Christmas Eve Hybrid Worship Bulletin

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

CHRISTMAS EVE 

12-24-2022     7:00PM Hybrid Worship

+   Gathering   +

THE OPENING RITE:

L   Blessed be the holy Trinity, [+] one God,

Love from the beginning, Word made flesh, Breath of Heaven,

C Amen. 

L   My friends, without God our lives are empty and barren, without hope. Sometimes troubles surround us, turmoil makes our hearts grow weary, and tragedy causes us to tremble and shudder. Sometimes life’s temptations lead us astray, but there are also those times when we seem hell-bent on messing up all by ourselves. As Advent preparation ends and as the “mass of Christ” arrives, can we recognize our deep need and look for those signs of God’s saving grace? Let us confess.    [Silence for personal reflection.]

L   Loving God, when we allow the shadows to overcome the light around us and within us…

C Forgive us, Lord.

L   When we reduce Christmas to plastic and tinsel…

C Have mercy on us, O God.

L   When hardness of heart keeps us from seeing and hearing and touching the needs of others…

C May your grace multiply within us.

L   When the wars and violence and neglect that surround us are of no concern to us…

C Forgive us, Lord, and move us to compassion for those who suffer.

L   When caring is just a moment of pity, and not transformed into meaningful action…

C Move us to seek justice and to offer mercy for our brothers and sisters.

L   Mighty God, on this night – this silent, holy night – we confess our sinfulness before You and each other…

C Remove all barriers that divide us, 

             and let there be no obstacle to our love for You and our love for one another.  Amen.

L   People of God, through the coming of Jesus Christ – whose birth we announce and celebrate this eve – the Lord has comforted and redeemed us! Recall the words of the angels: GOOD news… GREAT Joy… ALL people. In the name and in the spirit of [+] Jesus Christ, you are forgiven and dearly loved.

C Glory to God in the highest,

  and peace to God’s people on earth, beginning here, beginning now, beginning with us!

ENTRANCE SONG: “O COME, ALL YOU FAITHFUL”                     Green #45 

  • O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,   O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

Come and behold him   born the king of angels:

O come, let us adore him!   O come, let us adore him!

              O come, let us adore him   Christ the Lord! 

  • The highest, most holy, Light of light eternal,   born of a virgin, a mortal he comes;

Son of the Father,   now in flesh appearing!

  • Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,   sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!

Glory to… God   in… the… highest:

  • Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;   Jesus, to thee… be… glory given!

Word of the Father,   now in flesh appearing:

THE PRAYER OF THE DAY (together):

Lord God and Father of Jesus Christ, this is the night when He was born, our hope and our salvation.

We pray to you to let His light shine in and through our lives.

May we love Him and keep Him, your Word among us, today and every day, world without end. Amen.

+   Holy Word   +

DANCE SELECTION: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (Luther Vandross)   The St. Peter’s Praise Dancers 

FIRST READING:   Isaiah  9:2-7     

[Introduction: Isaiah’s words come at a time of national chaos and despair, when things were about as bad as they could get for  those in the Kingdom of Judah. His good news is this for those who walk in darkness: rescue is coming! This poem promises deliverance from Assyrian oppression, a hope based on the birth of a child with a name full of promise. While Judah’s king will practice justice and righteousness, the real basis for faith lies in God’s passion for his people: The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this! In ancient times, the Old Testament prophet didn’t know the name of this child… but, in the Church, believers have been naming and claiming the name of the one who God has sent throughout the ages!]

2  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

3  You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;

they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,

as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.

4  For as the day in Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them,

the bar across their shoulders,

the rod of their oppressor.

5  Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood

will be destined for burning,

will be fuel for the fire.

6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,

and the government shall be upon his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

SONG SELECTION: “Happy Birthday, Jesus” The St. Peter’s Youth Choir 

MUSIC SELECTION: Jordyn Tillison

SECOND READING:   Titus 2:11-14     

[Introduction: Paul addresses his letter to Titus, who has been left behind to continue leading and establishing a church in Crete.  It is in the midst of a culture that is apparently somewhat of a mess and probably won’t be too interested in being faithful and obedient to God. This might sound familiar to us. Paul reminds Titus, reminds the Cretan Christians, reminds us, that the grace of God has indeed already appeared, bringing salvation to all. Consequently, in the present they and we ought to live wisely and justly, while also anticipating the hope of our Savior’s final appearance.]

11  For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all people.

12  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age,

13  while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

14  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

GOSPEL READING SONG: “ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH”       Green #71

  • Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains,

And the mountains in reply, echoing their joyous strains.

Glo   –    –    –    – ria  in excelsis Deo;

  Glo   –    –    –    – ria  in excelsis Deo.

  • Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong?

What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heav’nly song?

  • Come to Bethlehem and see Him whose birth the angels sing;

Come, adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the newborn king.

GOSPEL:   Luke 2:1-20

[Introduction: In Luke’s familiar account of Christ’s birth, God’s greatest gift comes as a baby in a  manger in the little town of Bethlehem, born to an unwed girl. The evening sky is bright with angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest.” Stirred by the good news of great joy and the spoken blessing of peace, lowly shepherds hurry to see. Luke tells the story of Jesus’ birth with reference to rulers of the world because this birth has significance for the whole earth, conveying  a divine offer of peace to all.]

1  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

2  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

3  And everyone went to his own town to register.

4  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

5  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

6  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,

7  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night.

9  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and they were terrified.

10  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

11  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

12  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

13  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people on whom his favor rests.”

15  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger.

17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

18  and all were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

19  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things

they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

 

SONG SELECTION: The St. Peter’s Christmas Choir

TONIGHT’S MESSAGEHerschel and Rachel, innkeepers of Bethlehem   (Daren + Donna Waite)

SONG SELECTION: The St. Peter’s Christmas Choir

THE PRAYERS…  We pray that the joy and light of JESUS CHRIST will touch all lives!

+   Holy Meal   +

TITHES (10% giving) AND GIFTSPeople of God, the greatest gift you have received this year and in your entire lifetime is the gift of Jesus… the greatest gift you can give to others is words and deeds, help and hope, that share Jesus with others. Let us be grateful and generous in our response! 

SONG SELECTION: The St. Peter’s Christmas Choir

OFFERING PRAYER:

Amazing God, light has dawned on us and we want to share it… there is joy to tell and we can’t help but bear it. O how we thank you for the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ! As we celebrate his birth, guide us to be bearers of light, makers of peace, and heralds of good news to all the world.  Always, Amen.

THE PREFACE:

L   Christ is born among us! The Lord be with you.                  C   AND ALSO WITH YOU!

L   Hope and promise are alive! Lift up your hearts! C   WE LIFT THEM UP IN LOVE FOR GOD!

L   Jesus is our Redeemer! Let us give thanks to our God! C   IT IS RIGHT TO GIVE GOD THANKS AND PRAISE!

L   Gracious God, we gather together in celebration of all the signs of your love in our lives, too many to count.

But especially we thank You this evening for speaking your Word, Jesus Christ, to us. You could have shown

no greater love than by sharing what You treasured most, your only Son, your Word of love, your peace on

earth, the light that comforts us, the hope to which we cling. He was born to give us new life, born to

deliver us from grave and from hell. We join heaven and earth in singing our praises…

C (sing) JESUS… JESUS…   OH, WHAT A WONDERFUIL CHILD!

JESUS… JESUS…   SO HOLY, MEEK, AND MILD!

NEW LIFE, NEW HOPE, TO ALL HE BRINGS;

LISTEN TO THE ANGELS SING,

“GLORY, GLORY, GLO-RY TO THE NEW BORN KING!”

THE EUCHARISTIC WORDS by the Celebrant, who recalls and re-enacts Jesus’ Holy Meal.

THE LORD’S PRAYER  (spoken)

COMMUNION AND BLESSINGSAll believers in Christ are welcome at the Lord’s Table! We will have “continuous distribution” with wafers and either wine or grape juice. CHRIST COMES TO US IN BREAD AND WINE AND BLESSING, BRINGING US PEACE, UNITY, STRENGTH, AND HOPE! 

COMMUNION SONGS: Green #60 Green #70 Green #54 

THE COMMUNION BLESSING by the Celebrant after all have communed.

POST-COMMUNION PRAYER by the Communion Assistant. 

     O Lord, with our own eyes we have seen the joy of your salvation, and with our own lips we have tasted of your Kingdom. We celebrate the birth of your Son among us! Shine out through us to a hurting world that knows the night and needs the light.  Amen.

+   Sending   +

THE BENEDICTION…   We go forth in the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT to testify, baptize, and serve! 

CANDLELIGHTING AND CLOSING SONG: “SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT!”                      Green #65          

  1. Silent night, holy night!  All is calm, all is bright,

round yon virgin mother and child.   Holy infant, so tender and mild.

Sleep in heavenly peace,   sleep in heavenly peace.

  1. Silent night, holy night!   Shepherds quake at the sight;  

Glories stream from heaven afar,   heav’nly hosts sing Alleluia!

Christ, the Savor, is born!   Christ, the Savior, is born!

  1. Silent night, holy night!   Son of God, love’s pure light

radiant beams from your holy face,   with the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at your birth,   Jesus, Lord, at your birth.

+

Christmas, the shortest season of the Church’s “liturgical year”, begins on the first stroke after midnight on December 25 and ends twelve days later, at midnight on January 5, Epiphany Eve. This season celebrates the birth of Jesus – born in the company of animals and angels, shepherds and kings, the young and the old, the wise and the foolish, the humble and the hateful. Christmas is not only a time when we celebrate the amazing announcement that GOD BECAME A HUMAN. It should also be a time when we remember that he arrived into an unfriendly world, destined and determined to be a friend to the entire world. JESUS WAS BORN TO GIVE US NEW LIFE, BORN TO DELIVER US FROM GRAVE AND FROM HELL. To the miracle of his birth and the mystery of his undeserved suffering – even death on a cross – Jesus has brought the deeper mystery of unmerited love and the miracle of our new birth.

 

Christmas Poinsettias 2022

giving silent, vibrant, star-shaped praise to the Christ Child!

1 pink poinsettia given in honor of Olliyah Perkins by Rashidad Drayton Perkins

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Travist and Emma Johnson, parents, and Kenneth Johnson, brother,

by Pastors Gwen and Neil.

1 red poinsettia in memory of Karen Brown, our mother, by Katrina Whittaker and Veronica Britto.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Nicole Draper, our daughter, by Brenda and Aaron Draper.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Ronald Draper, our son, by Brenda and Aaron Draper.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Laval Hillsman by Timyk Hillsman.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of James E. Hines, Sr. by Dorothy E. Hines.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of William Cook by Diane Hughes.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Alvin Wesley Rouse Sr., my father, by Beverly E. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Helen Rouse, my mother, by Beverly E. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Alvin Wesley Rouse Jr., my brother, by Beverly E. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Linda Richardson, my sister, by Beverly E. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Wayne Rouse, my brother, by Beverly E. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in honor of Beverly E. Morris, Mom, by Tanya K. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of William H. Morris, Grandpop, by Tanya K. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Anilsa Perkins by Rashidah Drayton Perkins

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Paul B. Samuel, Sr. by Shelvia Samuel.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of my grandmother, Adele Coyt, by Roland Thompson.

1 white poinsettia in memory of William Thompson, Grandpa by Katrina Whittaker and Veronica Britto.

1 white poinsettia in memory of Theodore Hughes by Diane Hughes.

1 white poinsettia given in memory of Donald and Edith Bond by Pastors Neil and Gwen.

1 white poinsettia given in memory of Ollie Drayton by Rashidah Drayton Perkins.

1 white poinsettia in memory of my mother-in-law, Vera Taylor, by Roland Thompson.

 

“SPECIAL DELIVERY!”

Many ages ago after God created the heavens and the earth,

when man and woman were formed in God’s own image;

several thousand years after the great flood,

when God set the rainbow in the clouds as a sign of the covenant;

twenty-one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah

when God chose a people to bear the promise and the responsibility;

thirteen centuries after Moses led the Hebrew people out of Egypt

to freedom and a new beginning;

eleven centuries from the time of Ruth and the judges;

one thousand years from the anointing of David as king;

in the sixty-fifth week, according to the prophecy of Daniel;

in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

in the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the founding of the city of Rome;

in the forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus as Caesar,

while Quirinius was governor of Syria;

in the sixth age of the world,

the Roman Empire being at peace during the Pax Romana;

when the time was right;

God sent the Son, Jesus,

born of the virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem in Judea,

wrapped in pieces of cloth and placed in a feeding trough,

a tiny, precious, whimpering baby…

God’s own Son,

the Word in the flesh,

sent to show us God’s love

and to save us,

our Lord and our Savior!

Today, in this time and this place we gather in joy and wonder –

to stand with shepherds, amazed at God’s glory;

to sing with angels, rejoicing in God’s work;

to wait with Joseph, trusting in God’s promise;

to sit with Mary, cradling God’s love.

May the good news of this night inspire us to tell the world of our great joy:

for to us is born a Savior,

the Messiah, the Lord.

Glory and praise to God forever!  Amen.

Join us online tomorrow at 10:00AM for the joyous celebration of the wonder and mystery of Jesus Christ born among us! [Back in the sanctuary next Sunday!]

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jun
23
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jun
30
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
3
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
5
Fri
2024
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.