December 25, 2020 – Christmas Day
On Christmas morning, the people of God celebrate the birth of the Word made flesh, Christ our Lord. Luke recounts the familiar story of shepherds and angels; John’s gospel tells of the Word that dwells among us, full of grace and truth.
The meaning of Christmas is made clear: the light shines in the darkness!
Lessons and Carols is a service of scripture and song that dates back to the late 19th century. The scripture readings tell God’s story of salvation. Each lesson is followed by a carol that reflects the lesson’s message.
Today we invite you to pray and reflect along with these readings and songs—to ponder the gift of the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.
May this time of worship and the days ahead be a time of celebration and wonder at the mystery of the Word made flesh… Immanuel – “God with us!”
Thank you to Katie James, Cheryl Warming, Kelly Rodenschmit, Pamela Gjersvig and Susan Lappin for providing the music for our service today.
A bulletin is available for you to download and print for worship.
Thank you to Katie James, Cheryl Warming, Kathy Houzner and Susan Lappin (plus the Tone Chimes and the Hand Bell Choir, previously recorded) for providing music for our service today.
January 3, 2021 – 2nd Sunday after Christmas
MERRY CHRISTMAS! And welcome to worship on this 2nd Sunday of the Christmas season! We are so glad you can join us today.
Within today’s gospel reading’s profound words lies the simple message that God is revealed in a human person. Though we may try to understand how the Word existed with God from the beginning of time, the wonder we celebrate at Christmas is that the Word continues to dwell among us.
As Paul puts it in his letter to the Ephesian church: In Jesus, all of God’s plans and purposes have been made known… through Jesus, we have been made God’s children… and are therefore heirs of God’s promises.
Christ continues to come among us in the gathered assembly (“the church”), the scriptures, the waters of new birth, and the bread and the wine of holy communion. It is through these ordinary gifts that we receive the fullness of God’s grace and truth.
Jeremiah 31:7-14; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:1-18
January 10, 2021 – Baptism of our Lord
Good morning… and welcome to worship. Today we celebrate the baptism of our Lord… and ponder its meaning and significance – for Jesus… and for us.
Our re-creation in baptism is an image of the Genesis creation, where the Spirit of God moved over the waters… where God brought order into chaos, light into a dark / formless void.
Both Mark’s gospel and the story in Acts make clear that it is the Spirit’s movement that distinguishes Jesus’ baptism from John’s. In our baptism, the Spirit has come upon us as upon Jesus and the Ephesians, calling us God’s beloved children… and setting us on Jesus’ mission to re-create the world in the image of God’s vision of justice and peace.
Given the violence and upheaval of the events of this past week… the brokenness, hatred, and division that so clearly pervades our society… our call, as Christians, to work toward God’s vision of justice and peace is important… and urgently needed!
As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” We all need to shine the light of Christ – in word and in deed… to admit our complicity in what has brought us to this place… to boldly live out our baptismal call… to see our country out of this very dark time in our history.
Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1-11[12-1