A Blue Christmas Service of Hope

WELCOME

INVITATION TO WORSHIP

[L indicates words spoken by the Leader, C indicates words spoken by the congregation.]

L:  We wait for light but there seems to be only darkness,

and for brightness, 

but we walk in gloom.  

C:  We grope like those who have no eyes; 

we stumble at noon as in the twilight.

L:  We light the candle of Hope as we await the coming of Jesus, who is our source of hope. (candle of hope is lit)

C: Thank you, God, for the gift of hope, in our times of emptiness.

L:  Open our eyes, Lord,

      especially if they are half-shut

because we are tired of looking,

C:  or half open

          because we fear to see too much,

L:  or bleared with tears

because yesterday and today and tomorrow

are filled with the same pain,

C:  or contracted,

because we only look at what we want to see.

L: We light the candle of Peace, knowing that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. (candle of peace is lit)

C: Thank you, God, for the gift of peace in our times of uncertainty.

L:  Open our eyes, Lord,

to gently scan the life we lead,

the home we have,

the world we inhabit,

C:  and so to find,

among the grime and the greyness,

signs of hope we can fasten on and encourage.

L:  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, 

    and the light around me become night,” 

C:  even the darkness is not dark to you; 

  the night is as bright as the day, 

for darkness is as light to you.

L:  We light the candle of Joy, knowing that our comfort and help come from God. (candle of joy is lit)

C: Thank you, God, for the gift of joy in our times of sadness.

L:  Give us, whose eyes are dimmed by familiarity,

a bigger vision of what you can do

even with hopeless cases and lost causes

and people of limited ability.

C:  Show us the world as in your sight,

riddled by debt, deceit and disbelief,

yet also

shot through with possibility

for recovery, renewal, redemption.

L:  And lest we fail to distinguish vision from fantasy,

today, tomorrow, this week,

open our eyes to one person

or one place,

where we – being even for a moment prophetic –

might identify and wean a potential in the waiting.

C:  And with all this,

open our eyes, in yearning, for Jesus.

L: We light the candle of Love, knowing that God is love revealed to us in Jesus Christ. (candle of love is lit)

C: Thank you, God, for the gift of love in our times of loneliness.

L:  The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, 

and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death, 

light has dawned.

C: You are the Light of the world, O Christ; 

be light in our darkness. 

On the mountains,

in the cities,

through the corridors of power

and the streets of despair,

to help, to heal,

to confront, to convert,

O come, O come, Immanuel.

OPENING PRAYER

L:  God of compassion and consolation, 

hear our prayer in this Advent Season 

for ourselves, our families, our friends,

and those who live among us 

who live with the painful memories and circumstances of loss.  

We ask for strength for today, 

courage for tomorrow, 

and peace for the past.  

We ask these things in the name of Christ our Lord 

who shares our life in joy and sorrow, 

death and new birth, 

despair and promise.

C:  Amen.

BLESSING OF THE ADVENT WREATH

Lighting of the Advent Wreath

[click on the link below]

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Pastor: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe.

In your Son, Emmanuel,

you have shown us your light

and saved us from the power of sin.

People: Bless us as we light the candles on this wreath.

Increase our longing for your presence,

that at the celebration of your Son’s birth

his Spirit might dwell anew in our midst,

for he is our light and our salvation.

Blessed be God forever.

Amen.

SONG DURING THE LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT WREATH

“He Came Down ”

[click on the link below]

SCRIPTURE READINGS AND REFLECTIONS

A reading of Psalm 13

How long, O Lord?

Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I bear pain in my soul,

and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!

Give light to my eyes,

or I will sleep the sleep of death,

and my enemy will say,

“I have prevailed”;

my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation,

I will sing to the Lord,

because he has dealt bountifully with me.

L:  This is the Word of Hope.

C:  Thanks be to God. 

“Lost In The Night ”

[click on the link below]

Silence for personal meditation

L:  Let us pray:

C:  Steadfast and loving God, in the midst of our struggles and frustrations we ask, “how long?”  Show us your compassion.  Hold us in your love.  Give us the courage, patience, and strength to face each new day.  Hear our prayer for the sake of Christ who faithfully endured all the struggles of humanity.  Amen.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah 35:5-10

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

And the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then the lame shall leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,

the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

A highway shall be there,

and it shall be called the Holy Way;

the unclean shall not travel on it,

but it shall be for God’s people;

no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.

No lion shall be there,

nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there,

but the redeemed shall walk there.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain joy and gladness,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

L:  This is the Word of Joy.

C:  Thanks be to God.

“Come, Now, O Prince of Peace ”

[click on the link below]

Silence for personal meditation

L:  Let us pray:

C:  Life-giving and renewing God, turn our mourning into joy, our fear into faith, and our loss into blessing.  Renew and transform our lives that they may be lived in joy in your presence and in witness and service to your whole creation.  Hear our prayer for the sake of Christ who is the beginning and end of your love for us and all creation.  Amen.

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 1: 46-55

And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked with favor on

the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations

will call me blessed;

for the Mighty One has done

great things for me,

and holy is his name.

His mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud 

in the thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down

the powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things;

and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

according to the promise his made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

L: This is the Word of Life.

C: Thanks be to God.

SERMON

[click on the link below]

HYMN OF THE DAY

“Canticle of the Turning”

[click on the link below]

L:  Let us pray:

C:  Comforting and consoling God, when adversity and fear confront us and seem to overwhelm us come to our aid.  Still the storms in our lives, calm our fears, and soothe our pain.  Hear our prayer for the sake of Christ who comes to us and walks with us throughout our life-long journey. Amen.

A LITANY OF REMEMBERING AND LIGHT

[click on the link below]

L:  This first candle we light to remember those whom we have loved and lost.  We pause to remember their name, their face, their voice, the memory that binds them to us in this season.  (Pause while the first candle is lit.)

C:  Let your light shine upon them, O God, and may your eternal love surround them.

L:  This second candle we light is to redeem the pain of loss:  the loss of relationships, the loss of jobs, the loss of health. (Pause while the second candle is lit.)  We pause to gather up the pain of the past and offer it to God, asking that from God’s hands we will receive the gift of peace.

C:  Refresh, restore, renew us, O God, and lead us into your future of promise.

L:  This third candle we light is to remember ourselves this Christmas time.  We pause and remember these past weeks and months:  the doubt, the anger, the disbelief, the down times, the poignancy of reminiscing, the hugs and handshakes of family and friends, all those who have stood with us.  (Pause while the third candle is lit.)  We give thanks for all the support we have known.

C:  Let us remember that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  

L:  This fourth candle is lit to remember our faith and the gift of hope which the Christmas story offers to us.  (Pause while the fourth candle is lit.)  We remember that God who shares our life promises us a place and time of no more pain and suffering.

C:  We  remember and trust in the one who shows the way, who brings the truth, and who bears the light.

INVITATION TO LIGHT CANDLES

At this time you may pause the recording and get a candle or candles light them and offer your prayers for all you wish to remember before God. 

We pray because of the people and circumstances that brought us here. 

We pray because God knows us from the depths of our hearts, and God comes to each one of us to assure us with the Spirit’s love and Christ’s compassion. 

“Nothing Can Trouble ”

[click on the link below]

PRAYERS

L: In the spirit of this season of waiting and expectation, let us confidently ask God to come and be our light and life, our hope and joy.

L:  For ourselves as we participate in whatever way we can this Christmas, O God, our light and our hope, hear our prayer,

C:  And in your merciful love, answer.

L:  For our families and friends that they may continue to help and support us, O God, our light and our hope, hear our prayer,

C:  And in your merciful love, answer.

L:  For all the people we have loved and that have died, for all the losses that we know, that all may be redeemed by your promise of grace, O God, our light and our hope, hear our prayer,

C:  And in your merciful love, answer.

L:  For all our families and friends that they may know love and peace and joy in you, O God, our light and our hope, hear our prayer,

C:  And in your merciful love, answer.

L:  For our world, that it may find the peace proclaimed by the Christmas angels, O God, our light and our hope, hear our prayer,

C:  And in your merciful love, answer.

L: God of great compassion and love, listen to the prayers of these your people.  Grant to all, especially the bereaved, the sick, and the troubled ones this Christmas, the blessing we ask in the name of Christ, our Emmanuel, God with us.

C:  Amen.

THE GREETING AND SHARING OF PEACE

Pastor: Since we are forgiven and renewed by God’s Spirit, let us also be reconciled
with one another and share the Peace of the Lord.  The peace of the Lord be
with you always.

People: And also with you.

THE OFFERING

(We worship God with the offering of our selves, our time, our talents, and our possessions.)

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Leader: Let us pray.
Gracious God,

People: you have done great things for us,

and holy is your name.

Bless all we offer you —

our selves, our time, and our possessions.

Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need

until the coming of your Son,

Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord.  Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Pastor: Let us pray with confidence in the words our Saviour gave us:

People: 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. Amen.

Prayer for the Night

Pastor: Let us pray.

Lord,

it is night.

The night is for stillness.

Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is a long night after a brief day.

What has been done has been done;

what has not been done has not been done;

let it be.

The night is dark.

Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives

rest in you.

The night is quiet.

Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,

all dear to us,

and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.

Let us look expectantly to a new day,

new joys,

new possibilities.

In your name we pray.

People: Amen.

(A New Zealand Prayer Book, 184)

Pastor:  We return to the world from which we came: a world of pain, a world of promise; the world which God so loved that the Bethlehem baby was born.  Listen to the voice of the angel who says, “Fear not.”  Be filled with the Good News of God, through this child, God’s gift of new life for all.  Amen

CLOSING HYMN

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ”

[click on the link below]

SENDING


ALL RECEIVE THE BLESSING OF GOD, LEAVE IN PEACE,
AND ARE SENT OUT TO SERVE

BLESSING

Pastor:  May Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, shine upon you and scatter the darkness from your path.  Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.

People:  Amen

ANNOUNCEMENTS

DISMISSAL

Pastor: God of the watching ones,

the waiting ones,

the slow and suffering ones,

the angels in heaven,

the child in the womb,

People:  You have given us your benediction

your Good Word for our souls,

that we might rest and rise

in the assurance of your company.

Thanks be to God.

It is our prayer that the peace and quiet assurance that comes with knowing 

that God in Christ, our Emmanuel, is with us be with you this Christmas and in the year to come. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Because of the rapid rise in COVID cases throughout Saskatoon and the province at an online consultation involving all the church leaders and clergy in the Synod it was strongly recommended that congregations suspend all in person worship services through the end of January 2021.  King of Glory’s Church Council met to consider this recommendation and unanimously passed a motion that we suspend in person worship services and post online worship services on our website through January 2021.  Of course, should there be any significant changes with regard to the pandemic situation the Church Council will revisit the issue.

COMING UP AT KOG

– Thursday, December 24, King of Glory online Worship service.

– Sunday, December 27, King of Glory online Worship service. 

– Sunday, January 3, King of Glory online Worship service. 

– Sunday, January 10, King of Glory online Worship service. 

The website for all seven ELCIC congregations in Saskatoon is now up and the address is https://saskatoonelcic.com/   It will be used now mainly for sharing information during the pandemic and has the online worship services from our seven congregations. 

November, December, and Year-to-Date Budget and Contribution Report for KOG

2020 Budget:  $49,536       Monthly Budget:  $4,128     Weekly Budget:  $952.62

2020 income/expenses: $1,983.88

September income/expenses: $3,356.23.

Contributions from November 1 through December 3: $2295

Offerings.  

Even though we are not meeting together we still have expenses and need your offerings so that we can pay them.  Church Council has decided that the best way to receive your offerings is that you mail a cheque (Please no cash for mail security reasons) to the church and we can process them from there.  Offerings must be postmarked or received by December 31, 2020 to be credited as a charitable contribution for 2020.

Send your contributions to:  King of Glory Lutheran Church

    3318 Merritt Street

    Saskatoon, SK  S7M 3P6

Thank you for your generosity.

The Quilting Group delivered bedding to The Lighthouse and Interval House in November –

20 Quilts as well as various sheets, towels, pillow cases and blankets.  Thank you for your service.

Pastor Michael and Renita thank all at King of Glory who remembered them this Christmas season with cards, gifts, many kindnesses, and prayers.  Christmas peace and joy and the blessing of Christ be with everyone in the New Year.

Co-Treasurer position for King of Glory 

King of Glory is looking for a co-treasurer primarily responsible for documenting and filling out the forms for the province, the Canada Revenue Agency and the ELCiC.  They will work Pat Sarich whose primary responsibility is oversight of the budget and the bookkeeping with respect of receipts and expenditures.  Please contact Pastor Michael about this position.

Additional Prayers

Petitioner:  Generous God, fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old, that we may look after one another in these challenging days. Bring healing to those who are sick with the virus and be with their families. Comfort the family and friends of those who have died. Strengthen and protect all medical professionals caring for the sick and all who work in our medical and health care facilities. Give wisdom to leaders in healthcare and governance that they may make the right decisions for the well-being of people.  We pray in gratitude for all those in our country who will continue to work in the days ahead in so many fields of life for the sake of us all. Bless them and keep them safe.  O God of creation and life, we place ourselves in your protection.  May the mantle of your peace enfold us this day and tomorrow.  Hear us, O God of life …

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