Almighty God, you have shed upon us the new light of your incarnate Word. May this light enkindle in our hearts, shine forth in our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
Heavenly Lord, how patient You are with us, and how hard we find it to put up with the foolishness of others. In humility, You became one of us, and we keep wanting everything to be about us. You model a life of meekness in service to others, and we are convinced life is all about power and success. All creation sings of Your kindness, while we hurl angry words at those we say we care about the most.
Yet, rather than becoming frustrated with us, Joy of Christmas, You continue to forgive us. Clothe us with Your love, we pray, so we might be more compassionate towards others. Touch us with Your grace, so we might become more gentle people. Fill us with that peace which longs to reside in our hearts, even as we seek to continue our journey with the Child of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Psalter Lesson: Psalm 148 NRSV (source)
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed. Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and women alike, old and young together!Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord!
New Testament Lesson: Colossians 3: 12-17 NRSV (source)
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- No. 22 – Angels, from the Realms of Glory
- No. 49 – Once in Royal David’s City
- No. 29 – Go, Tell It on the Mountain
- No. 40 – Joy to the World!
Solo performed by Bruce Jordan
“Getting Dressed Up” – Rev. Dr. Martha Jordan