12.25.2020 Christmas Day

As on the first day of creation, on this Christmas Day the Word illumines the world, shining forth to bring all things into being. Today we celebrate the incarnate Word, God becoming flesh to live among us in the person of Jesus Christ then and now. Emboldened by the good news of Christ’s birth, along with the shepherds, Mary and Joseph, and all witnesses to the light of Christ, we declare to the world that we have indeed seen and been transformed by the arrival of “the salvation of our God.” O come, let us adore!

Welcome to Worship

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Merry Christmas!  Below you will find prayers, songs, readings, and a message to help you celebrate the birth of Christ.  Know that God is with you as you watch the videos and/or read the words that are on the screen. Whether you are alone or with others, we hope that you can feel each other’s presence, and the presence of God, as we worship in new ways on this holy day.  

Opening Song                
O Little Town of Bethlehem

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O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!  Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by; yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and, gathered all above while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wond’ring love.  O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth, and praises sing to God the king, and peace to all the earth!

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!

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.  Almighty God, you gave us your only Son to take on our human nature and to illumine the world with your light. By your grace adopt us as your children and enlighten us with your Spirit, through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

First Reading                           
Isaiah 52:7-10

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7How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”  8Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the LORD to Zion.  9Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the LORD has comforted the chosen people, and has redeemed Jerusalem.  10The holy arm of the LORD is bared before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Second Reading                      
Hebrews 1:1-12

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1Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
5For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you”?  Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”?  6And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”  7Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire.”  8But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.   9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”  10And, “In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like clothing; 12like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed.  But you are the same, and your years will never end.”

John 1:1-14

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1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The Word was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through the Word, without whom not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in the Word was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

10The light was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of a man, but of God.

14And 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.

All the Colors of Christmas
by Matthew Paul Turner
used with permission from Matthew Paul Turner

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Hymn of the Day             
What Child is This

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What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?  Whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping?  This, this is Christ the king, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary!

Why lies he in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding?  Good Christian, fear; for sinners here the silent Word is pleading.  Nails, spear shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you; hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the son of Mary!

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh; come, peasant, king, to own him.  The King of kings salvation brings; let loving hearts enthrone him.  Raise, raise the song on high, the virgin sings her lullaby; joy, joy, for Christ is born, the babe, the son of Mary!

Prayers and Lord’s Prayer

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God of Love, on this holy day, you sent your son to be born among us, making us your children and holy, too.  With prophets, shepherds and magi, may we seek Jesus and find him in everyone we meet.  Lord, hear our prayer.

God of the angels whose song was “Peace on earth, goodwill to all”, we pray for the leaders of this nation, and this world.  May conflicts end, divisions cease, and justice prevail.  Lord, hear our prayer.

God of the shepherds who shared good news of great joy, we pray for the Church and all who minister in it.  May we be messengers of hope, inclusion and love for your people everywhere.  Lord, hear our prayer

God of the manger, you came to us a helpless baby, cradled in straw because there was no room at the inn.  We pray for those who are homeless or hungry, sick or in need, remembering especially those who are alone this holiday.  Lord, hear our prayer.

God of heaven and earth, we pray for those who have died and those who mourn, remembering especially those near to us that we miss dearly this time of year.  Lord, hear our prayer.

God of Love, on this holy day, we ask you to receive our prayers and to visit the world with your love, granting new life to the earth and its peoples. through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

The lord’s prayer

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

Sending Song                 
Go Tell it on the Mountain

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Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and ev’rywhere; go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!

While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night, behold, throughout the heavens there shone a holy light. 

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and ev’rywhere; go tell it on the mountain

that Jesus Christ is born!

The shepherds feared and trembled when, lo, above the earth rang out the angel chorus that hailed our Savior’s birth. 

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and ev’rywhere; go tell it on the mountain

that Jesus Christ is born!

Down in a lonely manger the humble Christ was born; and God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn. 

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and ev’rywhere; go tell it on the mountain

that Jesus Christ is born!


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Almighty God, who sent the Holy Spirit to Mary, proclaimed joy through the angels,
sent the shepherds with good news, and led the magi by a star, bless us this day + through the Word made flesh. Amen.

Christ is born!  Share the good news!   Thanks be to God.

Worship Assistants

Music:  Lori, Maddy Jo, Dylan, Pat, Dani, Darcy, Jazzy, Izzy, Rose
Meditation: Matthew Paul Turner
Readers: Pastor Kristin, Dione, Dawn

From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2005 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.  Reprinted and streamed by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS002432.  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.  Hymns reprinted and streamed with permission. CCLI#1162147.