KOG’S BLUE CHRISTMAS SERVICE

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 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills;

From where is my help to come?

My help comes from the Lord,

The maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved

And he who watches over you will not fall asleep.

Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel

Shall neither slumber nor sleep;

The Lord himself watches over you;

The Lord is your shade at your right hand,

So that the sun shall not strike you by day,

Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;

It is he who shall keep you safe.

The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in,

From this time forth for evermore. 

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 Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 3:12-16.

Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in christ Jesus.  Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you.  Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.

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:  Ever-present and assuring God, within the hectic pace of our lives and       in all our turmoil and uncertainty give us your peace.  Enable us to slow       down our lives, to find room for you, and to know of the certainty of       your promise of abundant life.  Hear our prayer for the sake of Christ,       who is born our prince of peace.   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.

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 John 1: 1-5

In the beginning was the Word;

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

This one was present with God in the beginning.

Through him all things came into being,

and apart from him not a single thing came to be.

That which had come to be in him was life,

and this life was the light of the human race.

The light shines on in the darkness,

for the darkness did not put it out/overcome it.

L: This is the Word of Love.

C: Thanks be to God.

Silence for personal meditation

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.

SERMON

[click on the link below]

HYMN OF THE DAY

“Canticle of the Turning”

[click on the link below]

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

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

TODAY AT KOG                                                                                         

THIS WEEK AT KOG

– Tuesday, December 21, Church Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom

COMING UP AT KOG

– Friday, December 24, Christmas Eve service, 7:00

– Sunday, December 26, no in-person service, but an on-line service 

– Sunday, January 2, in-person services resume at 6:30

ANNOUNCEMENTS

King of Glory will hold our regular in-person worship services—following the provincial protocols recommended—on a weekly basis at the regular time 6:30 p.m.  Of course, should there be any significant changes with regard to the pandemic situation the Church Council will revisit the issue.

Thank you to everyone for your support of the Alzheimer’s Society. $226 has been contributed.  Thank you for your generosity.

During the Sundays in Advent  King of Glory is again collecting food items for Christmas Hampers.  Our goal is food items for 10 hampers.  Thank you for your generosity.

Massive floods and landslides have devastated parts of British Columbia. CLWR is accepting donations now on its website at clwr.org/BCfloods. Donations can also be made by phoning our office at 1.800.661.2597 (Monday to Thursday, 9:00 – 16:00 CDT) or by mailing a cheque to 600-177 Lombard Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0W5.

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

2021 Budget:  $49,536       Monthly Budget:  $4,180.50     Weekly Budget:  $964.73

2021income/expenses: –$3,517.11

October income/expenses: –$2,212.24

Weekly contributions for November:  November 7: $ 1,540   November 14: $100

November 21: $70   November 28: $420

Weekly contributions for December:  December 5: $ 1,420 

Offerings.  

Offerings must be postmarked or received by December 31, 2021 to be credited as a charitable contribution for 2021. (Please no cash for mail security reasons)

Send your contributions to:  King of Glory Lutheran Church

    3318 Merritt Street

    Saskatoon, SK  S7M 3P6

Thank you for your generosity.

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.

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