Order of Service – Friday 25 December – CHRISTMAS

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CALL TO WORSHIP

We gather in the name of the One called Emmanuel, God with us!

We praise You Jesus, Son of God – yet born of Mary.

Eternal Word – yet a child without speech.

Clothed in glory – yet wrapped in swaddling bands.

Lord of heaven and earth – yet laid in a manger.

Beloved child of God we celebrate Your birth this day.

The Wisdom of the Wonderful Counsellor, the Strength of the Mighty God and Everlasting Father, and the peace of the Prince of Peace be with you! And also with you!

HYMN:       309        “Angels, From the Realms of Glory

PRAYER OF INTERCESSION

Child of Bethlehem, You chose to lay aside Your glory born among us in simplicity and poverty, lowliness and humility.

We kneel at the manger and put our faith in You.

Where peace is difficult to achieve, when hopes are dashed, when joy is stolen, or love withheld, may Your abiding presence bring light in the darkness.

Child of Bethlehem, we pray for all children especially those born in poverty and vulnerability.

We particularly remember the people of Zimbabwe for whom the road to

recovery is long and hard.

Strengthen those facing illness and those who have lost loved ones because of Aids and COVID-19.

Be with those living on the margins because of poverty or exclusion, comfort families facing uncertainty and those seeking safety.

Grant your light to shine on your people of Zimbabwe. Amen.

A LITANY FOR ADVENT

God, we adore You because You have come to us in the past. You have spoken to us in the Law of Israel. You have challenged us in the words of the prophets. You have shown us in Jesus what You are really like.

Lord God, we adore You because You still come to us now.

You come to us through other people and their love and concern for us.

You come to us through men and women who need our help.

You come to us as we worship You.

Lord God, we adore You because You will come to us at the end. You will be with us at the hour of death. You will still reign supreme when all human institutions fail. You will still be God when our history has run its course.

We welcome You, God who comes. Come to us now in the power of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Lord God, we come to adore You. You are the source of all that is.

You have spoken, and given form and beauty to the world. You have spoken, and given purpose to human life.

You have spoken, and declared the forgiveness to our sin, You have spoken, and freed us from the fear of death.

Lord Jesus Christ, divine Word, speak to us the eternal purpose; remove our guilt; conquer the fear of death in our hearts. Speak and let us hear You, Lord. Amen.

LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE                                               

The light of Christ has come into the world. Badayala Djesu-Christkuny bilin bunan dhiyal munatha’ŋur.

‘Aboriginal people carry sacred stories that tell of the coming of light into the world. Today we give thanks that Christ is born into our world.’ -Maratja Dhamarrandji

God overcomes our darkness.

Thank you God, for the gift of light!

Loving God, guide our feet to the stable that in faith we would kneel at the manger in Bethlehem.

Thank you for the gifts of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love that are ours this day. Amen.   (The Christ candle is lit)

HYMN:       311       “Silent Night, Holy Night

CHRISTMAS BOWL  –  Video Clip

BIBLE READINGS –

Isaiah 9:2-7 (Page 683)                                           Luke 2:1-20 (Pages 1014-1015)

John 8:12-20 (Page 1059)

MUSICAL REFLECTION

MESSAGE:                  “The Light of the World”         Krikor Youmshajekian

HYMN:       313       “Good Christians All, Rejoice

OFFERING – DEDICATION OF OFFERING

Unpredictable God, You come in surprising ways.

In actions so unexpected. 

Who would have thought that the King of the Universe would make His home among us?

Yet it is so!

Who would have guessed that God would come as a tiny babe into our world?

Yet it is so!

And the world has never been the same since Your coming.

For this gift of our Saviour we would give You the wonder of our minds and the gratitude of our hearts.

Be born not only in a stable long ago but in our hearts today.

Thank You God for this opportunity to support the Christmas Bowl Appeal.

Use the gifts we offer to bring your liberating love to the lives of many.  Amen.

HYMN:       268       “Joy to the World! The Lord is Come

THE LORD’S PRAYER – SENDING OUT

Bethlehem is the beginning not the end of our journey with Christ! 

As you leave this place may we take with us the joy of Mary, the dreams of Joseph, the wonder of the shepherds, and the song of the angels.

To God be glory and praise now and forever!

In the birth of Jesus God has provided the world with a great and guiding light .

May the blessing of Christmas enable us to be a blessing to others.

We go from here with the light of Christ shining in our hearts. Amen.

To contact Krikor call   0418 417 411

Church Website:  http://www.longueville.unitingchurch.org.au

Church email: standrewsunite@tpg.com.au

Church Office phone: 9427 4740