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Mar 22, 2016
Christmas Eve: The Nativity of Jesus
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRISTCOLUMBUS, OHIO
He Qi 2013 All Rights Reserved
Welcome to First ChurchGlory to God in the hiGhest! Christ is Born!
What child is this, who, laid to rest,On Marys lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,The Babe, the son of Mary.- William Chatterton Dix -
What Child is This? was written by 29 year-old English poet William Chatterton Dix during the lowest point of his life.He had been struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bed rest for several months, during which he went into a deep depression. Out of his near-death experience, in the depths of despair, Dix wrote a poem entitled, The Manger Throne. Set to the English tune Greensleeves, the world has been blessed by Dixs lyrical vision of the newborn Christ since 1865. We never know the seeds of hope and faith which are being planted by God in us every single day.We never know how deeply God in Jesus Christ is touching us and reflecting Christs light in us, on us, and through us to others.We simply walk in faith, trusting God will reveal Godself to us one more time. Every Christmas the most beautiful sight to me in our glorious Cathedral of Grace is a broken down feed trough with hay sticking out. We place it in the center of the chancel right in front of the Communion Table.It reminds us how humble our roots are in the birth of God with us. We can relate to the broken down, simple wooden feed trough. I ask you, Would we place your newborn child in such a manger?Probably not.But, our God would do that for us! That is how low God bends to touch our hearts tonight and every single day. Make haste to welcome the newborn Christ, the Babe, the son of Mary. The love of God and the love of First Church is yours tonight. We are glad that you are here.No matter who you are or where you are on lifes journey, you are welcome here. Let us bring Him laud, the Babe, the son of Mary.Our Christmas love and welcome extends to you and all your loved ones!
The Reverend Tim Ahrens, Senior Minister
If you are visiting today and looking for a church home, welcome! For 161 years our Covenant has been: We covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ and one another, and bind ourselves in the presence of God to live together in all Gods ways as revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and holy scripture. The church acknowledges that all members have the right of individual interpretation of the principles of the Christian faith and respects them in their honest convictions. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord, the church recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion.
Please turn off pagers and cell phones. Bookmarks welcoming children to worship are found in the pew racks. Hearing assistance devices are available at the sanctuary doors. Deacons wearing white carnations or ushers wearing blue carnations can assist you.
Cards requesting prayer are in the pew racks. (*) Indicates the congregation should stand as they are able.
taBle of Contents3:00 p.m. Family Service.........................................................................................Page 37:30 p.m. Drama of the Nativity Service.................................................................Page 710:30 p.m. Nativity Concert...................................................................................Page 1011:00 p.m. Candlelight Service...............................................................................Page 12Christmas Dedications............................................................................................Page 21
Worship at 3 p.m.Prelude A Christmas Triptych John Ferguson Partita on Lo, How a Rose Max Drischner
Welcome The Rev. Dr. Janine Wilson
* Call to Worship Rev. WilsonLeader: Give thanks for the Lord is good. People: Gods love endures forever. * All standLeader: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.People: Those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them light has shined.Leader: To us a child is born. To us a son is given.People: And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting God, Prince of Peace.
* Opening Carol 31 Hark! the herald angels sing Mendelssohn Hark! The herald angels sing glory to the newborn King.Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies;With angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem!Hark! The herald angels sing glory to the newborn King!
Christ, by highest heavn adored; Christ, the everlasting Lord;late in time behold him come, off-spring of the virgins womb.Veiled in flesh the God-head see; hail the incarnate Deity.Pleased in flesh with us to dwell; Jesus, our Emmanuel.Hark! The herald angels sing glory to the newborn King!
* Invocation Mark S. WilliamsLeader: Let us pray.All: O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we,who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
* Carol 38 It came upon the midnight clear Carol It came upon the 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 all, from heavens 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 oer all the weary world:Above its sad and lowly plains they end on hovering wing,And ever oer its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing.
* Passing the Christmas Peace Rev. WilsonLeader: The Peace of Christ be with you all.People: And also with you.Leader: Let us greet one another with the sign of Christs peace.
* Carol 29 Go, tell it on the mountain Go, tell it on the mountain
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 oer silent flocks by night,behold throughout the heavens there shone a holy light.Go, tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere;Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born. The shepherds feared and trembled when lo! above the earth,rang out the angel chorus that hailed our Saviors birth.Go, tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere;Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.
The Congregation may be seated.
Lighting the Christmas Candle Jason Holton, Christen CoyleAudrey, William and Jacob Holton
Carol 25 Away in a manger Mueller
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,and stay by my side until morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stayclose by me forever, and love me I pray.Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.
Childrens Time Mark S. Williams
The Christmas Story
The First Reading: Luke 2:1-7 Todd Cunningham
Carol 44 O little town of Bethlehem St. Louis
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary; and gathered all above,while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.O morning stars together proclaim the holy birth!And praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth.
The Second Reading: Luke 2:8-14 Melissa Kulwicki
Carol 23 Angels we have heard on high Gloria
Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing oer the plains,and the mountains in reply echoing their joyous strains.Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why these songs of happy cheer?What great brightness did you see? What glad tidings did you hear?Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Come to Bethlehem and see him whose birth the angels sing;come, adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the newborn King.Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo.
The Third Reading: Luke 2:15-20 Kevin Jones
Carol 41 O come, all ye faithful Adeste fideles
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, Ocome 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 heavn above!Glory to God, glory 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 Christmas Poem Mark S. Williams
A Christmas Prayer Rev. Wilson
The Lords PrayerOur Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.Save us from the time o