20th December

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Service Audio for 20th December

URC Sunday Worship 20th December 2020

Led by Rev. Andy Braunston

 

Opening Music : I believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake

 

 Call to Worship

We wait for the Lord and in His word we hope.

We wait for the Lord, more than those who watch for the morning

There is no darkness in you, O Lord.

 

O people, hope in the Lord!

For with the Lord there is steadfast love.

And with God is plenteous redemption.

There is no darkness in you, O Lord.

 

Glory be to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

There is no darkness in you, O Lord.

 

 

O come, O come, Emmanuel,

and ransom captive Israel

that mourns in lonely exile here

until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel

shall come to you, O Israel.

 

O come, O Wisdom from on high,

who ordered all things mightily;

to us the path of knowledge show

and teach us in its ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice!…

 

O come, the branch of Jesse’s tree,

free them from Satan’s tyranny

that trust your mighty pow’r to save

and give them victory o’er the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice!…

 

O come, O Key of David, come

and open wide our heavenly home.

Make safe the way that leads on high,

and close the path to misery.

Rejoice! Rejoice!…

 

O come, Desire of Nations, bind

in one the hearts of humankind.

O bid our sad divisions cease

and be yourself our King of Peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice!…

 

 

 

Prayers of Approach, Confession, and Forgiveness

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Prayer of Illumination

Reading : John 1 : 1 – 18

 

Meditation of John the Apostle

 

Of the Father’s love begotten

ere the world from chaos arose,

He is Alpha, from that fountain

all that is and hath been flows

he is Omega of all things,

yet to come the mystic Close,

evermore and evermore!

 

His Word was all created

he commanded and ‘twas done

Earth and sky and boundless ocean

Universe of Three in One

all that sees the moon’s soft radiance,

all that breathes beneath the sun

evermore and evermore!

 

He assumed this mortal body,

frail and feeble doomed to die

that the race from dust created

might not perish utterly

which the dreadful Law had sentenced

in the depths of Hell to lie

evermore and evermore!

 

O how blessed that wondrous birthday

when the Maid the curse retrieved

brought to birth our kind’s salvation

by the Holy Ghost conceived,

and the babe, the world’s Redeemer,

in her loving arms received,

evermore and evermore!

 

Sing ye heights of heav’n, his praises;

Angels and Archangels sing:

Wheresoe’er ye be, ye faithful

let your joyous anthems ring

ev’ry tongue His name confessing

countless voices answering,

evermore and evermore!

 

 

Reading : 2 Peter 3 : 1 – 4

 

 

Meditation of Peter

 

 

Come, thou long expected Jesus,

born to set thy people free;

from our fears and sins release us,

let us find our rest in thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation,

hope of all the earth thou art;

dear desire of every nation,

joy of every longing heart.

 

Born thy people to deliver,

born a child and yet a King,

born to reign in us forever,

now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal spirit

rule in all our hearts alone;

by thine all sufficient merit,

raise us to thy glorious throne.

 

 

Reading : Revelation 21 : 1 – 4

 

Meditation of John

 

 

Into the darkness of this world

Into the shadows of the night

Into this loveless place You came

Lightened our burdens eased our pain

And made these hearts Your home

Into the darkness once again

O come Lord Jesus come

Come with Your love to make us whole

Come with Your light to lead us on

Driving the darkness far from our souls

O come Lord Jesus come

 

 

Into the longing of our souls

Into these heavy hearts of stone

Shine on us now Your piercing light

Order our lives and souls aright

By grace and love unknown

Until in You our hearts unite

O come Lord Jesus come

Come with Your love…

 

O Holy Child Emmanuel

Hope of the ages God with us

Visit again this broken place

Till all the earth declares Your praise

And Your great mercies own

Now let Your love be born in us

O come Lord Jesus come

Come with Your love..

 

Come in Your glory take Your place

Jesus the Name above all names

We long to see You face to face

O come Lord Jesus come

 

 

Affirmation of Faith

It is not true that creation and the human family

are doomed to destruction and loss—

This is true: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life;

 

 

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination,

hunger and poverty, death and destruction—

This is true:  I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly.

 

 

It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word,

and that war and destruction rule forever—

This is true: Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given,

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

his name shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty God,

the Everlasting, the Prince of peace.

 

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil

who seek to rule the world—

This is true: To me is given authority in heaven and on earth,

and lo I am with you, even until the end of the world.

 

It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted,

who are the prophets of the Church before we can be peacemakers—

This is true: I will pour out my spirit on all flesh

and your sons and daughters shall prophesy,

your young men shall see visions and your old men shall have dreams.

 

 

It is not true that our hopes for liberation of humankind,

of justice, of human dignity, of peace

are not meant for this earth and for this history—

This is true: The hour comes, and it is now,

that the true worshippers shall worship God in spirit and in truth.

Amen.

 

 

 

Intercessions

 

 

Offertory

 

 

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;

Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare him room,

And heaven and nature sing,

 

Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;

Let all their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains

Repeat the sounding joy.

 

He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love.

 

 

Blessing