December 24, 2020
Tonight, as we welcome the birth of Jesus, remembering and celebrating that God is with us, may we be blessed with these words:
In the beginning, the Word;
the Word was in God’s presence,
and the Word was God.
The Word was present to God from the beginning.
Through the Word all things came into being….
In the Word was life, and that life was humanity’s light-
a Light that shines in the night,
a Light that the night has never overtaken.
Go forth to witness to the Light, to the Word,
to the Glory of God dwelling in us;
Go forth to live in grace and truth.
(Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship and Gospel Arts, Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO Team, UCC)
May you be blessed with the wonder of Christmas and the good news of light shining into our lives. The light of Christ shines and nothing, absolutely nothing, can ever put it out.
Christmas Eve Services
5:30 p.m. Children’s Service in the main sanctuary (live streamed)
7:30 p.m. Candlelight & Carol Service in the main sanctuary (live streamed)
10:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Communion Service (Trinity Chapel)
First Sunday After Christmas December 27
Our first reading is from Isaiah 61:10—62:3. In this portion of the long book of Isaiah, we read of the people’s return from exile, and encounter recurring themes of justice and righteousness, as well as the overarching theme of salvation. The prophet emphasizes God’s message of forgiveness, consolation, and hope, revealing God’s plan of blessing and salvation. The Gospel lesson is from Luke 2:22–40 resounds with the salvation theme as the righteous and devout man Simeon encounters the newborn Christ child and breaks into his song of praise.
The service will conclude with the “Letting Go and Letting God” ceremony. This is a time when the congregation will be invited to write down on a piece of paper those things which each person wants to let go of from the old year of 2020, receive God’s grace and move into the new year with divine blessing and hope. The dissolving pieces of paper will be placed in a bowl of water at the front of the chancel.
Food for Thought:
“Joy to the world!” Anyone for whom this sound is foreign, or who hears in it nothing but weak enthusiasm, has not yet really heard the gospel. For the sake of humankind, Jesus Christ became a human being in a stable in Bethlehem: Rejoice, O Christendom! For sinners, Jesus Christ became a companion of tax collectors and prostitutes: Rejoice, O Christendom! For the condemned, Jesus Christ was condemned to the cross on Golgotha: Rejoice, O Christendom! For all of us, Jesus Christ was resurrected to life: Rejoice, O Christendom! … All over the world today people are asking: Where is the path to joy? The church of Christ answers loudly: Jesus is our joy! (1 Pet. l:7-9). Joy to the world! (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701