WELCOME Christmas Eve Service
PRELUDE O Come All Ye Faithful – Hayes / Wade
LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE Jim Strandberg and Hailey Strandberg
Reader 1: As the Advent Candles of hope, peace, joy, and love shine among us, we gather
this evening to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.
Reader 2: In Him, God’s Word became flesh and lived among us.
Reader 1: In Him, God’s Love became flesh and embraced all humanity.
Reader 2: In Him, God’s Light became flesh and illumined the world.
Reader 1: In Him, God’s Way became flesh and revealed the path of life.
Reader 2: In Him, God’s Grace became flesh and blessed us with new beginnings.
Reader 1: In Him, God’s Power became flesh and shattered the chains of injustice and
Reader 2: In Him, God’s Salvation became flesh and brought hope to the world.
Reader 1: In Him, God’s Wisdom became flesh and taught us how to live.
Reader 2: This evening we light the Christ Candle to remind us that the Light of the world
was born into the darkness of the world. Let us pray:
All: God of radiant glory, as we celebrate the birth of the Holy Child, grant that our
lives will be changed through the infinite grace that was found in a manger.
Through the One who is the Light of the world, illumine the horizons of
humanity with Your justice, truth, and love. Through the Word who became
flesh and lived among us, speak to us of Your new reality. And through the gift
of the Savior of the world, enable us to allow this little Child to lead us along
the path of new life and true life, for we ask it in the name of the One who was
born a child and yet a king, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
*HYMN OF PRAISE O Come, All Ye Faithful Glory to God, #133
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Merciful Messiah, Lord of life, Hope of all humanity,
while we joyfully sing of how You rule the world with truth and grace,
we confess that far too frequently we do not live by Your truth,
and we are often unwilling to share Your grace.
In a world of violence, hatred, and suspicion, we have not allowed the Prince of Peace to
guide our actions.
Amid broken communities, broken relationships, and broken hearts, we have turned away
from the Wonderful Counselor who seeks our healing and reconciliation.
You beckon us with the love of the Everlasting Father, but with sinful pride and
selfishness we have been indifferent to Your call and pursued our own self-
Holy God of new beginnings, forgive us.
Grant that the Sun of Righteousness would dawn upon us,
so that we may live in the light that overcomes the darkness,
and we may reflect the radiance of love that is revealed through the Child born in
the manger, for it is His name that we pray.
ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS (adapted from Galatians 4:4)
Leader: When the fullness of time had come, God sent the Son, born of a woman, and born
under the law.
People: God sent the Son in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we
might receive adoption as God’s children.
Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
HYMN Good Christian Friends, Rejoice Glory to God, #132
SCRIPTURE READING Isaiah 9:2-7
2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep
darkness — on them light has shined. 3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its
joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.
4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you
have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the
garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His authority shall grow continually, and
there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and
uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal
of the LORD of hosts will do this.
HYMN Away in a Manger Glory to God, #114
SCRIPTURE READING Luke 2:1-16
1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be
registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of
Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of
Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended
from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was
engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to
deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth,
and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 In that region
there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an
angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they
were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you
good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a
Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child
wrapped in bands of cloth 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 heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15 When
the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the
Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and
Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
MEDITATION Who Would Have Thought?
ANTHEM O Holy Night – Adam
Brock Burkett, soloist
*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH from A Declaration of Faith, 4.1
Jesus, the long expected Savior, came into the world as a child,
descended from David, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of Mary, a virgin.
He lived as a Jew among Jews.
He announced to his people the coming of God’s kingdom of justice and peace on earth.
We affirm that Jesus was born of woman as is every child,
yet born of God’s power as was no other child.
In the person and work of Jesus,
God and a human life are united but not confused, distinguished but not separated.
The coming of Jesus was itself the coming of God’s promised rule.
Through his birth, life, death, and resurrection,
Jesus brings about the relationship between God and humanity that God always intended.
*HYMN Joy to the World Glory to God, #134
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE LORD’S PRAYER
. . . Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will
be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our
debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us notinto temptation, but deliver usfrom evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
INVITATION TO GIVE
*HYMN Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Glory to God, #119
*PRAYER OF DEDICATION (unison)
Holy God, as we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, we seek to honor You with our gifts.
Because we know that everything in this world is a gift from You,
we humbly and generously offer these resources for Your work.
We pray that what we share may help Your church to change lives, to spread Your message
of salvation, and to work for the transformation of the world,
for we ask it in the name of the One who is the Wonderful Counselor and the Prince of
LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES
HYMN Silent Night, Holy Night Glory to God, #122
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 “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.
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.
POSTLUDE Every Valley Shall Be Exalted (from “The Messiah”) – Handel
Brock Burkett, soloist