The Second Sunday of Christmas
January 3, 2021
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. Today 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. Almighty God, you have filled all the earth with the light of your incarnate Word. By your grace empower us to reflect your light in all that we do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and 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.
A reading from Ephesians: 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
The word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
The Holy Gospel according to Saint John, the first chapter.
Glory to you, O Lord
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
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. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ ”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
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!
Blessing of the Home
As we prepare to ask God’s blessing on this household, let us listen to the words of scripture.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being,
and the life was the light of all people.
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.
From his fullness we have all received,
grace upon grace. (John 1:1-4, 14, 16)
This inscription may be made with chalk above the entrance:
20 + C M B + 21
Write the appropriate character while speaking the text.
The magi of old, known as
M Melchior, and
followed the star of God’s Son who came to dwell among us
20 two thousand
21 and twenty one years ago.
☩ Christ, bless this house,
☩ and remain with us throughout the new year.
Adapted from Come, Lord Jesus: Devotions for the Home (Augsburg Fortress, 1996). See also “Blessing for a Home” in Evangelical Lutheran Worship Pastoral Care, pp. 337–353.
Copyright © 2016 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS103416.
Readings for next week:
Baptism of our Lord
Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS103416.
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.
Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.