2nd Sunday of Christmas

GATHERING SONGS “O Come All Ye Faithful” ELW #283

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

Blessed be the holy Trinity, + one God who forgives all our sin, whose mercy endures forever.

Amen.

Amid the darkness of this world, let us confess our sin and welcome the light of God's forgiveness.

Silence is kept for reflection.

God of grace and truth,

in Christ Jesus you come among us as light shining in the darkness.

We confess that we have not welcomed the light, and have not trusted the good news of great joy.

Forgive us and renew our hope, so that we may live in the fullness of your love, trusting in the grace of Christ our Lord. Amen.

The angel said, You shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins. With great joy, I announce to you the entire forgiveness of your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

GREETING AND PRAYER OF THE DAY

The grace of our Savior Jesus Christ, Word made flesh, born of Mary, be with you all. And also with you.

Let us pray. Almighty God, you have filled all the earth with the light of your incarnate Word. By your grace empower us to reflect your light in all that we do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Anthem “Word for the World”

THE FIRST LESSON: Jeremiah 31:7–14

For thus says the LORD: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, “Save, O LORD, your people, the remnant of Israel.” See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.” For the LORD has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will give the priests their fill of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty, says the LORD.

Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.

PSALM: 147:12–20

Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion,

who has strengthened the bars of your gates and has blessed your children within you.

God has established peace on your borders; and satisfies you with the finest wheat.

God sends out a command to the earth, a word that runs very swiftly.

God gives snow like wool, scattering frost like ashes.

God scatters hail like bread crumbs. Who can stand against God's cold?

The LORD sends forth the word and melts them; the wind blows, and the waters flow.

God declares the word to Jacob, statutes and judgments to Israel.

The LORD has not done so to any other nation;

they do not know God's judgments. Hallelujah!

THE SECOND LESSON: Ephesians 1:3–14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth,

the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.

Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.

THE GOSPEL FOR THE DAY: John 1:1–18

The holy gospel according to Saint John. Glory to you, O Lord.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'") From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON John's Christmas Story Pastor Phil Wold

HYMN OF THE DAY “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” ELW #270

THE PEACE IS SHARED

The peace of Christ be with you always. And also with you.

THE OFFERING “In Tiny Bethlehem” BASICS

OFFERING PRAYER

Good and loving God, we rejoice in the birth of Jesus, who came among the poor to bring the riches of your grace. As you have blessed us with your gifts, let them be a blessing for others. With the trees of the field, with all earth and heaven, we shout for joy at the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH - From the ELCA Worship Blog

As we near the conclusion of the Christmas season, let us pray for God’s mercy throughout this new year, responding to each petition with words from the first reading, “Save your people, O LORD.”

A brief silence.

All through 2021, O redeeming God, bless your church. Renew the strength of bishops, pastors, deacons, musicians, and all servants of the church. Assist congregations in paying their bills. Give us hope in your goodness and joy in your salvation.

A brief silence.

Receive our prayer, merciful God.

Save your people, O LORD.

All through 2021, O bountiful God, bless your earth. Hold the ecosystems of this earth in the balance you intend, from coastlands to farmlands, forests to wetlands, deserts to rainforests. Reveal new ways for us to live in harmony with your creation.

A brief silence.

Receive our prayer, merciful God.

Save your people, O LORD.

All through 2021, O ruling God, bless the nations of the world. Bring peace and justice where there is violence and abuse of power. Inspire those in authority to serve the common good, and preserve stability in the United States. Protect those who risk danger for the sake of others.

A brief silence.

Receive our prayer, merciful God.

Save your people, O LORD.

All through 2021, O reconciling God, lead us out of patterns of prejudice and into reconciliation with one another. Help us to honor all persons as members of your family and our siblings under your care.

A brief silence.

Receive our prayer, merciful God.

Save your people, O LORD.

All through 2021, O loving God, give us wisdom in our resolutions and strength during hardships. Console those who are afraid or lonely. Give jobs to the unemployed. Direct us toward the solution to the world’s problems, to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, to serve the neighbor.

A brief silence.

Receive our prayer, merciful God.

Save your people, O LORD.

All through 2021, O compassionate God, attend to those who suffer. End the pandemic. Restore health care workers. Heal the sick. Accompany those living with chronic and invisible illness. Visit those for whom we pray: . . . .

A brief silence.

Receive our prayer, merciful God.

Save your people, O LORD.

All through 2021, O precious God, pour over us and into us your Holy Spirit, that we may live as your own, and accept the silent petitions we offer.

A longer period of silence.

Receive our prayer, merciful God.

Save your people, O LORD.

At this beginning of 2021, O eternal God, hear our praise for all those whose lives proclaimed your praise, especially those who died during 2020. At our end, bring us with them into the garden watered by your mercy.

A brief silence.

Receive our prayer, merciful God.

Save your people, O LORD.

O God, you are the Beginning and the Ending of all. Receive our prayers for the sake of one who made known to us the mystery of your will, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen

BLESSING

Go in Peace, Christ is with you. Thanks be to God.

SENDING SONG “Angels From the Realms of Glory” ELW #275

SENDING

Go in peace. Live the gospel. Thanks be to God.


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