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Christmas Eve 2016

Charlotte CRC’s Christmas Eve service, starting at 7 pm EST.


Call to Worship
“While shepherds kept their watch by night
God sent His only Begotten Son into the World
Very God of Very God and
Very Man of Very Man
He is the Image of the Invisible God
The Firstborn over all creation
The Revelation of God proclaimed “He is the Light of the World”
The Angels spoke of Him in terms of “good tidings of Great Joy.”
He is before all things and
In Him all things consist
With the Promised coming
The Nations shall make their way to pay Him homage
And the families of the earth will be blessed

The Great King has come
And He has Saved His people from their sins
And so far does His Triumph extend
That all things are reconciled in Him

Let now the Praise of God be on our Lips
And a double-edged sword be in our hand
For the service of His Kingdom
and the Praise of His Name

Remember, Believe, and Act upon
During this Advent Rejoicing
“God Gave the Word
Let us be a great company who proclaims Him.”

— Congregational Hymn — 169 (Brown) — “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Noel Reading
Pastor — I am the Light of the World
Congregation — He who follows shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life

Pastor — If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink
Congregation — He who believes shall never thirst

Pastor – I am the door, all can only come to the Father through me
Congregation — Entering through Christ we will be saved

Pastor — I am the Resurrection and the Life
Congregation — He who believes shall never die

Pastor — Rejoice, highly favored people, the Lord is with you
Congregation — Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. Who was and is and is to come

— Hymn (Brown) 193 “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

First Reading
“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”
Luke 2:1-20

Special Music

Second Reading
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness– on them light has shined.
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”
Isaiah 9

— Hymn 184 (Brown) “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Third Reading
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets,2 hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds,3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”
Hebrews 1:1

Of that brightness of God’s Glory, Milton could write,

HAIL, holy Light,
Offspring of Heaven first-born!
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam
May I express thee unblamed? since God is light,
And never but in unapproachèd light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee, 5
Bright effluence of bright essence increate!
Or hear’st thou rather pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell? Before the sun
Before the heavens, thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, did invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.

John Milton
Paradise Lost — Invocation to Light

— Hymn — (Brown) 171 — Joy to the World

Fourth Reading

O COME, Redeemer of the earth,
and manifest thy virgin-birth.
Let every age in wonder fall:
such birth befits the God of all.

Begotten of no human will,
But of the Spirit, Thou art still
The Word of God in flesh arrayed,
The promised Fruit to man displayed.

The virgin womb that burden gained
With virgin honor all unstained;
The banners there of virtue glow;
God in His temple dwells below.

Forth from His chamber goeth He,
That royal home of purity,
A giant in twofold substance one,
Rejoicing now His course to run.

From God the Father He proceeds,
To God the Father back He speeds;
His course He runs to death and hell,
Returning on God’s throne to dwell.

O equal to the Father, Thou!
Gird on Thy fleshly mantle now;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.

Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
And darkness breathe a newer light,
Where endless faith shall shine serene,
And twilight never intervene.

All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete.
Veni, Redemptor Gentium

4th Century Church Hymn

— Hymn (Brown) 192 — Brown — Angels We Have Heard On High

Fifth Reading
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men. And the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came as a witness to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in His name”

Hymn — (Brown) 182 — “How Great Our Joy”

Sixth Reading

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Hymn (Brown) 197 “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”

Closing Candle Light Service — “Silent Night”

Seventh Reading & Benediction

“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
The light has come into the world
And we are to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and
so Glorify God in heaven
You were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light”

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