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December 2021

Dec

Welcome Home

Come Home for Christmas

Christmas Eve, Year C

It’s Christmas Eve. You don’t need me to tell you what to do. Do what you’ve always done. I know, there is something in you, in the faithful worship team, that says you’ve got to do something new, you’ve got to come up with a different way of telling this story. That sentiment is understandable.

We didn’t select a text this week. You know the ones you like to read. You know the ones you like to sing. But tell the story – in as many ways, with as many people as possible. Tell the story of inclusion and acceptance. Tell the story of hospitality and grace. Tell the story that invites us into a relationship with the Christ who is Emmanuel, and the body continues in that presence today. Create a space and an atmosphere that says, “I’m glad you’re here. Welcome home!”

Call to Worship, Opening Prayer

We count it in mere hours now.
Soon the first pains of labour will be felt.
Soon the Light will shine in the darkness,
soon the baby will be born.
Soon God will once again break into our lives,
coming in a way that is expected yet unusual,
challenging our expectations
and calling us to see life differently.

God of birth, God of light,
in this time of song and prayer and silence,
reawaken in us the awe of Christmas.
As we hear again the story of a young woman and a surprising visitor,
remind us that we are called to respond to you in unexpected ways.
And when we leave this place,
may we be willing to sing praises
for a young woman who said YES
and the birth that we prepare to celebrate.
We pray in the name of the child
who even now is starting to push from the womb,
who would later teach his friends to pray, saying

Our Father . . .

Posted by Rev Gord on his blog, Worship Offerings, http://worshipofferings.blogspot.ca. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2014/12/call-to-worship-opening-prayer.html.

Prayer

What a Labor of Love
(John 1:1-14)

Creator God,

In the beginning, you spoke all that is into existence and breathed life into the world. You made light in the midst of darkness, and all that you made was good.

What a labor of love.

You sent John the Baptist to be a witness to the light you would send into the world.

What a labor of love.

The Light of the World, through whom all things were created, came into the world, but the world did not recognize him. The Son came to his own people and they rejected him.

What a labor of love; you loved until it hurt.

When you invite us each by name to draw near to you to find life in you, we turn away. We cause harm to others and scoff at your sweet grace and mercy each day. You continue to love us, protect us, and wait patiently as we find our way home to you.

What a labor of love, you love us though it hurts.

You give us the opportunity to be called daughters and sons of the Most High God. You call us to believe in the One you sent to us – a reflection of you, who reveals your love. Though we constantly reject you, and find love hard, though our thoughts and deeds are often evil, you still find ways to care for us and call us your own.

What a labor of love, you love us even when are hurtful.

“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” (John 1:14).

What a labor of love.

What a labor of love.

Sharletta M. Green, The Africana Worship Book for Year C (Discipleship Resources, 2008), 128.

Prayer for Christmas

Loving God,
help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson. Posted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2014/12/prayer-for-christmas.html.

In This Series...


First Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Christmas Eve, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday after Christmas, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Christmas, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • White

In This Series...


First Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Christmas Eve, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday after Christmas, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Christmas, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes