PRE-CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS

December 20, 2009

 

THEME: CHRSTMAS

 

Opening Remarks

Invocation

 

All sing:  (Please notice which letter of Christmas is not here!)

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.

(C.W. 60)

 

Reading: Matthew 1:18-21  (Christmas is not about what I do but what Jesus does.)

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.  His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.  Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

 

Choir sings:  Celebrate with Singing.

 

Reading: Luke 2:8-15 (Christmas is not about my things.)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

 

All sing: (Christmas is not about my praise but about Jesus’ praise.)

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 th’incarnate Deity!

Pleased as man with us 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 we no more may die,

Born to raise us from the earth,

Born to give us second birth.

Hark!  The herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King!”

(C.W. 61)

 

Reading: Luke 1:26-35, 38  (Christmas is not about my plans.)

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,  to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."  "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"  The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God…”I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said,”

 

All sing:  (Christmas is about God’s gift to us.)

How silently, how silently

The wondrous gift is giv’n!

So God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of his heav’n.

No ear may hear his coming,

But in this world of sin

Where meek souls will receive him still,

The dear Christ enters in.

 

O holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us, we pray;

Cast out our sin and enter in;

Be born in us today

We hear the Christmas angels

The great glad tidings tell;

Oh, come to us, abide with us,

Our Lord Immanuel!”

(C.W.  65)

 

Reading: Luke 1:30-35  (It’s not our question but God’s answer.)

But the angel said to (Mary), “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.  

 

All sing:  (Christmas is about Jesus’ names.)

Gentle Mary laid her child

Lowly in a manger;

There he lay, the undefiled,

To the world a stranger.

Such a babe in such a place

Can he be the Savior?

Ask the saved of all the race

Who have found his favor.

 

Angels sang about his birth;

Wise men sought and found him.

Heaven’s star shone brightly fort,

Glory all around them.

Shepherds saw the wondrous sight,

Heard the angels singing.

All the plains were lit that night;

All the hills were ringing.

 

Gentle Mary laid her child

Lowly in a manger;

He is still the undefiled,

But no more a stranger.

Son of God, of humble birth,

Beautiful the story;

Praise his name in all the earth,

Hail the King of glory!

(C.W. 56)

 

Reading:   Matthew 2:9-11  (Christmas is not about my getting but my giving)

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

 

All sing: (Jesus gets our gifts…we don’t.)

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain,

Gold I bring to crown Him again,

King forever,

Ceasing never

Over us all to reign.    

 

Refrain:

O star of wonder, star of night,

Star with royal beauty bright,

Westward leading,

Still proceeding,

Guide us to thy perfect light.

 

Glorious now behold Him arise,

King and God and Sacrifice,

Alleluia,

Alleluia,

Earth to the heav’ns replies.  Refrain

 

The Offering

 

Reading: Luke 1:46-55  (Christmas is about God remembering us…and we remember him too!)

And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,  for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me- holy is his name.  His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.  He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.  He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."

 

All Sing:  (The greatest love at Christmas is God’s)

Joy to the earth, 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.

 

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, wonders of his love.

(C.W. 62)

 

Prayer

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 trespasses,

  As we forgive those

  Who trespass against us;

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom

  And the power and the glory

  Forever and ever.  Amen.

 

Benediction

 

 

Announcements:

 

We especially welcome any visitors here today.  Thank you for coming to think with us once more of the real reason for the season.  Jesus is his name.  Jesus is who this time of year is about.  If you remember this, you truly will have a blessed Christmas.  In fact, your whole year will be good as well.  

 

Please come and worship this One with us again.

 

God bless you specially and God bless your family and friends too.

 

 

Please also don’t forget our Christmas Bible School Monday and Tuesday (December  21 and 22).  The sessions will go from 9-12.  This will be our chance to tell children the real meaning of the season.  We would also ask that you pre-register your students if it is at all possible.  The targeted age group is 5-12.

 

There will also be a special meeting for teenagers on these two days: December 21 and 22 from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00.  We will meet for pizza at the church.  The purpose for the meeting is to discuss the meaning of Christmas as the Bible tells it to us in informal way where those present can ask questions and have input in the conversation and discussion.  There will be some teenagers present who are not members of our church.  Please invite any you can to come and join us.  We’ll provide the free pizza both days.  You please provide the teenagers who want to talk about and learn of the real meaning of this season we call Christmas.

 

Our Christmas Eve service will be at 6:30.  The sons and fathers of our congregation will be reading the Christmas story to us all.  Please come and take part in our special Christmas Eve service with its Christmas story presentation and the singing of familiar Christmas songs.  We will close the service with the candlelight singing of “Silent Night.”  

 

Christmas Day service will begin at 10:15.

 

New Year’s Eve service will be at 7:30 with the Lord’s Supper.  This will be the last time you will have the opportunity to take the Lord’s Supper in 2009.

 

 

Pastor and Mrs. Hartzell will be going to San Angelo this afternoon with Dennis Falk for a late afternoon service with the group at San Angelo.  God bless these good folks in their Christmas thoughts about Jesus.  Everyone will be returning late in the evening.