Event – Christmas

Holy Night Prayer

O God, on this holy night,
we celebrate your birth among us as a human child.
We celebrate alongside Mary and Joseph,
who through their everyday work of parenting
became part of your story of salvation.                   

On the first Christmas, there was no room in the inn.
Protect with your love those in our community who have no home tonight,
who are living under bridges, in abandoned buildings or in hostels.
We pray especially for homeless families with babies,
who bear the fragility of new life in hard and anxious times.

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Holy Incarnation Call to Worship

Dearly beloved!
We are gathered here in the sight of God
in this time of worship
to remember the holy incarnation,
the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In a tiny town of Bethlehem
a worried father waited,
a would-be mother laboured.
The world held its breath for a Saviour.
The baby arrived,
and angels incandesecent
sang of goodwill to shepherds,
lighting up the night sky.

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Advent Communion Service

Who is invited to the Lord’s Table?
All are invited;
the young and the old,
the rich and the poor,
the lowest and the least;
sinners and saints together in communion.
Come find your place here
where there are no strangers or foreigners,
only brothers and sisters in the sight of God.

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The Year I put God on the Christmas List

It never occurred to me till this year
to put God on my Christmas list.
Heaven knows, I’ve been on the receiving end
too many times to count,
with a God whose giving knows no ending.
Maybe God would like a gift,
for a change.
What do you get Someone who has everything?
Slippers?  Does one size truly fit all?
A book?  What hasn’t God read yet?
An ipad?  Are there apps made in heaven?
Can everyone really use socks?

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Lost and Found at Christmas

This Christmas, you come as a Saviour to the lost.
We gather here, we who have lost heart,
lost hope, lost patience, lost time.
We have lost innocence, we are losing the race,
we feel like lost souls.
This Christmas, we want to be finding you–
finding you in the silence of the gray morning
and in the sweet smile of a child;
finding you in the dark starry sky
and in the warm handshake of a friend;
finding you in the familiar Christmas narrative
and in the story of a stranger;
finding you in our own hearts
and in the face of our enemies.

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Christmas Reader’s Theatre: For Unto Us a Child is Born!

A reading for up to ten people, with an optional “people” response.

Narrator:  Waiting, watching, hoping against hope,
the faithful have looked and longed for a Saviour.
Wrapped up in our own lives, in our own struggles,
consumed with our own desires and sins,
still, our hope was in God.
At long last, all generations cry out,
“For unto us a child is born”.

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Way of Peace Benediction

By the tender mercy of our God
love has broken upon us!
Light is given where once there was darkness
and hope where there was only death.
We go into this season knowing
that God will guide our feet into the way of peace.

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Inside and Outside the Stable: A Christmas Poem

Inside the stable there is darkness pushing in,
a small light, perhaps, illuminating three faces.
The murmurs of a baby’s cries, his snuffling and suckling,
the rustle of straw, the sound of animals shifting.
The smell of sweat and blood and manure,
the fragrance of milk and sweet baby.
The  touch of a hand on a smooth small forehead,
a man’s arm holding a body still shaking with afterpains.

Outside the stable, darkness is pushed away,
radiant brightness illuminating shepherds, flocks.
The gasps of fright as grown men topple to the ground,

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Light: A Christmas Eve Reader’s Theatre

We are people of the light…

we say, “Let there be light!” And behold!

Lamplight, headlight, spotlight,

flashlight, floodlight, footlight,

searchlight, stoplight, streetlight,

windows cascading light,

skyscraper towers of light,

satellites that compete with starlight,

screens of all kinds lit with light,

light sabres, lighthouses and light bulbs;

halogen, incandescent, fluorescent!

We dodge deep darkness with twinkly lights.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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