Christmas Day 2015 9.30am

WELCOME

 

CALL TO WORSHIP: Christmas is not a holiday package wrapped with a bright ribbon and holly. It is a time for recalling that night long ago when Bethlehem cradled to its heart and gave humankind the saviour of the world.

For to us a child was born bringing love, joy, hope and peace to us all.

 

HYMN: Good Christians, All Rejoice

Good Christians, all rejoice with heart and soul and voice;

now give heed to what we say, Jesus Christ is born today,

ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now;

Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

 

Good Christians, all rejoice with heart and soul and voice;

now you hear of endless bliss, Jesus Christ was born for this:

he has opened heaven’s door, and all are blessed for evermore.

Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

 

Good Christians, all rejoice with heart and soul and voice;

now you need not fear the grave, Jesus Christ was born to save,

calls you one, and calls you all, to gain his everlasting hall.

Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!         ©JM Neale (CH4 322)

 

WE PONDER: Advent – lighting the Advent candles – hope, joy, love and peace.

 

THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE IS LIT

 

PRAYER:

 

WE OFFER CHRISTMAS GREETINGS TO THOSE AROUND US

CAROL: Hark the Herald (please remain seated)

Hark! the herald angels sing glory to the newborn king,

Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.

Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies;

With the angelic host proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’.

Hark! The herald angels sing glory to the new born King.

 

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord,

Late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb!

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate Deity!

Pleased as Man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel. Hark

 

Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die,

Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!  Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Hark…

 

CAROL: Once in Royal David’s City (please remain seated)

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 mean and lowly lived on earth our Saviour holy.

 

And through all his wondrous childhood day by day like us he grew;

He was little, weak, and helpless, tears and smiles like us he knew;

And he feeleth for our sadness, and he shareth in our gladness.

 

And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love,

For that child so dear and gentle is our Lord in heaven above;

And he leads his children on to the place where he is gone. C/A

 

WITH THE FAMILY – THE GIFT

 

READING TOGETHER: “The Christmas Story” (see insert)

Teasing out the story – question time.

CAROL: When the Little Baby Jesus (Tune: Away in a Manger)

When the little baby Jesus came to live here on earth

Sweetly singing, the bellbird praised the new baby’s birth.

While the fantails flew around him, while the tuis gave voice,

Tiny wax-eyes and kiwis came to look and rejoice.

 

The rata’s scarlet blossoms and the kowhai’s rich gold

Were a gift to the baby which he raised hands to hold.

In the warmth of summer sunshine smell the sweet scented brook, while the fragrance of myrtle fills the new baby’s room.

 

Will you bless us, baby Jesus, when the cows and the sheep

Come to show that they love you as you wake from your sleep.

Happy birthday little baby, we are pleased you are here,

And we’ll light you a candle for your birthday each year.      ©Marilynn Dunn

 

CAROL: Upside Down Christmas

Carol our Christmas, an upside down Christmas;

Snow is not falling and trees are not bare.

Carol the summer and welcome the Christ child,

Warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.

 

Sing of the gold and the green and the sparkle,

Water and river and lure of the beach.

Sing in the happiness of open spaces,

Sing a nativity summer can reach!

 

Shepherds and musterers move over hillsides,

Finding not angels, but sheep to be shorn;

Wise ones make journeys, whatever the season,

Searching for signs of the truth to be born.

 

Right side up Christmas belongs to the universe.

Made in the moment a woman gives birth;

Hope is the Jesus gift, love is the offering,

Everywhere anywhere, here on the earth.                               ©Shirley Murray (AA)

 

OFFERING: Gracious God who gave us the gift of all gifts, Jesus Christ, we offer now our gifts to you. May they bring love, joy, peace and hope to someone else in your name. Amen.

 

REFLECTION: ‘Still No Room’

 

PRAYERS FOR OTHER PEOPLE & THE LORD’S PRAYER

 

REFLECTION: ‘If Jesus was Born Today’

 

THE CHRISTMAS BAUBLE

 

CAROL: Joy to the World   

Joy to the world! The Lord is come; let earth receive its king;

let every heart prepare him room,

and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

 

Joy to the earth! The Saviour reigns; let us our songs employ;

while fields and streams, rocks, hills and plains

repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

 

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness

and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love,

and wonders, wonders of his love.                             C/A

 

BENEDICTION: We Sing ~

We wish you a merry Christmas x3 and a happy new year.

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin

Good tidings for Christmas and a happy new year.

We wish you a merry Christmas x3 and a happy new year.

 

WE GO OUT LISTENING TO: ‘Hallelujah’ from The Messiah.

 

Sundays 27th December and 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th January

10am Combined Services

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