Lectionary -- Christmas 1 Year B

Isaiah 61:10 to 62:3 You shall be a crown of beauty
Psalm 148 Praise the Lord form the heavens
or Psalm 113 Praise O servants of the Lord
Galatians 4:4-7 God sent his son born of a woman
Luke 2:22-40 The baby Jesus presented in the temple

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Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia., TIS = Together in Song, MHB = old Methodist Hymn Book)
SA 71 Our Father, by whose name
52 (TIS 124) Great God, we sing that mighty hand
58 (TIS 93) Praise the Lord, ye heavens adore him
229 (TIS 305) Let earth and heaven combine
233 God rest you merry people all
239 (TIS 314) As with gladness men of old
243 TIS 317) Love came down at Christmas
504 (TIS 588) In heavenly love abiding
541 Almighty Father, who does give
MBH 130 It came upon a midnight clear
MHB 905 Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky [tune Genoble, AHB 31?]

Sermon Summary (Click here for complete sermon)

God's family and ours

The visit of Mary and Joseph to the Temple, with the baby Jesus, which we read about in the Gospel today, naturally brings to mind some thoughts about family life. That little group has traditionally been called "the Holy Family". They were members of the "family of God" in several ways; one as members of the people of Israel, the people of God. Then there was the special relationship established when Mary was blessed by the Holy Spirit as the mother of a "Holy Child". The idea of the family of God was to be greatly extended through this special Child. As we read in John 1:11-13 and Galatians 4:4-6, through faith in him we all have power to become children of God. In this way we begin to share in the mystery of community that is at the heart of the nature of God.

There is plenty of evidence that at the beginning of the twenty-first century we live in difficult times for families. There can hardly be a family anywhere in our society in which the effects of some severe disturbance of family life are not known. At the same time of course many people will applaud a call for return to traditional values. That is not a call I wish to make. We do need to recognize that changes have occurred. Rather I would recall people to faith in God with an understanding of our relationship with God as one of life in community.

What we are offered through Christ is the way of faith, and faith is about relationships. It is about accepting a place as adopted children in the family of God. The way of faith does not offer immediate solutions to complex problems, and people of faith will have to work hard on living out the implications in their own family and community lives, but it will not allow the selfish and destructive individualism of contemporary society to go unchallenged.

Order of Service - Christmas 1 Year B - | DB Home | RCL Resources Index |

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

Let us worship God in thanksgiving for his wonderful gift.
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, ... so that we might receive adoption as children.
-- Galatians 4:4-5

HYMN Let earth and heaven combine TIS 305, AHB 229

PRAYER OF ADORATION

We praise you, God our Father, with thanksgiving for the gift of new life in birth of Jesus, the Word made flesh, who came to live our common life for our sakes.
We praise you, God our Father.

We praise you, God the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, born of Mary, for the wholeness of your life as a member of a family, and servant of the whole human family.
We praise you, God the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

We praise you, God the Holy Spirit, for through your work Mary had a holy child, and you rested upon him as he did good works and brought the good news.
We praise you, God the Holy Spirit.

We worship and adore you one God, three persons in community, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the foundation of family and community life.

We confess that we have sinned against you as we have sinned against those whom you have given us to live with in community. We have failed to reflect in our lives the mutual respect, admiration and love of one another that is revealed in your own nature of persons in community.
Have mercy and forgive us, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord.

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS

.. your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

DOXOLOGY
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever .

[0R HYMN God rest you merry people all (verses 1 and 5) AHB 233 ]

WELCOME AND GREETING EACH OTHER

Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: The family dedication of Jesus
OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 61:10 to 62:3 You shall be a crown of beauty
PSALM 148 Praise the Lord from the heavens
EPISTLE Galatians 4:4-7 God sent his son born of a woman
GOSPEL Luke 2:22-40 The baby Jesus presented in the temple

HYMN As with gladness men of old TIS 314, AHB 239

SERMON

HYMN Love came down at Christmas TIS 317, AHB 243

Or It came upon a midnight clear [MHB 130]
It came upon a midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
Peace on the earth, good will to men,
from heaven's all-gracious King!
The world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
with peaceful wings unfurled;
and still their heavenly music floats
o'er all the weary world;
above its sad and lowly plains
they bend on hovering wings,
and ever o'er its Babel sounds
the blesséd angels sing.

But with the woes of sin and strife
the world has suffered long;
beneath the angel strains have rolled
two thousand years of wrong;
and man, at war with man, hears not
the love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
and hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow --
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing:
O rest beside the weary road,
and hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
by prophet bards foretold,
when with the ever-circling years
comes round the age of gold.
When peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendours fling,
and the whole world give back the song
which now the angels sing.

OFFERING AND DEDICATION
SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
COLLECT FOR THE DAY
THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of the Hymn Book]

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN Great God, we sing that mighty hand TIS 124, AHB 52
WORD OF MISSION
BLESSING
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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