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Carol: Joy to the world

Joy to the world
the Lord has come!
let earth receive her king,
let every heart prepare him room
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth,
the Saviour reigns!
let songs be heard on high,
while fields and streams and hills and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground.
He comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world
with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness,
the wonders of his love,
the wonders of his love,
the wonders, the wonders of his love.

Words by Isaac Watts (Public Domain)

Carol: The First Nowell

The first Nowell the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds
In fields as they lay.
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel!

“Your Saviour has arrived, do not be afraid:
He brings pardon for sinners who hope in his name.
He left his throne and entered our grief
To exchange our estrangement from God with His peace.”

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is our hope, see the darkness dispelled.

See the glory of the Lord bursting over the skies,
Igniting the darkness repelling the night.
Our God has come to dwell with us
And atone for our sins by shedding His blood.

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
God has come down in Emmanuel.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord.
Who has made heaven and earth of naught,
And with His blood mankind has bought.

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel!

Words © 2019 Ben Slee (Used with permission)

Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7

2 The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
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 Counsellor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness 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 for ever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
    will accomplish this.

Carol: Once in Royal David’s City

Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild;
Jesus Christ, her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord of all;
and his shelter was a stable
and his cradle was a stall:
with the poor and mean and lowly
lived on earth our Saviour holy.

And our eyes at last shall see him
through his own redeeming love;
for that child so dear and gentle
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing by,
we shall see him, but in heaven,
set at God’s right hand on high;
when like stars his children crowned
all in white, shall wait around.

Words by C.F. Alexander (Public Domain)

Reading: Luke 2:1-21

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child,he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

[a] Luke 2:2 Or This census took place before

Carol: O little town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting Light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

O morning stars together
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to men on earth.
For Christ is born of Mary;
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming;
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him,
still the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin and enter in,
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel.

Words by Phillips Brooks (Public Domain)

Reading: John 1:1-14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Carol: O come all ye faithful

O come all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
come and behold him, born the king of angels:

O come, let us adore him.
O come, let us adore him.
O come, let us adore him:
Christ the Lord.

God of God,
Light of light,
lo, he abhors not the virgin’s womb!
Very God, begotten, not created:

O come, let us adore him…

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation!
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above,
“Glory to God in the highest!”

O come, let us adore him…

Words after J. F. Wade (1711-1786), F. Oakeley (1802-1880) and others (Public Domain)

Carol: Hark the herald-angels sing

Hark! The herald-angels sing
glory to the new-born King;
peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful all ye nations rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”:

Hark! The herald-angels sing
glory to the new-born King.

Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord;
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin’s womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

Hark! The herald-angels sing…

Hail the heaven-born Prince of peace,
hail the Sun of righteousness;
light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings:
mild, he lays his glory by,
born that man no more may die;
born to raise the sons of earth,
born to give us second birth:

Hark! The herald-angels sing…

Words by Charles Wesley (Public Domain)

Thanks so much for coming!

Scripture quotations from New International Version (NIV)

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