December 26, 2021 – First Sunday after Christmas Day
A recording of the livestream of this worship service is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwdFY7tZAW8.
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Call to worship
One: God is with us, interrupting our settled lives with a startling word, announcing a plan of salvation for the world through Jesus Christ, which enlists our participation.
All: Like Mary and Joseph, and ancestors before them, we are recruited for the fulfilling of God’s purpose.
One: Let us hear and attend to God’s call, and prepare to make a willing response.
All: For we are among those “who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1: 2a).
Lighting of the Christ Candle
Hymn (Book of Praise) 143 – “Infant holy, Infant lowly”
Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)
God of our lives and the times in which we live, we come before you on this last Sunday of the year, marvelling that another year has passed. For some of us, time has slipped by and we wonder where another year went. For others, the pressures of the pandemic have been intense; the sorrows, heavy; the conflicts, challenging. O God, you have seen us through this peculiar year and we are grateful. We praise you for your love, for your comfort and joy which are there whenever we need them. In this time of worship, receive our prayers and our praises as we honour your gifts of Light and Love which shine upon us through Jesus Christ this day and every day by your grace.
God of our lives and the time in which we live, we know you are with us through thick and thin, in times of great joy and at moments of disappointment. We confess we sometimes feel let down when the joy of Christmas day has passed. Our hope seems to get folded away with the gift wrap, our energy for the future feels a bit tattered. Forgive us when our faithfulness flickers like a Christmas candle burning down. Renew our hope and energy for the year ahead through the steadfast grace of Christ our Lord.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.
Declaration of Pardon
We are forgiven and set free to begin again. Let us forgive one another just as God has forgiven us. May the peace of Christ be with us all.
Thanks be to God.
The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Fun with the young at heart (children’s story): Christmas Video
The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)
This is a summary of the sermon Chuck will be preaching today.
On December 26th, we will be looking at Colossians chapter 3, verses 12 to 14.
“12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
According to the apostle Paul, loving God and following Christ is to clothe ourselves with Christ. The Apostle Paul uses a metaphor or an image of clothing or clothes. The best way to follow Christ is to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
What does it mean for us to wear Christ?
I believe it means God provides warmth and protection, but more than that. God makes our life colorful, flavourful, and fashionable.
When God is with us, our life cannot be boring. God will make us laugh and sometimes cry. God will deepen our understanding of who we are.
When God is with us, each day becomes a special gift for us to celebrate.
Sure, our life isn’t pleasant all the time, but our life is never dull. Especially when God is with us.
Wearing God does not mean we need to put a cross on our shoes or to write a certain scripture verse on our shirts. It is not about being serious and holy all the time. But to walk each day by holding the hands of Jesus. It is about remembering God is with us wherever we go, whatever we do, and whoever we meet.
The scriptures we read today ask us a question, “What are we wearing today?”
Are we wearing God today, or are we wearing darkness?
Are we wearing regrets and despair?
Are we wearing the shirt that says, “I am not good enough?”
Are we wearing the shoes that say, “I am not going to live today but yesterday?”
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord[f] has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
May we allow God to clothe us with God’s forgiveness and grace?
May God bless you, AMEN!
“White Christmas”. Words and music copyright © 1942 Irving Berlin, administered by Concord Music Publishing. Used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
Sung by Brooks Gorst, accompanied by Rachelle Risling on keyboard.
We remind everyone that we must continue to pay our bills; in the absence of being present at Sunday worship, you may sign up for pre-authorized remittance (PAR), donate online, or drop off your offering envelope in the mailbox at the church. Do not leave a cash donation unattended in the mailbox; instead, please call the office (416.261.4037) to ensure someone will be there to receive it. The building will be checked daily for mail and phone messages. If you are not comfortable leaving an envelope, you are welcome to contact the office (once again, 416.261.4037) and someone will pick up your offering.
Prayer of dedication
God of love, we give thanks for the many blessings you have given us throughout our lives. We are grateful to celebrate the birth of your greatest gift, our Saviour Jesus, once again. Bless the offerings we make in his name, and use them and us to serve you well in the coming year. Amen.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope
Lord God, creator of heaven and earth, We give you thanks. For the gift of your Son who redeems us and guides us to serve you in the world, By your Holy Spirit, empower us to show your love to others as we pray for:
the church and those who lead in it …
the world that you have asked us to care for …
those who rule in the nations of the world …
those who serve as teachers, instructors, mentors …
those who serve others as healers and caregivers …
those struggling with poverty, homelessness, and hungry …
those who mourn and feel alone …
those imprisoned for defending truth or justice …
those who experience powerless and oppression ….
As this year of ongoing and unexpected challenges draws to a close, give us grateful hearts for what has been loving and life-giving; give us peace about things that have been painful; and focus our attention on emerging opportunities to grow closer to you and to each other. Keep us faithful in all we do in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Hymn (Book of Praise) 148 – “It came upon the midnight clear”
Changing the Light
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you always. AMEN.
- “Go Now in Peace”. Words by American educator, lyricist and composer Don Besig (1936–) and American lyricist Nancy Price (1958–). Music by Don Besig. Words and music copyright © 1988 Harold Flammer Music, a division of Shawnee Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
- Performed by Rachelle Risling (keyboard) and the GCPC Senior Choir. Audio and video production by Rachelle Risling.
- Audio and video recording copyright © 2021 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church.
Copyright © 2021 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church
Last updated on 2022-01-01 23:30 – Updated Musical reflection info; added info about livestream recording on YouTube.