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A SERVICE OF WORD AND SACRAMENT

Christmas Day, Year C
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 25, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 98)

God’s power shines out in wonderful deeds.
When nations act justly,
when we witness merciful love,
when we see loyalty practised,
then even the earth joins in the hymns of praise.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians.

CAROL TIS 311: “Silent Night”

Lighting the Advent Candles.

GREETING

In our time God has spoken to us
through Jesus, God’s Own,
the radiant light of glory
through whom God made everything.
May this One, Jesus the Saviour, be with you.
And also with you.

Welcome. Lighting of the Christ Candle.

PENITENTIAL RITE

We hear God’s Word in the Good News
and in the life of Jesus.
Do we respond to Jesus’ message?
Let us examine ourselves.

Jesus, you have brought to all nations
justice and truth and love:
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, we sing a new song to you,
we sing out our joy at your advent:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, we acclaim you as our Saviour
for you have worked wonders among us:
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Silence for personal confession.

Be merciful to us, God,
and speak your Word that sets us free.
Lead us to the joy of everlasting life. Amen.

ASSURANCE

COLLECT

Let us pray
that God’s Word may be alive in us today.

Faithful God,
you make yourself known
and speak to us through Jesus Christ,
your image and your living Word.
Open our ears and hearts,
that we may receive your Word and keep it.
Let your Word become flesh among us,
in our words of peace and truth
and in our deeds of justice and love,
friendship and self-effacing service.
May this be the way by which people recognise
that your Beloved is among us today,
and may they praise you for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

FIRST READING Isaiah 52:7-10

God announces liberation to people in captivity. This liberation is brought to us today by Jesus.

EPISTLE READING Hebrews 1:1-12

God has often spoken to people, but since the advent of God’s Beloved on earth, God speaks to us a definitive word. In Christ we see what God means and who God is.

The Wisdom of God.
God’s Word made new.

ACCLAMATION TIS 288: “Not the powerful ...”

GOSPEL John 1:1-14

The evangelist speaks to us of the mystery of Jesus: the image of Abba God, God’s Word become flesh, God’s light in our darkness, God living among us. Do we accept this Word?

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

HOMILY

SILENCE

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

God speaks to us the living word, Jesus. Let us now speak our fumbling words to Jesus, our Saviour and companion, as we say. Speak your word to us, O God.

... Jesus, you entered our world and know our needs and desires. Do not always give what we ask but what we really need and stay with us, now and for ever. Amen.

OFFERING TIS 292: “Infant holy”

God, speak to us
from heart to heart,
that Jesus may fill our words
with the power of integrity and truth
and that he may change us,
timid as we are,
into people of peace and courage,
who live without compromise
the gospel of love. Amen.

THE PEACE

Jesus Christ,
you entered our world
as God’s Word of peace.
Give your people and every nation
a peace based on justice and truth.
Dispose us to offer to one another
signs of reconciliation
and to speak words of welcome and peace.
Unite us in the peace of your kindom
where you live for ever and ever. Amen.

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

God is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to God.
Let us give thanks to the God of love.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

We give you thanks and praise, O God,
for you have revealed your justice to the nations,
your merciful love for all.

In the beginning your Word created the world.
Through your Word, life was brought into being,
and the life was the light that overcomes the darkness.
Your messenger came bringing the good news of peace
so that all might know the Word and believe.

And today the good news is fulfilled:
the Word has become flesh.
Comforted at the breast,
he is your exact likeness.
He bears the imprint
of your very being.
In Christ we have seen your glory,
full of grace and truth.
This One will come to rule in justice
and all the earth will see your salvation.

Therefore, with our hearts lifted high,
we offer you thanks and praise at all times
through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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.

CAROL TIS 304: “O come, all ye faithful”

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

CAROL TIS 303: “Hark! the herald angels sing”

BLESSING

God has spoken to us here today,
not in mere promises
but in the living person of Jesus.
Christ came as the light brightening our darkness.
How could we still be in the dark?
Christ has made us all children of God.
Do we live as beloved children?
Christ came to bring light and life to all the world.
Have we helped to spread this light?
In the joy of Christmas,
let us not forget our task
to give Christ to the world.
And may God bless and keep you all ...+

Go in the peace of Christ
and bear witness to love.
Thanks be to God.

 

Acknowledgements:
Based on ‘The Service of the Lord’s Day’
in Uniting in Worship 2, Sydney, 2005;
also, Claretian Resources (www.bible.claret.org);
Thanksgiving based on prayers by Nathan Nettleton
(www.laughingbird.net).
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Icon of the Nativity.