Christmas Day, December 25, 2021, 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
I bring you good news of great joy which will come to all the people
for to you is born this day a Saviour, Christ the LORD. (Luke 2:10-11)
One: I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the
people; for to you is born this day a Saviour, Christ the Lord.
May the joy and grace he brings be with you all! (Luke 2.10–11)
All: And also with you!
Call to Worship - Enfleshed, adapted
One: Look around.
All: The Sacred has collided with the flesh.
One: Holiness incarnates.
All: The Spirit of Christ has come.
One: COVID persists, we continue to pick up the pieces from floods and tornados, people are lonely and hungry, justice and peace have not come in their fullness.
All: The joy of Christmas does not shield us from betraying one another, from building up walls and burning fossil fuels.
One: And yet.
All: And yet.
One: Here in the midst of it, God is with us.
All: As close as our own breath,
as deep as our longings,
as intimate as the love we share,
as present as our hunger, our pain, our pleasure, our touch.
One: In the middle of a world swirling with chaos, something new is born.
All: Something that turns us towards each other, that will keep us dreaming of an economy that doesn’t profit from the poor, that will remind us how powerful Love can be when it is channelled in the direction of collective liberation.
One: Today, we are reminded that we don’t have to look very far for the source of our hope.
All: We just have to pay attention. Close attention.
Listening carefully in the midst of all the noise.
Letting wisdom bubble up from within.
Moving at the pace of God, not of production.
One: Take courage. Linger in the mystery. Look anew at one another.
All: Christ has come. All flesh shall be set free.
Let us pray,
Gather us in, O God, to this Eucharist, to this celebration of your presence enfleshed in our midst. May we receive your presence as freely as it is offered. In Christ Jesus we pray, Amen.
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 Christians, fear; for sinners here
the silent Word is pleading. [Refrain]
3 So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh,
come, one and all, to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings;
let loving hearts enthrone him. [Refrain]
Prayer of Confession - BAS
Most Merciful God,
We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.
Assurance of Grace - New Zealand Prayer Book, adapted
Through Christ, Emanuel,
God have mercy on you,
and set you free.
Know that you are forgiven
and be at peace. Amen.
Sharing the Peace
Seeing as how we are reconciled in Christ, let us also be reconciled to one another through the peace of Christ that is born anew in us today.
One: The Peace of Christ be with you all.
All: And also with you.
First Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10 - Reader: Don Moser
Listen to 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: - Reader: Angela Nutter
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
We Respond to God’s Love
Prayers of the People - Karen Hollis
One: God Incarnate
All: Hear our 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, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.
Offering Video: TBD - The Work of the People
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 a mystery that continues to accompany us through time, and God’s presence in this online space is also a mystery. Yet we know this as a space where God meets us and connects us to each other . . . even in our remembering of Jesus in this way. Welcome to this odd and wonderful space, where your spirit may be filled.
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:
Sanctus - MV #203
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: Holy are you, O God, and blessed is the memory of your Son, the enfleshed Word, born to Mary on that night long ago; blessed is the memory of his life, his teaching, and his mysterious presence among us; blessed is the memory of 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 forgivenes of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
One: 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
Faithful God, we give thanks for the new life that flows from the gifts you share. May they renew us and open our hearts to your love newly born in our midst. 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.
One: The blessing of God the mystery, 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!