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall 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! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory evermore proclaim!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born;

Oh night divine,
Oh night, Oh night divine!


Luke 2:1-20 ESV
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


SILENT 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,
Heavenly hosts sing Allelulia
Christ the Saviour is born!
Christ the Saviour 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.

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