Christmas Eve Worship Service | 12-24-23

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

CHRISTMAS EVE 

12-24-2023       7:00PM Hybrid Worship

         

+   Gathering   +

OPENING 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 OPENING RITE AND PRAYER OF THE DAY –  LONGING FOR NEW LIFE AND NEW BIRTH:      

L   Into our world, as into Mary’s womb…

C Come, Lord Jesus!

L   Into the forgotten places, as into the stable…

C Come, Lord Jesus!

L   Into the lives of the poor, bringing hope;

into the lives of the powerful, bringing caution;

     into the lives of the weary, bringing rest;

     into the lives of the wise, bringing restlessness;

into the lives of those who suffer and struggle, bringing peace;

into the lives of those who are smug and successful, bringing disturbance;

into the lives of the least and the lonely, bringing love that does not fail…

C Come, Lord Jesus!

L   Into the churches, into our praying, into our singing and our serving…

C Come, Lord Jesus!

L   Into our own lives and longings,

especially when we have stopped listening and caring and trying;

especially when we have become too comfortable with the shadows of our sin and a broken world;

especially when we are attracted and attached to the glitter and the glamour of success and pleasure;

especially when we have expected little from You and hoped for even less;

especially when love has been absent from our daily living…

C Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Hallelujah!

L   Here is a place for You, Lord Jesus. Make us your personal Bethlehem.

Let there be room for You in the inn of our hearts. We pray together…

C O Lord Jesus, be born again –  not in a manger, but in us!

Come on down and creep in beside us.

Come on down and move into our skin.

Come on down and squeeze new life from us. 

Let there be a light, let there be a word, let there be a friend to save us! AMEN now and always!  

 

+   Holy Word   +

SONG SELECTION: ALL SAINTS CHOIR

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!]

9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.

9:3 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.

9:4 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.

9:5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

9:6 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

9:7 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.

 

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.]

2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all people.

2:12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age,

2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

2:14 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: “HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING”                     Green #60

  • Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn king;

Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.”

Joyful, all you nations, rise; Join the triumph of the skies;

With angelic hosts proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn king!” 

  1.  Christ by highest heav’n adored, Christ the everlasting Lord,

Late in time behold him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womn.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see! Hail, incarnate deity!

Pleased as man with us to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel!

  1.  Hail the heav’n born Prince of Peace! Hail the sun of righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings, Ris’n with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by, Born that we no more may die,

Born to raise each child of earth, Born to give us second birth.

Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to 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 Romanworld.

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: ALL SAINTS CHOIR 

CHRISTMAS EVE DRAMA:  Living Word” written by Joe Davis

THE PRAYERS…  We pray that the good news and great joy of JESUS CHRIST will touch all lives and transform the world!    

 

+   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: ALL SAINTS 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 new and 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.  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, and he died to

deliver us from grave and from hell. We join with 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 #39 Green #70 Green #55 

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.

+

He was born to die, and he died to give us new birth. 

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
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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
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Sun
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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
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Sun
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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
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Fri
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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.