Worship Guide - First Sunday after Christmas

Worship Guide

December 31, 2023

First Sunday after Christmas


Creating Disciples of Jesus who Transform the World






Minister: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

People: And also with you!


Special Music: “Light of the World” Stefanie


Centering Words:


How can you stay silent in the joy of the Messiah’s birth? Rejoice and sing God’s praises, for the Lord’s glory is with you this day.


*Call to Worship:


Leader:    With mighty mountains and crashing seas,

People:   praise the name of the Lord.

Leader:    With rolling valleys and lush forests,

People:   praise the name of our God.

Leader:    With tiny ants and majestic eagles,

People:   praise the name of the Holy One.

Leader:    With innocent children and wise elders,

People:   praise the name of Love.

Leader:    Let us pray.


ALL: Almighty creator, we come to shout and rejoice in the wonderful gift of your Son for our world. It is a miracle that fills our lives with your glory. On this last day of the year, may our celebration honor the good we have received from your hand, even as we look forward to walking faithfully with you in the year ahead. As those who came before us, we will not be silent in our love for you; we will not mute our pure joy for what you have brought to our lives. Amen.


Hymn: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”


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 men,

from heaven’s 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

o’er all the weary world;

above its sad and lowly plains,

they bend on hovering wing,

and ever o'er its Babel sounds

the blessed angels sing.


And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,

whose forms are bending low,

who toil along the climbing way

with painful steps and slow,

look now! for glad and golden hours

come swiftly on the wing.

O rest beside the weary road,

and hear the angels sing!


For lo! the days are hastening on,

by prophet seen of old,

when with the ever circling years

shall come the time foretold

when peace shall over all the earth

its ancient splendors fling,

and the whole world send back the song

which now the angels sing.




Words of Assurance


Through praise and thanksgiving, glory is given to God’s name.

Guided by the Holy Spirit, see what God’s salvation has brought to God’s precious children.

Praise be to our almighty God. Amen


*Old Testament Reading:   Isaiah 61:10-62:3


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.

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     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.

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.

3      You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,

and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.


Leader:    This is the Word of God for the people of God

People:   Thanks be to God.




Time with Young Friends: Jesus Loves Me


Children’s Message: “A Long Wait”


Hymn: “What Child is This”


What child is this who, laid to rest,

on Mary’s 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.


Why lies he in such mean estate,

where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christians, fear, for sinners here

the silent Word is pleading.


This, this is Christ the King,

whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

haste, haste, to bring Him laud,

the babe, the son of Mary.


So bring him incense, gold and myrrh,

come peasant, king to own him;

The King of kings salvation brings,

let loving hearts enthrone Him.


This, this is Christ the King,

whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

haste, haste, to bring Him laud,

the babe, the son of Mary.


Sermon: “Watchnight” Luke 2:22-40


22 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 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

25 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. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 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, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

29     “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,

according to your word;

30     for my eyes have seen your salvation,

31     which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32     a light for revelation to the Gentiles

and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 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 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 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, 37 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. 38 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.

39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.




Hymn: “Star Child”


Star-Child, earth-Child go-between of God,

love Child, Christ Child, heaven's lightning rod,

This year, this year, let the day arrive

when Christmas come to everyone,

everyone alive!


Street child, beat child, no place left to go,

hurt child, used child, no one wants to know,

This year, this year, let the day arrive

when Christmas come to everyone,

everyone alive!


Grown child, old child, memory full of years,

sad child, lost child, story told in tears,

This year, this year, let the day arrive

when Christmas come to everyone,

everyone alive!


Spared child, spoiled child,

having, wanting more,

wise child, faith child, knowing joy in store,

This year, this year, let the day arrive

when Christmas come to everyone,

everyone alive!


Hope for peace Child, God's stupendous sign,

down to earth Child, Star of stars that shine,

This year, this year, let the day arrive

when Christmas come to everyone,

everyone alive!


Psalter: Psalm 148


1   Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens,

praise the Lord, in the heights!

2   Praise the Lord, all his angels,

praise the Lord, all his hosts!

3   Praise the Lord, sun and moon,

praise the Lord, all shining stars!

4   Praise the Lord, highest heavens,

and all waters above the heavens!

5   Let them praise the name of the Lord,

who commanded and they were created,

6   who established them for ever and ever,

and fixed their bounds which cannot be passed.

7   Praise the Lord from the earth,

sea monsters and all deeps,

8   fire and hail, snow and smoke,

stormy wind fulfilling God's command!

9   Mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars!

10  Beasts and all cattle,

creeping things and flying birds!

11  Kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all rulers of the earth!

12  Young men and maidens together,

old men and children!

13  Let them praise the name of the Lord,

whose name alone is exalted,

whose glory is above earth and   heaven.

14  God has raised up a horn for his people,

praise for all his faithful ones,

for the people of Israel who are near their God.

Praise the Lord!


Gloria Patri


Glory be to the Father and to the son

and to the Holy Ghost;

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and ever shall be,

world without end.

Amen. Amen.


Special Music: “Do You Hear What I Hear” Stefanie


Prayers of the People: Joys and concerns

   Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer




Hymn: “Joy to the World”


Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

let every heart prepare him room,

and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.


Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let all their songs employ;

while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.


No more let sins and sorrows grow,

nor thorns infest the ground;

he comes to make his blessings flow

far as the curse is found,

far as the curse is found,

far as, far as, the curse is found.


He rules the world with truth and grace,

and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness,

and wonders of his love,

and wonders of his love,

and wonders, wonders, of his love.