Everything you need for Christmas Eve online worship on December 24, 2020
Preparations for Worship:
- Do your best to eliminate distractions like the phone, TV, etc.
- Worship actively! Whether you are by yourself or with others, try reading the parts of the service aloud (responses, lessons, and prayers).
- This service is for children too. Help them participate. Ask those who have that ability to read a prayer or lesson aloud. Take a moment to describe what’s happening. Ask questions. Encourage little ones to draw what they are hearing while you all listen. Unlike our more typical Sunday worship at church, you can pause at any time for questions and discussion.
- Before you begin, load each of the videos below. (You might first have to get past a distracting ad.)
- Pause for a moment of quiet meditation. Then pray:
“Heavenly Father, I have come to worship you. Draw near to me in your gracious Word, and assure me of your loving kindness. Curb my wandering thoughts, that with undivided attention I may hear your voice and speak your praise. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.”
CALL TO WORSHIP
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. You have set your glory above the Heavens.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords, to him who alone does great wonders, who by his understanding made the heavens, who spread out the earth upon the waters, who made the great lights – the sun, to govern the day, the moon and stars to govern the night.
Great is the Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
But our iniquities have separated us from our God; our sins have hidden his face from us, so that he will not hear. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. We look for deliverance, but it is far away.
For our offenses are many in his sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our sins.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord our Righteousness.”
Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.
Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised forever and ever. Alleluia!
CONFESSION OF SINS AND FORGIVENESS
Dear friends, let us approach God with a true heart and confess our sins, asking him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to forgive us.
Lord of life, I confess that I am by nature dead in sin.
For faithless worrying and selfish pride,
For sins of habit and sins of choice,
for the evil I have done and the good I have failed to do,
You should cast me away from your presence forever.
O Lord, I am sorry for my sins. Forgive me, for Jesus’ sake.
Glory to God in the highest!
In love that astounds us, the eternal God sent his one and only Son to live among us, to obey as we could not, and to suffer what we deserved.
In Christ there is indeed peace on earth In him God extends his good will to all people. He was born to save us.
Because of Christ and by his authority, I say to you what God himself says:
In Christ your sins are forgiven!
Glory to God in the highest! Amen.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true light. Grant that as we have known on earth the wonder of that light, we may also behold him in all glory in the life to come; through your only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
FIRST LESSON – ISAIAH 9:2-7
2The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in the land of the shadow of death, the light has dawned. 3You have multiplied the nation. You have increased its joy. They rejoice before you like the joy at harvest, like the celebration when people divide the plunder. 4 For you have broken the yoke that burdened him, the bar on his shoulder, and the rod of his oppressor, as you did in the day of Midian. 5For every boot that marched in battle and the garments rolled in blood will be burned, fuel for the fire. 6For to us a child is born. To us a son is given. The authority to rule will rest on his shoulders. His name will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7There will be no limit to his authority and no end to his peace. He will rule on David’s throne and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
GOSPEL – LUKE 2:1-20
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3And everyone went to register, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the town of Nazareth, into Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and family line of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, his wife, who was pledged to him in marriage and was expecting a child. 6And so it was that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8There were in the same country shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified! 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. For behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people: 11Today in the town of David, a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude from the heavenly army, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mankind.” 15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Now let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they told others the message they had been told about this child. 18And all who heard it were amazed by what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
DEVOTION – ROMANS 8:32
Offerings may be given on-line at tithe.ly/risensavior, mailed to the church, or dropped off at the church.
Our members have joined together in faith and love to do the Lord’s work in this community and around the world. Guests need not feel obligated to participate in this offering which supports our ministry.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
We praise you, Lord God, that from the very beginning of time, you gave the command to be fruitful and multiply. You have blessed and sanctified families throughout history, most significantly through the birth of the Christ Child.
Continue to bless all the families represented here; strengthen and restore relationships; protect and keep each family, providing for all of their needs through your riches in Christ Jesus, so that together they can all rejoice in your goodness, praising God.
We praise you, Lord God, that you provide for the needs of people through the family, and also through good civic leaders and servants — mayors and councils, emergency workers and health-care providers; police officers and our armed forces. All of these are governed by you, who uses these individuals to bless us and keep us safe.
We thank you for them and ask that you keep them in your care, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest!
On this blessed day, we are thankful to be surrounded by so many of our fellow believers, our spiritual family. We are thankful for the guests you have brought us this evening. We are also reminded of many others who are not here. We pray for those in our community who are not here, who do not understand how much they need the gifts that only Christ can give.
We ask the Spirit to use us to help these souls hear the Savior’s call, so that they too might worship the newborn King.
Father, you also care for the lonely and the destitute. Guide us, as your children and your servants, to reach out to those who are alone.
Help us include them, reflecting your love, so they truly have a reason to join us in praising God.
Bless the sick and the home-bound of our congregation, Lord. Let them feel your loving, healing presence; be their rock and their refuge in every trouble.
Feeble voice or strong, you love them, and with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, they can join in praising God.
Receive our prayers and our praise, Lord God who taught us to pray…
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
THE LORD’S BLESSINGS
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.
Glory to God in the highest. Amen!