Readings & music 27/12/2020 is a quick and easy online service, which you can use for the Sunday following Boxing Day or any time leading up to the new year.

Lord Jesus Christ, you have come to us

The video for the hymn is in the window below. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:

Opening prayer

Let us pray,

Gracious and loving God, on this day we marvel at the greatness of your love for us. A love prepared to take on our flesh and be born in the humblest of circumstances. 

Each year we praise you, as we sing carols and hear familiar words of scripture. We praise you for your great gift of love, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, who brings to birth in us love for you, O God, and love for one another. 

As the year comes to a close, and we look to a new and unknown future, we know we can embrace the unknown with confidence because you have blessed our lives with your presence in Jesus Christ. You have also empowered us with your Spirit to face whatever the future holds. 

For these blessings we offer our praise and thanksgiving in Jesus’ name and for his sake. Amen

Reading 1 – Isaiah 61:10-62:3

61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

61:11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

62:1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.

62:2 The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give.

62:3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 

Christmas Hallelujah (Reflective song)

The video for the music is in the window below (from Killard House in North Ireland). If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:

Reading 2 – Galatians 4:4-7

4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 4:5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.

4:6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 4:7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Carol: “Silent Night”

The video for the hymn is in the window below. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:

Reading 3 – Luke 2:22-40 

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary,
“This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed–and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

Carol: “Prince of peace”

The video for the carol is in the window below. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:

Blessing & dismissal: 
(based on Luke 2:29–32, the Nunc Dimitus

May we depart in peace,
for our eyes have seen the promised Salvation
which the Lord prepared
before all peoples.

Go into this world to live and proclaim
the light of Christ.

POSTLUDE: A humorous look at 2020

The video for “The 12 Days of COVID” is in the window below. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:

Eastern Riverina Uniting Churches