Grace Lutheran Church
 
Grace Lutheran Church
Christmas Eve
December 24, 2017

 

O Come Little Children

 

5 Kneel down and adore Him with shepherds today,
Lift up little hands now and praise Him as they;
Rejoice that a Savior from sin you can boast,
And join in the song of the heavenly host.

 

6 Now "Glory to God!" sing the angels on high.
And "Peace upon Earth!" heavenly voices reply.
Then come little children, and join in the day
That gladdened the world on that first Christmas Day.

 

Stand

 

The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.

 

P In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C Amen.

 

P Beloved in the Lord! Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God our Father, beseeching Him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.

 

P Our help is in the name of the Lord,

C who made heaven and earth.

P I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord,

C and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

 

Silence for reflection on God's Word and for self-examination.

 

During this time, it may be helpful to ponder these words of the Small Catechism:

 

Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments.

 

• Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker?

 

• Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy?

 

• Have you been hot-tempered, rude, or quarrelsome?

 

• Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds?

 

• Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm?

 

Confession and Pronouncement of Grace

 

P Almighty God, our maker and redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto You that we are by nature sinful and unclean and that we have sinned against You by thought, word, and deed. Wherefore we flee for refuge to Your infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Your grace for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

C O most merciful God, who has given Your only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us and for His sake grant us remission of all our sins; and by Your Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of You and of Your will and true obedience to Your Word, to the end that by Your grace we may come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

P Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has had mercy upon us and has given His only Son to die for us and for His sake forgives us all our sins. To those who believe on His name He gives power to become the children of God and has promised them His Holy Spirit. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.

Grant this, Lord, unto us all.

C Amen.

 

 

Ps. 2:1–2, 4–6; antiphon: Liturgical Text

Introit

When all was still, and it was midnight,

your almighty Word, O Lord, descended from the royal throne.

Why do the nations rage

and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and against his anointed.

He who sits in the heavens laughs;

the Lord holds them in derision.

Then he will speak to them in his wrath,

and terrify them in his fury, saying,

“As for me, I have set my King

on Zion, my holy hill.”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and will be forever. Amen.

When all was still, and it was midnight,

your almighty Word, O Lord, descended from the royal throne.

 

 

LSB 186

Kyrie

 

LSB 368

Angels We Have Heard on High

 

Salutation and Collect of the Day

 

 

P O God, You make us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Grant that as we joyfully receive Him as our Redeemer, we may with sure confidence behold Him when He comes to be our Judge; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

 

Sit

 

Isaiah 9:2–7 (Christmas Midnight)

Old Testament Reading

2 The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,

on them has light shined.

3You have multiplied the nation;

you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you

as with joy at the harvest,

as they are glad when they divide the spoil.

4For the yoke of his burden,

and the staff for his shoulder,

the rod of his oppressor,

you have broken as on the day of Midian.

5For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult

and every garment rolled in blood

will be burned as fuel for the fire.

6For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7Of the increase of his government and of peace

there will be no end,

on the throne of David and over his kingdom,

to establish it and to uphold it

with justice and with righteousness

from this time forth and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

 

A This is the Word of the Lord.

C Thanks be to God.

 

LSB 366

It Came upon the Midnight Clear

 

1 John 4:7–16

Epistle

7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

 

A This is the Word of the Lord.

C Thanks be to God.

 

God Loves Me Dearly

Children’s Choir Response

Stand

 

Alleluia Verse

 

Alleluia. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Alleluia.

 

Luke 2:1–20 (Christmas Midnight)

Holy Gospel

P The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the second chapter.

 

 

1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14“Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

 

P This is the Gospel of the Lord.

 

 

 

Apostles' Creed

C I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth.

 

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

 

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy Christian Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life + everlasting. Amen.

 

Sit

 

LSB 358 sts. 1–3, 5, 13–15

From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

 

13 Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Prepare a bed, soft, undefiled,
A quiet chamber set apart
For You to dwell within my heart.

 

14 My heart for very joy must leap;
My lips no more can silence keep.
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradlesong:

 

15 Glory to God in highest heav’n,
Who unto us His Son has giv’n!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad new year to all the earth.

 

 

(Click on link above to hear the sermon.)

 

Stand

 

LSB 192

Offertory

 

Sit

 

Offering

 

Prayer Intentions

 

Stand

 

Prayer of the Church

P Let us pray for the people of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

 

Brief silence

 

Lord God Almighty, we come before You on this most holy night in awe at the wonder and majesty of the incarnation. The Savior of the nations has come, and with joy we greet our newborn King. Let the proclamation of His birth sound forth throughout the world. Give to Your Church faithful pastors to proclaim the good tidings of His birth, and give to Your people willing ears to hear and believe.

 

In the birth of Your Son, You have signaled the beginning of a new creation; while we still live in a world wracked by the ravages of sin, we know that the final victory is Yours. Watch over and keep safe emergency workers and all whose vocations make them absent from their families this evening so that they can look out for the well-being of our families.

 

In the birth of Your Son, You have visited and redeemed Your people. Continue to visit those who are lonely, sick, recovering or near death. Let Your presence be a comfort to them, and give them perseverance until that time You grant healing, relief, deliverance and peace.

 

In the birth of Your Son, You have made a new family out of all humanity. Keep us ever mindful that Jesus is for all people, and give us opportunity to tell others the good news of His coming so that they can join in the praise of Your holy name.

 

In the birth of Your eternal Son, who is of one substance with You, You visited mankind, and so Your eternal Godhead is bound to the body and blood He gives us in the Sacrament of the Altar. Grant faith to all who receive this gift, so that with sins forgiven and love strengthened they can serve their neighbor in joy.

 

In the birth of Your Son, You have called people of all times and places into the Body of Christ that is the Church. We give You thanks for all the believers who have gone before us, especially those who have been with us during Christmases past and are now with You. Give us a sure confidence in Your promise of resurrection and eternal life, and bring us at last together with them into Your presence at the full coming of Your Kingdom.

 

Into Your hands, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

C Amen.

 

Lord's Prayer

C 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.

 

LSB 374

Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

 

Collect

O God, You make this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that as we have known the mysteries of that Light on earth we may also come to the fullness of His joys in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

LSB 202

Benediction

 

 

As the lights are dimmed, our eyes turn to the Christ candle, which has been front and center the entire service. As Christ has brought the light of His grace into our sin-darkened lives, so now do we receive the light of the Christ candle. Please remember to hold the lit candle upright to prevent dripping hot wax, tipping the unlit candles to light them. Those familiar with the German are invited to sing the first stanza of Silent Night in German before all sing the hymn in English.

 

LSB 363 sts. 1–3, 1g

Silent Night, Holy Night

 

1g Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft, einsam wacht
Nur das traute, hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh.

 

Silent Prayer

 

Acknowledgments

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.