In the world’s darkness, a Child is born who brings light.
In the world’s despair, an Infant in a manger brings hope.
Amid the world’s conflict and division, a Child is born who is the Prince of peace.
In the world’s loneliness, there is One who is named Emmanuel, God-with-us,
and therefore we are never alone.
Throughout Advent, we have prayed, O Come, O Come Emmanuel . . .
and today, as we worship, we celebrate that Emmanuel has been born,
and the world can be transformed.
So in this season of anthems and angels, of carols and choruses,
we give thanks for the message and music inspired by our Messiah,
and we welcome into our hearts, into our lives, into our world,
the Word that became flesh and lived among us.
Prelude Angels, We Have Heard on High – Hayes
*Call to Worship
Leader: On this holy day, we worship the One of whom the angels sing.
People: On this holy day, we rejoice that God’s love has become incarnate in the world.
Leader: Through the Child of Bethlehem, a new day has dawned for all humanity.
People: Let us gather before the One who breaks the chains of
oppression and teaches us to love all people.
Leader: In theChrist Child, we discover the fullness of God’slove and
People: With people in every country and culture, let us worship
Christ, the newborn King, not only on this day, but
*Carol O Come, All Ye Faithful Glory to God, #133
Prayers of Confession (Unison)
Gracious and merciful God, although Your light illumines our path, we have often chosen to
follow our own course. We have wandered from Your word; we have sought to increase our
pleasure while ignoring the needs of others; and we have heard the songs of “Peace on earth”
but have remained in our old patterns. Forgive us, Lord, and restore us again to Your way
of light. Grant that the Wonderful Counselor would guide us from our sinful wanderings
and into Your wisdom. Help us to cling to the love of the Everlasting Father who embraces
us with newness. Instill within us the commitment to follow the Prince of Peace so that all
people may walk along the path that leads to abundant life, for the sake of the Child born at
Bethlehem, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Silent)
Assurance of Forgiveness (adapted from Titus 2:11-14)
Leader: The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all.
People: Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, so that He might redeem us from all iniquity.
Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
People: Through the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Carol What Child Is This Glory to God, #145
First Lesson To Us a Child is Born Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
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. . . .
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.
Carol Good Christian Friends, Rejoice Glory to God, #132
Second Lesson A Promised Ruler from Bethlehem Micah 5:2-5a
2 But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then
the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of
the LORD his God. And they shall live secure,for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth;
5 and he shall be the one of peace.
Carol O Little Town of Bethlehem Glory to God, #121
Third Lesson The Birth of Jesus Foretold Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name wasJoseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house ofJacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.
37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Carol Angels from the Realms of Glory Glory to God, #143
Fourth Lesson The Birth of Jesus Luke 2:1-7
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 townsto 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.
Carol Away In a Manger Glory to God, #115
FIFTH LESSON The Shepherds and the Angels Luke 2:8-16
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 shepherdssaid 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.
Anthem Sing We Now of Christmas – Hayes/Grieg
Sixth Lesson The Visit of the Magi Matthew 2:1-11
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed hisstar at itsrising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of
Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ”
7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared.
8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and
when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of
them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.
11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Carol Gentle Mary Laid Her Child Glory to God, #146
Seventh Lesson The Word Became Flesh John 1:1-14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being
4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sentfromGod, whose name wasJohn.
7 He came as a witnessto testify to the light,so that all might believe through him.
8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He wasin the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know
11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,
13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
Carol Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Glory to God, #119
Invitation to Give
Prayer of Dedication (Unison)
Glorious God of all good gifts, as we celebrate the birth of Your Son, we share our tithes and offerings with the joy and excitement that these gifts will not only promote Your mission and ministry, but You will also be revealed in new ways to the people who receive the benefits of these resources.
May all of us arrive at new awareness of Your claim on our lives, and grant that we may gain a new understanding of what the Word-made-flesh means in our lives and in the world, for we ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
*Carol On Christmas Night All Christians Sing Glory to God, #112
Postlude Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – Wesley / Cummings