Bulletin – 2018-12-24


Christmas Eve                        7 p.m.                December 24, 2018

Meditation:     “There are two ways of spreading the light: to
be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.”
–Elizabeth Wharton

Introit:  Kindle a Flame (19)
Kindle a flame to lighten the dark
and take all fear away.

Candle Lighting (Maggie Taylor & Dee McEwen)
It’s Christmas Eve.
The time of waiting is over.
The candles of hope, peace, joy, and love are lit.
only one remains,
and it is the Christ candle.
We light it now, in awe and wonder.
May Jesus, born so long ago in a stable,
be born in our hearts this night.
May his birth bring to our world
The gifts of his life
and just, peace, and hope for all.

Sung Response:  A Candle is Burning (6)

Call to Worship:
Rejoice, for God is with us — Emmanuel.
In the darkness of our world shines God’s holy light.
Now there is reason to hope, to love, to laugh, to live.
God is truly with us. We are not alone.
Thanks be to God!

Hymn:  O Come, All Ye Faithful (60)

Opening Prayer:
Gracious God,
With joy and thanksgiving we gather as your people.
We have come to hear again
the timeless story of Christ’s birth.

In the excitement of this night, quiet our hearts
that we may know the peace and fullness of this holy time.
Shine, O Light, in the darkness of our world.
Sing, O angels, in the stillness of our hearts,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
peace to all humankind.”

This we pray in the name of the Child of Bethlehem. Amen.

The Prophecy of the Messiah
Isaiah 9:2, 6-7, John 1:1-2, 4-5
The Lighting of the Christ Candle

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,
Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God,
Emmanuel, Emmanuel, God with us, Emmanuel.

The Coming of Jesus Is Announced to Mary and Joseph
Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph’s Song – Rev. Jim Baldwin
(Gabriel candle and Mary and Joseph candles are lighted.)

The Preparations for the Birth of Jesus
Luke 2:1-5

Hymn: O Little Town of Bethlehem (64 verse 1)

Jesus is Born
Luke 2:6-7

Hymn:  Away in a Manger (69)
(the Baby Jesus candle is lighted.)

Anthem:  Born in Bethlehem

Jesus’ Birth is Announced to the Shepherds
Luke 2:9-14

Hymn:  The First Noel  (91 verse 1)
(the angel candles are lighted.)

The Shepherds Find the Baby Jesus
Luke 2:15-18

The Wise Men Bring Their Gifts to Jesus
Matthew 2:1-11

Hymn:  The First Noel  (91 verses 3-5)
(the king candles are lighted.)

We Offer Our Gifts to God

Offertory:  O Come Little Children – Elodie Saindon

Doxology:  What Child is This  (74 verses 1 and 3)

As we dedicate this offering,
so may we dedicate ourselves,
to sharing the love of God
in Christ’s name and example
and to sharing the light of God
in word and in deed.   Amen

Music Offering:  Light a Candle – Lauren Saindon

Meditation:  Light of the World

Hymn:  It Came Upon the Midnight Clear  (44)

Prayer:  The Familiar Story
Miraculous God,
We know this story so well.
All the characters are familiar.
All the words are known by heart.
All the songs have been sung so many times.
We love this story and its comfortable, comforting familiarity.
We praise You for the miracles which come to us
in the familiar.
At the center of this story is the eternal God
stepping into human history.
The All-Powerful One choosing to live in fragile flesh.
The Creator becoming a created being.
We praise You for the miracle of God becoming human.
At the center of this story is a God
who chooses to be revealed  to men and women.
A God Who works miracles through ordinary people
who say, “Yes” to God.
A God Who enters every willing soul to birth new life.
We praise You for the miracle of Your life within us.
Miraculous God,
May we see You, know You
and be united with You again this Christmastime.
May our lives be changed by Your miraculous love,
and may we become part of Your miraculous salvation.
Now and always.

Sharing the Light With One Another

Hymn:  Silent Night  (67)

Benediction:  (based on Isaiah 9:2-7)
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in deepest night,
are alight with a brilliant sight.
Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.
The spread of his influence and of his peace will never end.
Therefore, go out into the world with great joy,
and the grace of Bethlehem’s matchless Child,
the love of the God who never ceases to amaze,
and the fellowship of the Spirit who never wearies,
will be with us all, this holy night and evermore.
Thanks be to God!

Hymn:  Joy to the World  (59)