December 27

Hope    Peace    Joy    &    Love

CCLI license #1913561

Service of the Word for Sunday, December 27, 2020
The First Sunday of Christmas

Prelude   Of The Father’s Love Begotten”  Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-413, plainsong)    sung by Keisha Prime

Sung by Keisha Prime

Of the Father’s love begotten
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.

O ye heights of heaven, adore Him;
Angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him
And extol our God and King.
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring
Evermore and evermore.

Christ, to Thee, with God the Father,
And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
And unending praises be,
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory
Evermore and evermore.

Call to Worship

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, full of grace and truth.

Prayer ( from Hugh Strickland,St.Clare's Anglican Chapel, Anglican Campus Ministry

Holy God,
Give us courage to provide a home in our hearts for your presence.
Give our conscience peace through accepting your grace and forgiveness.

Give us courage to open our eyes to your signs and not test you by our requests.
Give our conscience peace for we have been given good so we might refuse evil.

Give us courage for you are with us to help us and give us strength.
Give our conscience peace for you have shown the face of light and saved us.

Give us courage to be your ambassadors and prophets as you call us.
Give our conscience peace so we may take your message to the rejected.

Give us courage to do as you have asked us, even when we are asked to follow difficult dreams.
Give our conscience peace to follow your commands to bring love into the world.

Music “O Come, All Ye Faithful”  John Francis Wade (c. 1740-1743)  sung by Keisha Prime

sung by Keisha Prime

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
O come let us adore him
O Come let us adore him
Christ the Lord

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation
Sing all ye citizens of Heaven above
Glory to God, in the highest

O, come let us adore Him
O, come let us adore Him
O, come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

A Reading from Tony Kill

In the weakness of a tiny naked newborn, God comes.
In the quiet of a country night,
In the mystery of a woman giving birth,
In the humiliation of a barn,
In the insignificance of a Bethlehem, God comes among us.
To be with us, and know our needs and yearnings;
To walk among us, and teach us to walk with God;
To eat with us, and become our very food;
To know our sins, and gift us with forgiveness;
To live with us, and die for us, God comes.
With the awe-fulness of announcing angels, God comes.
With a brilliant, shattering Glory that terrifies shepherds,
and a moving, mystifying star that fascinates sages;
With a throng of Heavenly Host in song;
In a city of long-remembered and long-awaited kings, God comes.

To break for us the powers of death and fear,
like a divine warrior, strong to save;
To enfold our weak and lonely flesh,
like a hen encircling her chicks;
To raise us up, and offer God's own glory;
To show how deep and faithful is God's love, Christ comes.
This day we have beheld His glory, full of grace and truth.
O Come, let us adore Him!

Reading from the Prophets    Isaiah 9:2-7 NRS

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness-- on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Music         “Joy to the World”   Isaac Watts, 1719; Handel, 1742 sung by Keisha Prime

sung by Keisha Prime

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
And Saints and angels sing
And Saints and angels sing
And Saints and Saints and angels sing

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns
Let Saints their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, Repeat, the sounding joy

Choral Reading from the Gospel of John

Voice 1 In the beginning
Voice 2 In the beginning was the Word
Voice 3 and the Word was with God
All: and the Word was God.
Voice 1 He was in the beginning with God.
Voice 2 All things came into being through him,
Voice 3 and without him not one thing came into being.
Voice 1 What has come into being in him was life,
Voice 3 and the life was the light of all people.
All The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Voice 1 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
Voice 2 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
Voice 3 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
Voice 2 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
Voice 1 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him;
All yet the world did not know him.
Voice 1 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
Voice 2 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,
Voice 3 who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
Voice 1 And the Word became flesh and lived among us,
All: and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.

Ann Weems, "Unexpected," Kneeling in Bethlehem

Even now we simply do not expect to find a deity in a stable.
Somehow the setting is all wrong
the swaddling clothes too plain, the manger too common for the likes of a Savior, the straw inelegant,
the animal reeking and noisy, the whole scene too ordinary for our taste.

And the cast of characters is no better.
With the possible exception of the kings, who among them is fit for this night?
The shepherds? Certainly too crude, the carpenter too rough, the girl too young.
And the baby! Whoever expected a baby?

Whoever expected the advent of God in a helpless child?
Had the Messiah arrived in the blazing light of the glory of a legion of angels wielding golden swords,
the whole world could have been conquered for Christ right then and there
and we in the church---to say nothing of the world!
Wouldn't have so much trouble today.
Even now we simply do not expect to face the world armed with love.


What Christmas traditions do you have? (Do you traditionally put up decorations? when? When do you open gifts? Does family gather for dinner? etc, etc.)

What customs or traditions are you particularly missing this year?
Have you added something new to your Christmas celebration this year?

Christmas Prayer

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.
For all people in their daily life and work;
for our families, friends and neighbors, and for those who are alone.
For this community, our country, and the world;
for all who work for justice, freedom and peace.
For the just and proper use of your creation;
for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice and oppression.
For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;
for those who minister to the sick, the friendless and the needy.
For the peace and unity of the Church of God;
for all who proclaim the gospel, and for all seek the truth.
for all who hold office in this congregation;
for all who serve God in the church.
For our own needs, and for others for whom you have called us to pray.
Hear us, Lord
for your mercy is great.
We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of life.
We exalt you, O God our king;
and praise your name for ever and ever.
We give thanks for all those who have died in the peace of Christ, and for the promise of your eternal kingdom.
In Christ you have called us to eternal glory;
to you be praise for ever and ever. Amen.

A Statement about Offering our Gifts 

Joining in Mary’s joyful song, our souls proclaim the greatness of the Lord and our spirits rejoice in God our Savior. With humble and grateful hearts, let us share what has been given to us to continue the ministries of this church and our mission partners.

Donations can be mailed to Lakeview Presbyterian Church at 1310 22nd Av S, St Petersburg, FL, 33705 or given online through our website @lakeviewpresbyterianchurch.org

Prayer of Dedication

Holy God, your love is magnified in the gift of your Son. Bless the gifts that we send in gratitude, that they may bring light to the darkened corners of our world; in Christ’s name we offer them. Amen.

Charge and Blessing

Go in peace to bring comfort and healing, and to announce the good news made known in Christ. The blessing of God, the One who creates, redeems and sustains us eternally, be with you now and always.

Postlude       "Go Tell It on the Mountain”     Latin c 12th century   sung by Keisha Prime

sung by Keisha Prime

Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born.

Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching
over silent flocks by night,
behold throughout the heavens,
there shone a holy light.

The shepherds feared and trembled
when lo! above the earth
rang out the angel chorus
that hailed our Saviour’s birth.

Down in a lowly manger
our humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation,
that blessed Christmas morn.

Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born.Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born.

That Jesus Christ is born.
That Jesus Christ is born.
That Jesus Christ is born.