Thursday after Advent 4
December 22, 2011
The Lord be with you
Saturday is Christmas Eve and Sunday is Christmas Day, both very special for Christians around the world. At Lamb of God we will celebrate with special services for each day. On Christmas Eve we will have a Candlelight service, beginning at 7:00 PM. On Christmas Day we will have a service of Carols and Communion, which will begin at 10:00 AM. These worship notes will be different from my typical Thursday post because it will cover both days.
One of the aspects of Christmas that people truly look forward to are the great Christmas hymns. In our Christmas Eve service we will be singing “A Great and Mighty Wonder,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “What Child Is This,” “Silent Night, Holy Night,” and “Now Sing We, Now Rejoice.” In our Christmas Day service we will sing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Joy to the World,” and “Let Us All with Gladsome Voice.”
The appointed lessons for Christmas Eve are Isaiah 7:10-14, 1 John 4:7-16 and Matthew 1:18-25. The Gospel lesson is about when Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant and his decision to marry her after an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The appointed lessons for Christmas Day are Isaiah 62:10-12, Titus 3:4-7, and Luke 2:1-20. The Gospel lesson is probably the most famous version of the Christmas story. It tells of Joseph and Mary’s trip to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, and the visit of the shepherds.
As I have done for several years now, the messages in these services are rather different from my typical sermons. For the Christmas Eve service I tell a Christmas story. This year it is titled “Dear Santa” and focuses on a family who lost a son in Afghanistan. For the Christmas Day service I provide short introductions to the Christmas hymns, which replace the conventional sermon. The theme of these introductions this year is the meaning of Christmas.
Our choir will be singing during the Christmas Eve service.
I will be starting a one week vacation on Christmas Monday, so I will not be posting the worship notes next week.
Christmas blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert