December 26, 2021

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Christmas 1

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26

Psalm 148

Colossians 3:12-17

Luke 2:41-52

Call to Worship  (adapted from Psalm 148)

One:  Praise the Lord!
Many:  From the skies, from the highest heavens, praise the Lord!
One:  The Lord established the sun and moon, so we praise the Lord.
Many:  Not only the earth, but all people, young and old, praise God!
One:  From all our busy Advent through all the twelve days of Christmas,
Many:  let us praise the Lord, whose gift of love we celebrate in Jesus.

Opening Prayer  

God of all goodness, we delight in this time of worship.  Help us focus once more on the amazing gift you’ve given the world in the birth of Jesus.  With gratitude, we look beyond both the best – family time, friends, care for the least and last – AND the worst – commotion, commercial craziness and chaos — to celebrate the life of compassion and challenge known in Jesus.  Tune our hearts to sing your praise today and on through the end of this calendar year, AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (from Colossians 3)

Many of us gave and received new clothes during this Advent/Christmas time.  Perhaps you were given the most wonderful of clothing; something which allowed you to respond: “this is JUST what I WANTED!”
Perhaps you gave something marvelous to a loved one, delighting in the gratitude expressed as it was modeled.  Did some of you give/receive matching family pjs just in time for Christmas Eve?

Colossians describes believers clothed not in Christmas gifts, but “clothed in compassion”.  Not only that, but then these believers are advised, “over all these clothes…put on love”. 

We have opportunity right now to demonstrate our layered “clothing” of our Christian identity.  When we share our financial gifts, we activate (put on) compassion and love which then can be shared with a hurting and hungry world.  

Remember, we wrap up 2021 with this last Sunday offering.  Your generous contributions (for our general budget, for our Christmas offering, and for year-end gifts) become signs of the compassion and love of your life.

Let’s join together and participate in a grand, Colossians-style, fashion show starring every person in this congregation!  

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God, thank you for clothing us with your love.  In gratitude, we’ve now returned a portion of our finances.  
We’re eager to partner with you, for we’re eager to help move your creation toward becoming a world of enough for all.  Inspire us to wardrobes of compassion and lives of love, AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

After a full month (plus) of feasting – Thanksgiving, family times, with work colleagues or school class parties, neighbors gathering, church activities —
what a welcome gift it is to come to this Table!  Here, we come with other believers to renew our relationship with Jesus.  With these simple elements, we steady our lives, solidly standing on the strong foundation of love poured out in his life, death and resurrection.  

As we come to the completion of this calendar year, let’s confirm the covenant we made in our baptism:  to be disciples/learners/followers of Jesus.  With that confirmation, let us feast on this bread, juice, and on the presence of the Spirit in and among us all.