Monday, December 14, 2020

Christmas Eve B (December 24): Rejoice/Light of the World


Bible Readings
: Isaiah 9:2-7 Luke 2:1-20, Psalm 97, Titus, John 1:1-14

About the Images: 
Upper Left: I am pretty sure this is mine - somebody tell me if it is not.
Upper Right: This photo was taken at Nazareth Village ( - well worth a visit in person if not on line) where permission was given for us to take photos. Please only use for worship or related activities.
Middle Left: This is a free Microsoft clipart image
Middle Right: This image comes from This site no longer updates (you will see the sad reason why when you visit) however the artist, Don da Silva, has left a legacy of wonderful images and templates via the site archives.
Lower Left and Right: More free Heartlight images - see my link column at left

White and gold cloth and floating tea lights in clear glass bowls.

Call to Worship/Proclamation: This, Tonight is the MeetinPlace
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 83 (pictured below). We read this while playing Anthem Part 3 from the CD Powaqquatsi (pictured at right) in the background.

Listening Song: Hope

Found on Jonathan Elias's compilation album, Prayer Cycle (pictured at left).

Listening Song: A Holy Night
By Point of Grace on the album, WOW Christmas (pictured at right).

Listening Song: Mary, Did You Know?
By Kathy Mattea on the album, WOW Christmas (pictured at right). One year we used this song as the framework for the whole Christmas eve service.

Listening Song: Life Uncommon
By Jewel on her album, Spirit (pictured at left). 

Listening Song: Gaudete
By Cantillation on the compilation CD, Peace on Earth (pictured at right).

Listening Song: The First Noel/Mary Mary
by Sarah McLachlan on the compilation album, So Fresh: Songs For Christmas 2007. 

Film Clip: Hallelujah
This is an amazing little film clip by Chris Monson.  The trumpeter is Chris Botti and the music is, of course, by the great Leonard Cohen

Kids: Bethlehem Town
This is another brilliant book  by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2016. This goes with the Luke reading.  The great thing about these books is that they only around $A5 and for a further $A10 (or instead of) you can buy on line the story in any format you need to project the pictures in church.  There are also free activity sheets and for a cost activity books for both teachers and children.  Visit to check out all the excellent resources.

Drama: In their Shoes
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 98 (pictured at left).

Drama: The Incarnation
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 86ff (pictured at right). 

Stories/Sermon: Four Shoes For the Nativity
By Roddy Hamilton and found on his blog, Mucky Paws (see link at left) in his December 2005 archive.

Story/Sermon: Good King Wenceslas
Use this carol as a parable. A great source for this is Good King Wenceslas by John Mason Neale and Christopher Manson, North South Books, 1994, ISBN 1558583211 (pictured at left).

Story: Take Hold of Love

By Henry Carter in Christmas Stories of the Heart by Alice Gray (Ed.) Multnomah Books, 1997, ISBN 1576731847, page 28. 

Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628. This book puts a real Australian flavour to the whole story.

Poem: Mary's Song
By Lucy ShawI used the words of this poem with images and played Psalmus Ode by Vangelis from his CD, Reprise as a backing. I can't remember which of her books this poem comes from but you can find the poem at 

Meditation: Image of the Invisible God
By Adrian Plass in his book And Jesus Will Be Born, Zondervan, 2003, ISBN 0007130511, page 123ff. I matched each line with an image and played Aeterna Lux by Libera on their self titled album, as backing.

Meditation: Comfort My People
By Roddy Hamilton and found on his blog, Mucky Paws (see link at left) in his December 2005 archive.

Prayer for Others: In the Face of the Gospel
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 115 (pictured in an earlier blog). 

Response Activity: Four Corners
By Roddy Hamilton on his site Mucky Paws (see my links column at left) archived under December 2010. This is suitable for any part of the service. Roddy also suggests using the Sarah McLachlan song mentioned above. 

Response Activity:
It would not be a Christmas Eve Service at our church if we did not light the Christ Candle on the stroke of midnight, light out tapers from it and then sing Joy to the World together in the candle light. 

A Covid19 Variation
Due to the dangers of large masses of people gathering together we are doing a Stations of the Manger with 12 station which tell the Christmas story.  Each station has a child's activity as well.  People will come in one door of the church, travel around the building to the 12 stations in order and leave via another door.  This means there are no limits on numbers, hand can be sanitised at each station and masks can be worn if needed.  People are kept safe. 


Meditation: Quiet Remembering
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 16.

Drama: Christmas Is?
Found in Mega Drama 4 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109186, page 95. This is based on the John reading.  

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