Worship at Home
Worship for Christmas Day 2020
Friday 25th December 10:00 AM
(or whenever you wish)
Our Christmas Day message comes from Rev Alan sharp.
This short act of worship is for use from home. Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.
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Welcome to our worship for Christmas Day.
There are four carols this morning, and each is a specially chosen recording – especially the last! The words may be different from the hymnbook but are shown in this script. I believe they will make your Christmas special.
This Christmas is going to be different for us all, but the Christmas message is the same:
“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”
STF 214 Once in Royal David's City
Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.
He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor and meek and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour holy.
Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him, but in heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around
During Advent we have been lighting candles and now we can light a candle to represent Christ: With our candle today, we thank God for the birth of Jesus: for the hope he gives us, for the peace he bestows, for the joy he pours into our hearts, and for the love that redeems us and shows us the way
Loving God, we thank you for this season of Christmas – for all it has meant to us over the years, and for all it continues to mean, and all it will mean in generations to come.
May the light of Christ shine, especially after a year of darkness and uncertainty.
Help us this day to celebrate the birth of Christ: to worship as joyfully as the shepherds and wise men long ago;
to welcome him with love…
and to worship him with gladness,
to the glory of your name. Amen
The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
STF 212 O Come All Ye Faithful
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!
God of God, Light of Light,
Lo! he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God, begotten, not created,
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;
A reflection for Christmas Day
The youth group at a certain church was performing a nativity play. The innkeeper had reluctantly led Joseph and Mary into the stable, and now they were seated by the manger, looking as pious as they possibly could. And then it came time for the shepherds to enter. Dressed in flannel bathrobes and towelled head gear, the shepherds proceeded on-stage. Mary and Joseph were looking earnestly at the straw which contained a single naked light bulb that was playing the part of Jesus, light of the world.
With his back to the audience, one shepherd said to the person playing Joseph, in a loud stage whisper, “Well, Joe, when are you going to pass out cigars?”
The solemn spell of that occasion was destroyed! Mary and Joseph’s both found it impossible to hold back their giggles. The chief angel, standing on a chair behind them shook so hard in laughter that she fell off her chair and took the curtained back drop and all the rest of the props down with her. The whole set was in shambles.
But do you know what? The only thing that didn’t go to pieces was that light bulb in the manger. … it never stopped shining.
And today we celebrate that the baby in the manger is the light of our world, even when the world is in shambles. And it certainly has been in shambles this last year. But the year has been no laughing matter. Some of us will have known heartache and loss, and for all of us some experience of disappointment or regret. Yet the infant Jesus is our living, breathing sign of the love that God has for each one of us.
He is a sign that we are never ever alone. When things collapse around us, God will pick us up. No matter where we are in life, no matter in what condition we find ourselves, the birth of Jesus reminds us that God loves us. And it’s a love that never stops shining.
This is the day to celebrate the amazing thing that God has done. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill to all.
Sung by a 4-year-old girl
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.
Silent night, holy night:
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glory streams from heaven afar;
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Saviour is born!
Silent night, holy night:
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.
Prayers of Intercession
Son of Mary, we pray for all families and for our own. We ask your blessing upon all our loved ones, especially any who may be far away at this Christmas time.
We especially ask that you will be with families that are broken, those unable to meet or where there is pain through loss or change.
Son of David, we pray for all the nations of the world, remembering those at war, or where people face turmoil and fear. Give wisdom to all who rule, and to those working to bring stability and healing in places of tension
Son of man, we pray for those who are suffering at this time, especially any in hospital, and those coping with Covid-19 or an illness which has no cure. May they receive the gift of your grace, and trust in your eternal love.
Son of God, may the Christmas message inspire and deepen our faith. Amidst all the excitement and busy-ness of Christmas, help us to be like Mary – to ponder in our hearts the wonder of your birth.
Our Father …
StF 190: Angels from the Realms of Glory
Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story,
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Gloria in excelsis deo (x 2)
Saints before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear:
Though an infant now we view him
He shall fill his father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to him;
Every knee shall then bow down
Gloria in excelsis deo (x2)
May the joy of the angels, the wonder of the shepherds, and the peace of the Christ child fill your hearts this Christmas time;
And the blessing of God the Father,
God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit
be with you now and always.
Worship & message by Revd Alan Sharp, Supernumerary
Northampton Methodist Circuit
Formatting Rev. Phil Snelson
Webpage: Paul Deakin
The Lord's Prayer
Please use the version that you prefer
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,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.