December 27, 2015 ~ 10:30am
First Sunday of Christmas
Nine Lessons and Carols
The People of Peace Church
Jim Pospisil, Music Director
Rev. Kathryn Nelson
A Note on the Recording: We had problems with this recording and offer the best we have.
Greeting One Another
Ringing of the Peace Bells
God is Revealed in Word and Song
*Choral Call to Worship
“Once in Royal David’s City” (#145 black hymnal)
The Bidding Prayer
First Lesson: Genesis 1:1-5, 14–18, 31a Reader: Jill Pospisil
“I see the way the chickadees take turns at the feeder. I watch a neighbor take her husband’s hand. I see the way the sun will find the only interruption in the dark clouds to toss this amber light across the pines. I see a row of cars stop on the road until the orange cat has safely crossed, then take off slowly, should she change her mind. I watch the way my brother lifts our mother from the wheelchair to the car, the shawl he lays across her lap. I save up every scrap of light, because I know it will take each tiny consolation every day to mend the world.” ~ Deb Cooper
Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (#116 black hymnal)
Second Lesson: Genesis 17:6-7 Reader: Randy Schmidt
The initiative for the establishment of the covenant comes from God. Among the promises granted to Abraham and Sarah and their descendants, the divine affirmation, “I will be their God” stands out. That is not a stipulation…but states the essence of the covenant itself. ~ Fred Craddock
Hymn: “’Twas in the Moon of Wintertime” (#151 black hymnal)
Third Lesson: Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 Reader: Gudrun Witrak
God speaks to us in God’s own special sign language—a baby. Not much. A small December child. A baby is birth, beginnings, potential, without guarantee. A baby is helpless, but not hopeless. A baby is someone to watch. A baby is the future appearing now. Are there baby-signs from God signaling hope to us watchers on the hillsides?
~ Robert A. Raines
Hymn: “All Earth is Waiting” (#121 black hymnal)
Fourth Lesson: Luke 1:26-35, 38 Readers: Mary & Gretchen Karstens
Sing out my soul,
sing of the holiness of God:
who has delighted in a woman,
lifted up the poor,
satisfied the hungry,
given voice to the silent,
grounded the oppressor,
blessed the full-bellied with emptiness,
and with the gift of tears
those who have never wept;
who has desired the darkness of the womb,
and inhabited our flesh.
Sing of the belonging of God,
sing out, my soul. ~Janet Morley
Hymn: “Mary, Woman of the Promise” (#123 black hymnal)
Fifth Lesson: Matthew 1:18-23 Reader: Bob Montgomery
Hymn: “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” (#129 black hymnal)
Sixth Lesson: Luke 2:1-7 Reader: René Montgomery
We surround the simple stable with a glow of godly light.
We fill the sky with winged angels and a supernatural star.
Shepherds come with questions about a heavenly king, and magi march a thousand desert miles bringing golden gifts.
But I think the bundled bag lady warming her weary feet on the sewer grate knows best the naked truth about that night—
the clammy warmth of cattle’s breath,
the beggars share of borrowed straw,
the fragile frailty of life.
The tinsel in our story hides the hard message of stable-birth.
that God waits, weeping and powerless as a newborn babe,
for a word of welcome. ~ Gary Boelhower
Hymn: “Who Would Think…” (#153 black hymnal)
Seventh Lesson: Luke 2:8-16 Reader: Judy Russell
Hymn: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (#144 black hymnal)
Eighth Lesson: Matthew 2:1-12 Reader: Patty Beech
In Choosing to Be Born
In choosing to be born for us, God chose to be known by us. God therefore reveals God’s own self in this way, in order that this great sacrament of love may not be an occasion for us of great misunderstanding. Today the Magi find, crying in a manger, the one they have followed, shining in the sky. Today the Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited, laying hidden among the stars. Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, humanity in God, God in humanity, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. ~ Peter Chrysologus, 5th Century
Hymn: “What Child Is This?” (#148 black hymnal)
Ninth Lesson: John 1:1-14 Reader: Cindy Macaulay
In the silence, name me
Holy One, untamed by the names I give you, in the silence name me that I may know who I am, hear the truth you have put into me, which you call me to live out with my sisters and brothers in Your beloved human family. ~ Ted Loder
Hymn: “O Come, All You Faithful” (#135 black hymnal)
We Respond to God’s Word
Sharing Our Prayer Concerns, Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer,
the Lord’s Prayer (with debts), and Choral Amen
Sharing our Offerings
Offertory: “Sussex Carol”
*The Thanksgiving (Old Hundredth)
Hope in the God who reigns above,
Who holds us all in steadfast love,
Whose Spirit blows across the earth,
Preparing us for second birth.
*Unison Prayer of Dedication
See, you come in this holy season with the simple gift of life itself. See, you invite us to share from the abundance of our lives, so others might be filled with life, with hope, with love, and with grace. Bless these gifts we offer to You, so they may be used to share the gospel of wholeness and welcome for all. Amen.
*Closing Hymn: “I am the Light of the World” (#584 black hymnal)
*Benediction & Postlude