Summary: Service after Christmas to celebrate hymns and scripture - added personal testimony

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

-Isaiah 9:6

Dear Heavenly Father, we come to the stable in Bethlehem this Holy Season, our hearts overflowing with adoration and gratitude, as we kneel with Joseph and Mary before the manger of Your only-begotten Son.

Unto us, who have lost our innocence and sense of wonder, a Child is born. Unto us, who have hardened our hearts and misplaced our joy, a Son is given. Upon His shoulder rests a government both compassionate and servant, for Jesus has come to embrace us, wash our feet, and save us on the Cross. Truly, in all our trials, He is born to be our Friend!

O Lord, please send out Your Spirit this Christmas and soften our hearts. Help us take time to look into each other’s eyes, listen a little more closely, and appreciate the goodness of each person standing in front of us.

Help us take time also to seek You in the quiet of our hearts, and homes, for time with You is our greatest treasure. Watch over our loved ones near and far, especially those who protect us at home and abroad. Bring peace to every part of our world, every room of our homes, and every corner of our hearts.

Lord Jesus, bless each of your children with Your warmth and light. May You be born again in us this Christmas and forever. Amen!

When we worship God, our ideas of God are formed by the

Scriptures we hear, read and by the songs and hymns we sing. Many of us can sing parts or all of our favorite Christmas Carols from

memory. Because we remember the words, these carols and songs

have greatly helped to form our faith.

For many of us the hymns act as a statement of faith. In the ones we call favorites the composer has captured our emotion and our understanding of faith. The music of Christmas teach us about the mystery and wonder of a child born to be King of kings and Lord of lords.

This morning we will lift our voices in joyous celebration, remembering the one who was born in a manger to die on a cross to be resurrected on the third day, who ascended into heaven and even this day takes an interest in our lives. He will come again, to take all the faithful to live with him forever.

The first Noel 179

What Child is This 180

The story of this favorite carol is that on Christmas Eve, 1818, the organ of Saint Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Bavaria, was in need of repair. With no way to repair it before the midnight Mass, the priest of the church and the organist composed this beautiful hymn in just hours. It was sung in three-part arrangement with the accompaniment of a guitar.

Silent Night 195

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

1At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3All returned to their own towns to register for this census. 4And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5He took with him Mary, his fiancé, who was obviously pregnant by this time.

6And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

Away in a manger 185

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem 178

It came upon a midnight clear 197

The Shepherds and Angels

8That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, 10but the angel reassured them. "Don’t be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! 11The Savior--yes, the Messiah, the Lord--has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!"

13Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others--the armies of heaven--praising God:

14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and peace on earth to all whom God favors."

15When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

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