Christmas Eve – 2011

GATHERING

 

We invite you to participate in worship and fellowship afterward (many goodies!).

 

GREETING

The presence of all who have come to celebrate Christmas adds to the joy of worshipping the Lord on this glorious night Welcome friends! May the full meaning of Christmas be real to us all…now and always.

 

PRELUDE                                                                                                      Patty Bell

 

LIGHTING THE ADVENT CANDLES      Light four candles

Reader 1:  O come, Emmanuel, God-with-us. Our hearts, our homes, our congregation,     and our world are waiting in hope and joy for you. Make your presence known             among us this night.

Reader 2: You are the One we have been waiting for forever.

All: Yes, you have come to us, Emmanuel.

            Christ came down that we might have love…hope…peace…joy!

            Light the Christ Candle

 

*OPENING HYMN:                         O Come All Ye Faithful                       v. 1,2,3            UMH 234

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

One: Rejoice in the light of life!

Many: We rejoice that God loves us so much

One: That God sent us a child

Many: To teach us the nature of God’s call for us,

One: To show us how God would have us be.

Many: We rejoice in the light of life!

One: Sing praises people of God!

Many: We lift our voices in thanksgiving and praise!

 

PRAYERS AND OFFERING

CONFESSION

Loving and merciful God, as we await the coming of Jesus, we confess that we do so we divided loyalties, scattered attention and idolatrous hearts. We want to welcome a baby but not surrender control of our lives to a Lord who expects our allegiance. We like the idea of having something and someone to believe in but do not want those beliefs to demand a change in our behaviors. We are inspired by brilliant stars, angelic songs and the magi’s gifts, but are not interested in the risky business of sharing the good news, that you have come to be with us, to know us and be known by us, for the sake of all creation and the world. Forgive us, precious Son of God, we pray, and restore us the joy of being yours. Amen.

 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

How blessed we are to have a High Priest who understands our weakness, hears our prayer and responds with mercy to our sincere confession. Friends, receive the good news that in Jesus Christ, you are forgiven! Amen.

 

OFFERING PRAYER

Holy One, we thank you for the extravagant gift of your Son, born to us this night. Receive, we pray, these offerings as our grateful response for your life among us which changed and continues to change the world. Amen.

 

RECEIVING OUR OFFERING:

Will be shared between Heifer International and Jerome Food Pantry.
*PRESENTATION OF OUR OFFERING                                                   UMH 219

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud the babe, the son of Mary.

 

*HYMN                      The First Noel                                                  v. 1, 2 UMH 245

 

PASTORAL PRAYER

 

PROCLAMING GOD’S WORD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Gracious God, as we prepare for the coming of the light of the world, illumine our hearts with the light of your Spirit to hear and receive your Word as it is read and proclaimed.

 

THE CHRISTMAS STORY                                      Special Guest Liturgist   Paul Funk

 

LESSON Luke 1:26-38; 46-55

Response                                It Came Upon a Midnight Clear         v. 1          UMH 218

LESSONLuke 2:1-7

Response                                O Little Town of Bethlehem                v. 1          UMH 230

LESSON Luke 2:8-14

Response                                Hark The Herald Angels Sing             v. 1           UMH 240

LESSON Luke 2:15-20

Response                                Angels We Have Heard on High         v. 1           UMH 238

 

MESSAGE                                                                                         Pastor Vicki Lerdahl

 

SENDING FORTH

*BLESSING

 

*CLOSING HYMN:   “Silent Night”      (sing as we light our candles)           UMH 239

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