ChristmasServices2020

24th and 25th December  Collect, Reading, Reflection & Intercessions

Christmas Services in St Buryan

Christmas Eve 24th December 

Eternal God, in the stillness of this night you sent your almighty Word to pierce the world’s darkness with the light of salvation: give to the earth the peace that we long for and fill our hearts with the joy of heaven through our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.         

Isaiah 9.2-7

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. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men 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 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 for ever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

John 1 v 1-14

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

All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

 

25th December       Christmas Day

Lord Jesus Christ, your birth at Bethlehem draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth: accept our heartfelt praise as we worship you,
our Saviour and our eternal God. Amen.

Luke 2 v 1-20          The Birth of Jesus

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

 4 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. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 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. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 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 Saviour 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 favour 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.

 

Reflection for Christmas

Christmas is a time of awe and wonder. Awe that the Lord of all Life, the Creator of the starry skies and the immensity of space, the author of the whole of the whole world chose to make himself tiny, vulnerable and weak in becoming human.

The wonder of the bigness of God squeezed into the animal feeding trough becoming within a blink of eternal time, the source of our spiritual nourishment and food for our souls.

Perhaps all we need to do today is pause and give thanks, for our lives, for the love which surrounds us now from God, and the love which took on the messiness of human life.

Thanks for our homes and families, friends, and food. Thanks for the air we breath and the clean water in our taps. Thanks for the bins that are emptied, the post delivered, and the health care offered from the NHS. Thanks for dentists, vets, physiotherapists, counsellors, hospice workers. Thanks for our pets and the animals which guard and guide us. Thanks for the armed forces, police, ambulance, and fire brigades, for the RNLI and for the Coastguards. Thanks for the farmers and fishing folk, the shepherd and all who tend animals. Thanks for the hospitality and refreshment industry. Thanks for the church family and the sacred space of the building. Thanks for so very much, and more that makes up our lives.

And thanks to God for his love, steadfast presence, and his challenges to us to be like Jesus, and let love fill our hearts, shape our lives and breath life wherever we go.

Prayers of Intercession by Bridget Hugh Jones

God of glory, we kneel with the shepherds in adoration, before the blinding light of your saving love.  You came as the light to our darkness …..  as we kneel in adoration, let us, like the shepherds, leave rejoicing. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

With Joseph and Mary we journey to a distant city.  Bind all nations together as one human family, and bring justice and peace to all the world... Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

Child of Mary, born in Bethlehem, we pray for our families … for friends … for all with whom we will share this Christmas time, and for all those whom we are unable to be with this year. You made your bed in a borrowed manger … be with all who are in a strange place tonight…  guard and keep all who are lonely, all refugees and homeless people. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

At this time of rejoicing, we remember all who suffer in any way … We pray for those who are sick in body or mind, for those who care for them… for all in hospital … and for those who are facing Christmas for the first time without the person they love the most.  In a moment of silence we pray for all in need of your healing touch upon their lives, remembering especially all who are suffering physically, emotionally or financially as a result of the pandemic. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

To us a child is born…hear our prayer for all who rest in your peace, for those we love but see no longer.  Grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

Finally this Christmas, loving Father, we pray that no powerful nation will uproot the poor and cause an increase in the numbers of refugees… that no unmarried mother will be turned away and made to feel shame… that no door will be shut to those in need... that all of your creation will be safe from environmental destruction… that barbed wire and angry soldiers will not be found in Bethlehem… that wise men and wise women will come forward in all places of conflict… that children everywhere will be protected from those who would abuse them in any way… and that this Christmas, worship will become a manger, and the church a stable, and the rumour become a reality that Christ has come among us.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.