Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Advent 2016 Series: Love Breaks Through + Christmas Eve Saturday, December 24, 2016


Welcome! Bienvenido! Akwaaba! Mirë se vjen! خوش آمدید Bem-vindos! 歡迎光臨!
We invite you to hear and respond to the history-altering, world-restoring, life-transforming Christmas message that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and the Light of the worldWe invite you to wonder about Him, anticipate Him meeting you, and receive Him as the greatest gift of salvation you could ever receive. Join with us as we discover again how His Word and His Spirit help us to humbly follow Him in every area of life as His family of servants and ambassadors who graciously love our neighbors and generously serve our city for the glory of God and for the life of the world.

Previous Advent 2016 Series Liturgy and Sermon Audio:

Bible Passages | Luke 2:8-18; Isaiah 9:6; John 3:16-17

He lies in a manger, yet He rocks the whole world. He is bound with swaddling bands, yet He breaks the bonds of sin. Before He could speak He taught the wise men and converted them. + John Chrysostom, 392 A.D.

Christmas means not just hope for the world, despite all its unending problems, but hope for you and me, despite all our unending failings. + Timothy Keller

The work of the very heart of Christmassimply rest. Here is holy. The wonder of all this – God looks at you at your lowest and loves you all the way up to the sky. + Ann Voskamp

Jesus, Be Born Among Us, Be Born Within Us

Dear God, in the darkness of the virgin's womb the holy child grows. In the darkness of the world's pain, the blessed light begins to kindle. In the darkness of our own doubting of You and of ourselves, the great hope begins to rise again like a lump in the throat: the hope that You will come to us truly, that the child will be born again in our midst, the Prince of Peace in a world at war, the hope that You will ransom us and our world from the darkness that seeks to destroy us.

O Lord, the gift of new life, new light, can be a gift truly only if we open ourselves to receive it. So this is our prayer, Lord: that You will open our eyes to see Your glory in the coming again of light each day, open our ears to hear the angels' hymn in the stirring within us of joy at the coming of the child, open our hearts to the transforming power of Your love as it comes to us through the love of all those who hold us most dear and have sacrificed most for us.

Be born among us that we may ourselves be born. Be born within us that by words and deeds of love we may bear the tidings of Your birth to a world that dies for lack of love. We ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

+ Frederick Buechner, "Come and See"

Jesus’ Prayer for His Disciples
Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven, 
May Your name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come.
May Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread
And forgive us our sins
As we have forgiven those
Who sin against us.
And don’t let us
Yield to temptation,
But rescue us
From the evil one.
(For Yours is the Kingdom,
The power and the glory forever. Amen.)

By John Francis Wade
1751 A.D.

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, (3x)

Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;

Jesus, to thee be
All glory given!

Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing!

O come,
Let us adore Him, (3x)

Christ the Lord!
By Charles Wesley and 
George Whitfield
1739 A.D.

"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 angelic host proclaim 
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
"Hark!" The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn 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 with us in flesh to dwell, 
Jesus, our Immanuel.
"Hark!" The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

By Isaac Watts
1719 A.D.

All of heaven and
All creation sing
The wonders of His love!

Joy to the World ,
The Lord has come!

Let earth
Receive her King;

Let every heart
Prepare Him room,

And Heaven
And nature sing,

And Heaven
And nature sing,

And Heaven, and Heaven,
And nature sing!

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!

Silent Night
By Jospeh Mohr
1818 A.D.

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,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

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,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

O Holy Night
By Placide Cappeau
1847 A.D.

O holy night, 
The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night 
Of the dear Savior’s birth;
Long lay the world 
In sin and error pining,
'Till He appeared 
And the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope 
The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks 
A new and glorious morn;

Fall on your knees,
Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine!
O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night,
O night divine.

Truly He taught us
To love one another;
His law is Love
And His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall He break,
For the slave is our brother,
And in His name
All oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy
In grateful chorus raise we;
Let all within us
Praise his Holy name!

Christ is the Lord!
Oh praise His name forever!
His pow'r and glory,
Evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory,
Evermore proclaim!


Loving God, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Grant that we may share with all our hearts in this the profound mystery of Christmas. Put into the hearts of women and men the peace brought by Christ incarnate. Immanuel! God With Us! Amen and Amen! + Brenda Salter McNeil

+ Sully

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