The First Sunday of Christmas
December 27, 2020
Welcome to our celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ, the Mighty Counselor, the Prince of Peace! You are invited to join in this celebration, not of a baby being born, but the truth that this child born on Christmas, is God. We worship with people across the world in celebrating that God chose our humble human form to come to earth, to fulfill the prophets dreams and the world’s need for salvation and peace. By God’s grace we are saved by the one born in Bethlehem. Tonight we worship this great act of love by God for all the world.
As you enter the nave, please conclude conversations and silence all cell phones and other electronic devices in order to fully enter into the experience of worship.
The Brief Order for Confession and Forgiveness
In the name of the Father and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.
Silence is kept for reflection.
God of goodness and lovingkindness,
we confess that we have sinned against you and our neighbors. We have turned away from your invitation to new life. In your abundant mercy, forgive us our sins, those we know and those known only to you, for the sake of the one who came to live among us, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
Hear the good news of peace and salvation! That with all who come to the manger, your sins are forgiven in the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The Apostolic Greeting and Prayer of the Day
The grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Word made flesh, born of Mary, be with you all.
And also with you.
Let us pray. Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your Let us pray. Almighty God, you wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and yet more wonderfully restored it. In your mercy, let us share the divine life of the one who came to share our humanity, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Please be seated.
The children remain at their seat as the pastor share a message with them.
Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3
A reading from Isaiah: I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
The word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
The Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke, the second chapter.
Glory to you, O Lord
When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, [Joseph and Mary] brought [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Silence for reflection follows.
The Christmas Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, who sent his son to be my Savior.
And I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, my Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, announced by the angels, worshipped by the shepherds, adored by the wise Men, who lived to suffer, die and rise again, to free me from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil.
I believe in the Holy Spirit who has brought me to faith in my Savior, and by whose continuous work in my life gives me cause to rejoice in my salvation, show forth his praises, and will, one day, live together with him in eternity.
The Prayers of the Church
Rejoicing with all the faithful, let us pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need.
After each portion of the prayers:
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
The prayers conclude:
Into your hands, Gracious God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior.
The peace of Christ be with you always.
And also with you.
Without leaving your seat offer a wave to your neighbor, sharing God’s peace, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Gracious God, you came to us as one unknown, bringing joy and salvation to the earth. Nourish us at your banquet table, that with all who welcome your birth we may proclaim your peace, revealed in Jesus Christ, our Savior.
The Great Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
In these latter days, God leaned toward the earth
and spoke to us by his Son, Jesus the Beloved.
Born of our sister Mary and the Holy Spirit,
guarded by our brother Joseph with fatherly care,
Jesus came among us as a helpless baby,
cradled beside the beasts and warmed by their breath –
human, as we are, in need of human love.
This Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us,
And his flesh and blood were given to us, in his final gift of grace.
At supper with his friends, the disciples
he took bread and offered you thanks.
He broke the bread, and gave it to them, saying,
‘Take, eat. This is my Body: it is broken for you.’
Do this in remembrance of me.
After supper, he took the cup,
he offered you thanks, and gave it to them saying:
‘Drink this, all of you.
This is my Blood of the new covenant;
it is poured out for you, and for all,
that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in remembrance of me.’
In obedience to your Son’s command.
We recall his blessed passion and death,
his glorious resurrection and ascension;
and we look for the coming of his Kingdom.
Made one with him, we offer you these gifts
and with them ourselves,
a single, holy, living sacrifice.
Hear us, most merciful God,
and send your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and this wine,
that, overshadowed by his life-giving power,
they may be the Body and Blood of your Son,
and we may be kindled with the fire of your love
and renewed for the service of your Kingdom.
Through the fellowship of Christ’s Body,
have us live and work to your praise and glory;
growing together in unity and love
until at last, in your new creation,
we enter into our heritage, in the company of the Virgin Mary,
the apostles and prophets,
and of all our brothers and sisters
living and departed.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
with whom, and in whom,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honor and glory be to you, world without end.
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 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.
The Word is revealed in a manger, in simple bread and wine. Come meet Christ in this meal.
Thanks be to God.
Please be seated.
The Distribution of Holy Communion
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America practices open table hospitality. Baptized communicants of other Christian denominations, of all ages, are welcome to receive the sacrament. An usher will direct each seating area to come forward to receive the sacrament. Bring your communion cup with you, or take one from the usher. The pastor will drop the host into your hand. Next move to receive the wine from the Assisting Minister. Then take another step to consume the sacrament. As you return to your seat, place the empty cup into the receptacle. Those persons not receiving communion are welcome to come forward to receive a blessing.
Post Communion Blessing
The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.
Post Communion Prayer
Let us pray. We give you thanks, gracious God, that you have once again fed us from your very self with the body and blood of Christ. Through this mystery, send us forth to proclaim your promise to a world in need, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you with grace and mercy. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace. Serve the Lord!
Thanks be to God. We will!
Readings for next week:
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New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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