Hilary Plowright
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Christ Church Gabriola Christmas Day December 25, 2020 Rev. Karen Hollis

We acknowledge these lands upon which we worship are the traditional,
ancestral, and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.
We Gather to Celebrate God’s Presence


Centering Stillness

Carol: What Child is This? VU #74
1 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!
2 Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.[Chorus]
3 So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.[Chorus]

One: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all
All: And also with you.
‘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 1:14
One: Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden;
All: cleanse the thoughts of our heart by the inspiration of your
Holy Spirit, so that we may truly love you and worthily praise
your holy name; through our Saviour, Jesus the Christ.
One: Hear the teaching of Christ: a new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another as I have loved you.
All: Spirit of God, search our hearts.
One: Lord have mercy
All: Christ have mercy
One: Lord have mercy

Invitation to Confession
On this holy day, where God becomes incarnate, let us bring to God
the things that are pressing down on us and our spirits. Let us approach
God, confident in God’s grace.

Prayer of Confession Walter Brueggemann
One: We long for you, O God. In this moment, in this space of worship,
we thank you that you are here with us.
All: You know us, O God; we do not have to pretend with you.
In the silence of your love, we bring to you the things that
trouble us, that harm us, that make us feel ashamed or afraid,
that we have not been able to say aloud.

Assurance of Grace

God have mercy on us and set us free. Let us receive the grace God
offers and be at peace.

As we prepare to hear the readings for this morning, let us pray
the collect of the day. Let us pray,

One: Welcome Jesus, our humble gentle Saviour,
All: welcome to Bethlehem, where we have loved and fought
and longed for the peace the world can never give. We ask
for your peace, your love, your gentleness, and courage to
live in that way. Amen.

We Listen to the Word

First Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10 Don Butt
Listen for the word of God to you this morning . . .

How 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.’
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

One: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
All: Thanks be to God.

Carol: Away in a Manger VU #69
1 Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
2 The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.
I love you, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky,
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.
3 Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay
close by me for ever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in your tender care,
and fit us for heaven, to live with you there.

Gospel Reading: Betty Schultze

John 1:1-14
One: God be with you.
All: And also with you
One: The Good News of Jesus Christ according to John
All: Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 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.

One: This is the Gospel of Christ.
All: Praise be to Jesus Christ


Silent reflection

We Respond to God’s Love

Prayers of the People Paddy Waymark
One: God of Peace
All: Hear our Prayers

Lord’s Prayer
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 and the power,
and glory are yours now and forever. Amen

The Peace of Christ
We live in God’s mystery today, in the presence of the Christ child who
brings peace to the earth. Let us share the peace he brings.
One: The Peace of Christ be with you all.
All: And also with you.

Offering: Birth Giver The Work of the People

Offering Prayer BAS

Generous Creator,
In faith and joy we celebrate the birth of your Son. Increase our
understanding and our love of the riches you have revealed in him;
bless all the gifts we offer in your name and multiply them in
service of your kin-dom. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

We Celebrate Communion

Invitation to Communion
This morning we gather around this feast to celebrate God who comes
to us, to be with us; God dwelling with us is so familiar and is still a bit
mind-blowing. Gathering in this online space is also familiar to us even
if it isn’t ideal. Even in this virtual space, God meets us and connects us
to each other . . . even in this virtual space Christ is present in our
celebration of the Eucharist. Welcome to this feast – it is Christ who
invites us to meet him here.

Invitation to Thanksgiving
One: God be with you All: And also with you
One: Lift up your hearts All: We lift them to God
One: Let us give thanks to God most high
All: It is right to give God thanks and praise

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving UMC Book of Worship

One: It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to
give thanks to you, O God, creator of heaven and earth.
All: You created light out of darkness and brought forth life on
the earth. You formed us in your image and breathed into us
the breath of life.
One: In the fullness of time you gave your only Son Jesus Christ to be
our Saviour, and at his birth the angels sang glory to you in the
highest and peace to your people on earth.
All: And so, with your people on earth and all the company of
heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy God, O God of time and space.
All earth and sea and sky above bear witness to your grace
Hosanna in the highest heav’n, creation sings your praise.
And blessed is the One who comes and bears your name always!

One: In Jesus the light which shines for all has come into the world,
and he has become one with us that we may become one with
you. We remember the night he gathered with his friends around a
table. He took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it
to his disciples, and said:
All: "Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in
remembrance of me."
One: When the supper was over he took the cup, gave thanks to you,
gave it to his disciples, and said:
All: "Drink from this, all of you; this is the cup of the new
covenant, poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of
sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we
offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice,
in union with Christ's offering for us. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us
gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for
us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be Christ’s body for the
world. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and
one in ministry to all the world.
Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all
glory is yours, Almighty God, now and for ever.

Breaking the Bread and Lifting the Cup

One: We break the bread of life, and that life is the light of the world.
All: God here among us, light in the midst of us, bring us to the
light and life.One: These are the gifts of God for the people of God. Let us meet God
in the mystery of this space and receive Christ in our hearts.

Communion Carol: Hark the Herald Angels Sing VU #48
1 Hark! the herald angels sing ,
"Glory to the newborn King,
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic hosts proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"
2 Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail the incarnate deity.
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel! [Refrain]
3 Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth. [Refrain]

Prayer after Communion:
Almighty God, giver of all good things, we thank you for feeding
us with the spiritual food of Christ Jesus present in our midst. May
what we have received here nourish us and guide us in loving,
faithful action. Amen
Glory to God, whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to
generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen

We Go Into the World
One: May the mystery of God, the Christ child and the Holy Spirit be
with you and remain with you always. Let us go now in peace to
love and serve the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God! Alleluia!

Postlude: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Don Butt & Hiromi Bradshaw

This service was created with resources from the New Zealand Prayer Book and the
United Methodist Book of Worship.