COCU5C.Christmas Eve

Nativity

Geri Melchers, a 19th century American artist

Call to Worship
When we wait in the night
in the hush that only stars can hold
as they bend towards the coming of the light;
when we wait in the night
labouring with anticipation
of what midnight shall bring;
when we wait in the night
listening to the cadence of minutes
beat in rhythm with the birth of hope;
may we hold our collective breaths
with the angelic host
as they clutch their restless alleluias,
for God is on the way:
the mother is labouring
the father pacing
the stable readying
the word is waiting
the light is sliding
and the promise is breaking through
When we wait in the longing for midnight
in expectation of Good News
may we choose to wait together
and find we have moved to the edge of justice
for in such anticipation
is the only place
for the Word to be born among us.
(c) Rev Roddy Hamilton. Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.

O night of wondrous mystery,
you enfold us in your treasured darkness.
O star of hope and longing,
you shine in our most simple sky.
O winter wind wailing,
you mingle with our sighs, our songs.
O heavenly choir, behind night’s deep curtain,
you draw your single breath.
O silence, rife with God,
we lean toward the musical pause.
O song, O throat of heaven,
you find your sweetest voice in us.
O nerve, you will with perfect will,
and we move, we know not how.
O holy child, in your becoming
we become.
O night of the unending unseen,
blossom in us slowly.
O star, so small and excellent,
shine in us as long as you need to.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light

God with us,
as we wait for the dawning of Christmas Day,
as our souls long for your presence among us,
let us remember Bethlehem in the midst of our celebrations;
still occupied, still a place of division and fear.

God with us,
in whom there is neither Jew nor Gentile;
in the land of Christ’s birth
come to the hungry places, bringing hope,
come to the dark places, bringing justice,
come to the lonely places, bringing love.
Come again in Bethlehem,
come in us, and through us, and even despite us.
That all may join the angels’ song.
Glory to God in the highest heaven.
All hail, let there be joy.
(Source: Church of Scotland)

At Pilgrim Church in 2014, we developed the (late) Christmas Eve service around refugees, a pertinent topic in Australia in 2014 with the cruel punitive policies of the Government. We interviewed four people and edited the interviews into 2 minute segments. I’ll upload a PDF of the service and make a link to the video clips. It was a meaningful and thought provoking service.

A service for Christmas Eve by Rev John Maynard CHRISTMAS EVE.John Maynard

MUSIC

Christmas Baptismal Hymn
(Words: Leith Fisher; tune: Infant lowly, infant holy)
Lord we meet you. Christ, we greet you,
born a child and yet a King.
Round your cradle, in the stable,
we would each our praises bring.

From above us, you come near us,
show you love us, ever hear us.
Now to you we glory sing.
Now to you we glory sing.

Saviour Jesus, now be near us
as we bring our lives to you.
In our children, may your love sing.
May they know your promise true.

Water flowing, Spirit sending
faith a–growing, Love unending.
Take their lives and make them new
Take their lives and make them new

In their growing, keep them knowing
of the wonder of your love.
Root their living, in the giving
of the Saviour from above.

Living Jesus, stand among us;
ever with us, go before us.
In our lives your Spirit move.
Let us all your loving prove.

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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