Christmas A — December 24/25

Christmas Eve/Christmas Day
December 24/25, 2022

Call to Worship
One: Sing a new song to the Holy One! Emmanuel reigns!!
Many: Mighty God, we gather to consider your marvelous works.
One: Sing a new song to the Holy One! Emmanuel reigns!!
Many: Wonderful Counselor, we gather to delight in your revelation.
One: Sing a new song to the Holy One! Emmanuel reigns!!
Many: Prince of Peace, we gather to become messengers of your good news.

God with us, we open our hearts and souls to the beauty of your kindom. We seek to hear the precious news once again that we might be continually renewed, transformed, and awed by your abundant love, everlasting peace, miraculous hope, and quenchless joy. May our praise and prayers be pleasing to you. May our lives reflect the beauty you have birthed in us. Amen.

Prayer for Transformation and New Life
Eternal God, you have made all things beautiful, yet all too often our attention is arrested by the ugliness of the world. The cruelty of humanity toward one another and creation overwhelms us in its depth and persistence. So often we revel in acrimony and discord and reject the beloved community you invite us to join and co-create with you. We pursue power and popularity over your presence. But you enter into our lives with good news, redeeming hope, and contagious joy. Help us to choose your way every day as we do this day. May the beauty of Christmas be the good news that carries us and empowers us toward new life in you.

Words of Grace
Jesus entered and enters creation in the midst of particular circumstances. God does not avoid the realities of our lives but abides with us and invites us to a journey toward our redemption and that of the world. The beauty of the Holy One’s grace radiates, and the ugliness cannot overcome it. The good news is that rather than judgment, Christ offers a companion on the journey whose love endures forever.

Invitation to Generosity
On this day that has become synonymous with gift giving, let us reflect on the gifts of love, hope, joy, and peace. Let us respond to the generosity of the Giver of all things beautiful. Let us give generously to share God’s beauty in our community.

Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving
Generous God, we give thanks for all the beautiful resources you have given to us. Let these gifts bring glory and honor to you and beauty and peace to your creation. Amen.

“The Work of Christmas” by Howard Thurman
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.

Go in hope, peace, joy, and love…to spread the beauty of Christmas.

The poem, “The Work of Christmas” is excerpted from Howard Thurman’s The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations and is used by permission of Friends United Press. All rights reserved. If you choose to donate you can do so at this link (with Press Permissions in the checkout notes box): or you can mail a check with Press Permissions in the memo line to: Friends United Meeting | 101 Quaker Hill Dr. | Richmond IN 47374

Beauty: Service Prayers for Christmas Eve/Day was written by The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Minister for Worship and Theology, United Church of Christ.