Category Archives: Christmas Eve

From Heaven Above to Earth I Come


A Christmas Eve Worship Service by Pastor Michael Zarling
Excerpt of the Worship Service:

A Christmas service based on Martin Luther’s Christmas hymn for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

Processional Hymn: #55 — “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful” (brass accompaniment)

As the hymn is introduced, please stand and face the processional cross in the back of the church, and turn to the front of the church as the cross passes you.

 Greeting

Minister: We worship in the name of the Father who gave us His Son, in the name of Jesus Christ, who came as the perfect Gift, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who brought us to faith in this Christ child.

Congregation: Amen.

 Introduction by Pastor

Pastor: This year, we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. There are many blessings that we enjoy today because the Lord of the Church allowed Martin Luther to rediscover for God’s people. Blessings such as the truth of Scripture alone, the Bible translated into the language of the people, the doctrine of vocation, the power of congregational singing, etc. The greatest blessing is the grace of God found in the person of Jesus Christ – the Son of God born of the Virgin Mary to be the Savior of all humankind.

Martin Luther’s writings and hymns focus on this doctrine of grace. His Christmas hymn “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” is all about the grace of God found in this Christchild, young and fair. Luther wrote this hymn for his children. It is recorded that “Luther was accustomed every year to prepare for his family a happy Christmas Eve’s entertainment … and for this festival of his children he wrote this Christmas hymn.”

“From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” is based on Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth in the second chapter of his Gospel.

Before we focus on Jesus being born to Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem, we hear from Luke how the promise of the Savior was first given to Mary.

Luke 1:26-38

Here is the link to download the entire worship service program (it’s free!): From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

Thank you Pastor Zarling for sharing!

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His Eyes


What did the baby Jesus think when he first opened his beautiful eyes?  This was the inspiration behind the poem titled “His Eyes.”

HIS EYES

His eyes first saw Mary
And her enlightened face
Then they looked at Joseph
And that primitive manger place

He’d grow to see the villages
Of Nazareth and Galilee
And yet He’d seen them before
Somewhere before; in eternity

His eyes would see the lilies
And the sparrows when they call
The mountains, seas and forests
For He created them all

He also saw the people
And came to set them free
And somehow in His foresight
His eyes, they looked at me.

©2014 Robert A. Brown, excerpted from “Seated Above, Looking Below”, Used with permission

You are encouraged to reprint this poem in your church bulletins or newsletters or set it to music!

Links to Bob’s Books of poetry:
1. Seated Above, Looking Below 
2.  The Deep Calls to the Deep

3. Spiritual Passion 

Behold


Behold

Behold, a virgin shall conceive
And a child shall be born
A savior, a Prince, Emmanuel
To a world that’s lost forlorn 

Behold, upon the throne of David
Given shall be a Son
Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace
Everlasting Father, Messiah, Anointed One 

Behold, O Israel, your Ruler comes
Who’s goings forth have been from old
Oh Bethlehem, little among a thousand villages
From thee the story shall unfold 

Behold, His name will be Jesus
He’ll give unto man his worth
His kingdom will be forever and ever
All glory to God, peace here on Earth 

Table Grace for Christmas Dinner


Why not place a card at each seat for your family dinner tonight or tomorrow  to recite grace together?

Print something like this:

 

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Lord, Jesus, be our   Holy guest,

our morning joy,   our evening rest.

And with our daily   bread impart;

Your love and peace   to every heart.

Amen.

Traditional Christian Grace

Silent Night – Guitar and Cello


Silent Night – Guitar and Cello

At our church we are having two children play Silent Night on their guitar and cello as pre-service music on Dec 18.  Both are first year beginning students.  I wrote a very simple arrangement for their use.   The guitar includes both tab and sheet music.  I am offering it for free to anyone interested.  You can download it from my file download area (lower left column) or send me an email at (sjbrown58 “at” yahoo “dot” com.)

Beginner’s Version – Silent Night for Guitar and Cello

The Tug


The Tug

Mary and Joseph felt a tug,
And so they went with reverent fear.
To the city of David
For the Messiah’s birth was near.
The lowly shepherds felt the tug,
And their wonder just would not yield.
For they saw a heavenly vision,
Whilst abiding in the field.
The wise men also felt a tug,
And so they journeyed afar.
To the little town of Bethlehem,
With guidance from a star.
And through the ages we too can feel this tug,
It’s God our Savior beckoning from heaven above.
Still speaking, still leading, still healing, still listening,
God sent to earth; once in the form of a beautiful dove.

-by Steve & Bob Brown

Our song selections for our next blended service scheduled for Feb 13 (Epiphany 6) are as follows:

Pre-Service – “Beautiful One” by Tim Hughes*
Opening Song – “Speak, O Lord” by Keith Getty (CWS 735)
Absolution Response – “Te Deum” Marty Haugen (GIA)
Psalm of the Day – Ps 119a with “As the Deer” (BOB 12)
Hymn of the Day – ” Speak, O Savior; I Am Listening” by Anna Sophia (CW 283)
Offertory – “You Are God Alone” by Billy & Cindy Foote*
Closing Song – “More Love, More Power” by Jude Del Hierro (BOB 159)

* Band Only

Christmas Text – Responsive Reading


Christmas Text – Responsive Reading

P:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
C:  He was with God in the beginning.

P:  Oh, come, let us adore Him,
C: Christ the Lord!
P:  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
C:  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

P:  Oh, come, let us adore Him,
C: Christ the Lord!  
P:  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
C:  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

P:  Oh, come, let us adore Him,
C: Christ the Lord!
P:  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
C:  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

P:  Oh, come, let us adore Him,
C: Christ the Lord!
P:  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
C:  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

P:  Oh, come, let us adore Him,
C: Christ the Lord!
P:  From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
C:  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

P:  Oh, come, let us adore Him,
C: Christ the Lord!

   (Based on John Chapter 1: 1-5, 10 – 17)

This reading was taken from my Advent Candle Lighting Ceremony.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Christmas Prophecies


Christmas Prophecies

One of the many things that I love about Christmas worship is the OT prophecies and their NT fulfillments.  I’m told that there are about 300 such statements in scripture.  I don’t claim to know much more than a hand full of them but here’s a few of my favorites, collected into a responsive reading that would be appropriate for an Advent or Christmas Eve Service:

The Messiah would be born of a virgin:
Pastor:  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14
All:      She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.  – Matthew 1: 21

The Messiah would come as a descendant from David:
Pastor: In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. – Jeremiah 33:15
All:      He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. – Luke 1:32

The Messiah would be preceded by a “forerunner”:
Pastor:  See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. – Malachi 3:1
All:      In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” – Matthew 3:1,2

He would be anointed by the Holy Spirit:
Pastor: The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD – Isaiah 11:2
All:      As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. – Matthew 3:16

An amazingly accurate picture of the Savior’s birth:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,        and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. – Isaiah 9:2, 6, 7

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society