We recall the words of Isaiah the prophet who speaks of a people sitting in darkness beholding a great light. That light is Jesus, the light of the world. He has shined upon us, and we are called to spread His light to the world. Consider those in your life who are struggling with darkness and need the light of Christ.



INVOCATION                     John 1:1,14

L:  In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen

L:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

C: and the Word was God.

L:  The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,

C: and we have seen His glory.


L:  Dearly beloved of God, we come together this day to hear of the great miracle that God became flesh and dwelt among us. Because He did this in order to free us from our sins, let us first consider our sinfulness and confess our need before God and one another. Together let us seek God’s grace and forgiveness, convinced of His love.

(Silence for reflection)

L:  Almighty God,

C: Have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and lead us to everlasting life; for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

L:  To all who receive Him, who believe in His name, He gives the right to become children of God. Upon this, your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen.

OPENING HYMN: “The First Noel”

The first Noel, 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.


Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,

Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star,

Shining in the east, beyond them far,

And to the earth it gave great light,

And so it continued both day and night. Refrain

Then let us all with one accord

Sing praises to our heav’nly Lord,

That hath made heav’n and earth of naught,

And with His blood mankind hath bought. Refrain

FIRST READING:                  Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

 GOSPEL READING:                  Luke 2:1-20

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

SERMON HYMN: “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful”            LBW 45



L:  God has made us His people through our Baptism into Christ.  Living together in trust and hope, we confess our faith.

C: I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

                             Maker of heaven and earth. 

                   And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

                             Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

                             Born of the virgin Mary,

                             Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

                             Was crucified, died and was buried.

                             He descended into hell.

                             The third day He rose again from the dead.

                             He ascended into heaven

                             And sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

                             From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. 

                   I believe in the Holy Spirit,

                             The holy Christian Church,

                                      The communion of saints,

                   The forgiveness of sins,

                   The resurrection of the body,

                   And the life + everlasting.  Amen. 

OFFERING               Music played by Clara Stanley

Concertino in G Major, Op. 4 by Essek 


L:  Dear heavenly Father, in the incarnation of Jesus You revealed good news and great joy for all the earth to hear. Embolden us to spread the good news and great joy of Your Son to the ends of the earth. For the people who walked in darkness

C: have seen a great light.

L:  Lord, shine Your light upon all of the leaders of the world, that we live in peace and quietness without war or violence. For the people who walked in darkness

C: have seen a great light.

L:  Lord, You have shined the light of Christ on the world. Help us reflect Your light to those who are experiencing the darkness of the world. Bring community to the lonely, stability to those in transition, and safety to all those who have suffered abuse. For the people who walked in darkness

C: have seen a great light.

L:  Lord, look with favor upon all who are sick, injured, and recovering, [especially . . .]. Have mercy upon them and heal them according to Your good and gracious will. For the people who walked in darkness

C: have seen a great light.

L:  Lord, we commend all of these things to Your infinite mercies, which are new every morning. For the people who walked in darkness

C: have seen a great light. Amen.





Good Christian Friends, Rejoice                                                                   LBW 55

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling                                                                 LBW 315


CLOSING SONG: “Joy to the World”

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive its King;

Let ev’ry heart prepare him room

And heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.


Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let all their songs employ,

While fields and floods,

rocks, hills, and plains

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.


No more let sin and sorrow 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

And wonders of his love,

And wonders of his love,

And wonders, wonders of his love.


Post-Service Music