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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Christmas Day, Year B
The Baptism of Douglas Sidney Cunningham
and Sahara Jordan Moana Cunningham-Baker

South Sydney Uniting Church
December 25, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

And the Word became flesh
and stayed for a little while among us ...
filled with grace,
filled with truth.

CAROL: ‘O come all ye faithful’ verses 1,5,6,7 (304)

GREETING

Acknowledgemnt of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors.

Friends:
“You have nothing to fear!
I come to proclaim good news to you
news of a great joy to be shared by the whole people.
Today in David’s city, a saviour the Messiah
has been born to you.”
May the peace and joy of the newborn child
be with you all.
And also with you.

Nativity scene.

CAROL: ‘Hark! the herald angels sing’ (303)

LIGHTING THE CHRIST CANDLE

O God of love,
you have brought us together today
and blessed us with your very self.
Open our eyes to the light of Christ that shines
in the darkness of apathy, pain and loss.
Speak to us now that we may hear the good news.
Bring us into the wonder of your presence.
Fill us with that light and help us to be bearers of it.
Amen.

CAROL: ‘Once in royal David’s city’ (312)

A Liturgy of Readings and Carols

FIRST READING: Isaiah 52:7-10

May your word live in us, O God.
And bear much fruit to your glory.

PSALM 98 (Paraphrase)

We love to sing the old, familiar carols,
but we are also called to sing to the Most High God new songs;
songs that acknowledge all the marvellous things our God has done.

How can we help but shout for joy on this most wonderful day,
as we celebrate the birth of Christ among us
how can we resist bursting into joyful song with music?

Music for the Most High with all kinds of instruments
and with the sound of singing rising from the earth itself.

The rivers from the Diamentina to the Darling will sing and clap their hands,
from the Swan to the Murrumbidgee;
the mountains from Kosciusko to Uluru will sing together for joy;
from the Grampians to the Olgas
they sing before the Most High.

Let this service of worship be an expression of our joy,
and our desire to live lives in harmony with the earth,
with one another, and with the One whose birth we celebrate,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION: ‘Lift this child’

We stand.

1. Lift this child to the sun,
raise this child to the sky,
God has come from above,
come to earth from on high.
Lift this child, lift this child to the sun.

2. Lay this child on the ground,
one with us, one with earth;
let God know in his Son
human clay, human birth.
Lay this child, lay this child on the ground.

3. Place this child in the shade,
hang this child ’neath a tree;
with his hand on the wood
may this child set us free.
Place this child, place this child in the shade.

4. Give this child to the world,
let him be common folk;
God has come to be born
as an ordin’ry bloke.
Give this child, give this child to the world.

5. Send this child down the road,
let him ride hard the track;
to be king of the bush
and the harsh world outback.
Send this child, send this child down the road.

6. Lift this child to the night,
to the Silence of God;
let this child cry for us
and the silence be heard.
Lift this child, lift this child to the night.

GOSPEL: John 1:1-14

The Good News and power of God.
Praise to you, O Jesus Christ.

HOMILY

PROFESSION OF FAITH

We stand.

We believe in God,
holy Source of all that is.
We believe in God,
who has spoken the eternal Word in Jesus Christ.
Silence.

We believe in God,
ceaselessly breathing the Spirit into creation.
We trust in God’s love and wisdom:
fully revealed in the humanity of Jesus Christ ...
Silence.

... present to us through the Spirit’s working
in the Church and beyond.

We believe that God is calling the whole creation
into a future of justice and peace.
We share in Christ’s risen life,
and commit ourselves today to receive
the coming reign of God.
To the only God, Three yet One,
be all honour and glory and praise
now and for ever. Amen.

OFFERING: ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ (316)

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Loving God,
receive and bless these gifts we give in response to the greatest gift of all
your Own, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
May our lives and this offering towards the Christmas Bowl
be used to reveal your love in as many ways and to as many people as possible.
This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

CAROL: ‘Not the powerful, not the privileged’ (322)

Liturgy of Baptism

PRESENTATION

THE MEANING OF BAPTISM

THE CONFESSION OF FAITH

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

We stand.

THE BAPTISM

RESPONSES

Friends in Christ,
will you promise to maintain a life of worship and teaching,
witness and service
so that they may grow to maturity in Christ?
With God’s help,
we will live out our baptism
as a loving community in Christ:
nurturing one another in faith,
upholding one another in prayer,
and encouraging one another in service,
until Christ comes.

INTERCESSIONS

On this holy day,
let us ask Jesus, the Child of God and the Child of Mary,
to intercede for us.
With confidence we pray:
Christ, bless your people!
Christ, bless your people!

Prince of Peace,
at your birth the angels announce the Good News to the shepherds.
Fill our world, torn by division, hatred and wars,
with tidings of reconciliation and peace.

Emmanuel, you make your dwelling among us.
Bless all the families and people of our parish and community,
especially those that are suffering at this time.

Good Shepherd,
you lead the shepherds to the manger.
Bless our religious and political leaders.
Make them humble and responsible stewards of your people.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Abba God in heaven,
 
glory to you!
Your rule of love renews the earth.
In your name, we take part in that renewal
 
helping, and not harming,
 
caring, and not coercing ...
We pray that we might receive with thanks
 
the bread we need,
 
the money we need,
 
the warmth we need ...
We pray that forgiveness and freedom
flow through our lives.
Teach us that in sharing life
 
we live life to the full ...
Remind us that evil is real.
Still, we are not afraid of it,
but confident
 
that love is stronger than hate,
 
justice other than revenge,
 
true peace the work of your Spirit.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

BLESSING

May the joy of the angels,
the enthusiasm of the shepherds,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ child
be yours this Christmas,
and may almighty God bless you+

PEACE

Peace be with you.
And also with you.

We share a sign of peace with each other.

ORGAN POSTLUDE

 

Acknowledgements:
Liturgy Alive for Sundays and Weekdays, the Philippines (www.bible.claret.org);
Liturgies Online, Moira Laidlaw (www.liturgiesonline.org.au);
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Image: Orthodox Nativity Icon
(www.nativity-icon-incarnation-of-the-lord-jesus-christ-222.jpg).