Charlotte Christian Reformed Church Christmas Liturgy 2009
Prelude — Miss Sarah Bacon
*Call to Worship Psalm 92:1-4
1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,
3 On an instrument of ten strings,
On the lute,
And on the harp,
With harmonious sound.
4 For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.
Creedal Affirmation — Belgic Confession Of Faith Article X
Brothers and Sisters our Psalter’s Church Order informs us that “Worship services shall be held in observance of Christmas” as well as other high days on the Church calendar. The conducting and attendance of such services provide one objective marker for us as well as those outside of the faith that we are a Christian people. By the conducting and attendance of such services we testify to all who have eyes to see that our understanding and celebrating of Christmas is distinct from the modern pagan who has reduced Christmas to crass materialism or a one size fits all “Happy Holidays.” By the marking of such days as Christmas for worship the ebb and flow of our whole lives, year in and year out, are Christ formed and Christ shaped by a calendar itself formed by Christ. Finally, our gathering gives us one more opportunity to publicly placard Christ as the only hope for the weary, the heavy laden, the alienated and the Christian.
On this Christmas Eve then, we gather together once more as Reformed Christians have done for centuries, and as the ever swelling numbers of newly converted will continue to do until our Lord Christ shall return. We do so to mark the birth of our Lord Christ and to together offer up praise that he made Himself of no reputation in order to glorify the Father, save His people from their sins, and to lead them from triumph unto triumph until the Kingdoms of this world increasingly become the Kingdoms our Lord. In keeping with the purpose of our gathering let us confess our undoubted Catholic Christian faith
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.
Benevolent and Sovereign Father, we thank thee for thy eternal covenant that predestined the coming of your Messiah for the redemption of the world. We thank thee that thou promised the Messiah upon mankind’s rebellion to reverse the effects of our treason. We exalt thee that thou deigned to gain your victory by crushing the serpent’s head and by destroying his people. We are humbled Father by how you ordered redemptive history so that coming of Christ was articulated by the patriarchs and prophets who spoke of the coming of your Messiah. We thank thee for all in Holy Scripture that limned the coming of Christ and we thank you that after ordering history for the coming of thy eternal Son in the fullness of time our Lord Christ came as one born under the law.
Father, we come humbly before to thank you for your faithful Church — that ark of Christ — which was guided by your Holy Spirit to embrace the full divinity and humanity of Christ while affirming his singular person. We thank you for your faithful Church that continues to speak Christ to us today and we ask of you Father that you would continue to build up your faithful Church so that future generations will have the nativity of Christ set before them in all its saving splendor that thy name may be honored among men. In the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, who taught us to pray, saying,
Our Father, who art in heaven: Hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
*Hark The Herald Angels Sing Brown Hymnal 184
Old Testament Reading — Isaiah 9:1-6
Strings Trio Bacon Family
New Testament Reading — Luke 2:1-14
*Come Thou Long Expected Jesus Brown Hymnal 168
Epistle Reading — Titus 2:11-14
Joy To The World — Brown Hymnal 171
Offering General Fund
Offertory Mrs. Linda and Miss Rachel Bacon
Offertory Thanksgiving Adapted from the Book of Common Worship, 1906
O most merciful and gracious God, from whose open hand we all have received much: We ask you to accept this offering of your people. Remember in your love those who have brought it. Remember also those persons and purposes for which it is given. So follow this sacrifice with your blessing that it may promote peace and good will, and advance the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen!
Homily — Jesus, The Fulfillment Of God’s Promise
*Silent Night (Candle Light) 195 Brown Hymnal 316
*Benediction 2 Corinthians 13:14
9 thoughts on “Charlotte Christian Reformed Church Christmas Liturgy 2009”
Would you be so kind as to give Scriptural support for the claim rhat Christ was born on Dec. 25th? I personally know of none. If it cannot be supported from the Word, then are we not making a false claim about Him by declaring that He was?
I don’t believe I said that Christ was born on 25 Dec. I believe I said that “we gather to mark His birth.” Scripture gives absolutely no support he was born on 25 Dec. Indeed, it gives no clear support that he was born on any one particular date. However, Scripture does clearly teach He was born. Personally, I shouldn’t care if we celebrated Christmas in July as long as we set apart a day to honor the Birth of the King.
Merry Christmas Jim
We do have a clue as to when Christ was born. We are told in the Word that Joseph was taking a very pregnant Mary to Bethlehem due to the census being taken.
By historical document, we know that the census was COMMONLY taken sometime in the spring. We don’t have proof that Christ was born sometime in the spring, but we can make an educated guess that he was since that is when the census was usually scheduled to happen.
That being said, the date of December 25th was chosen by the Roman Catholic church during their movement to convert the pagans of Europe to Christianity. (This we do have in historical documents.) December 25 is when the winter winter solstice was celebrated by the pagans. (This date does change, but it is usually around December 25th.) The Christians of the early church overlapped the celebration of Christ’s birth as a way to over shadow the pagan celebration. It has since become tradition to celebrate it on December 25th each year.
I know that this is a lengthy answer, but it was a common practice to cover certain pagan celebrations with Christian ones along with infusing pagan symbols with those of Christianity. (Think of the Celtic cross. The center in the pagan symbol for the sun.)
Jim, I hope that this helps. Like Pastor said, it doesn’t matter when Christmas is celebrated. We, as faithful believers, should celebrate the birth of our savior sometime each year. December 25th is just a traditional date. 🙂
I read a pretty convincing case for the end of December, based on the timing of the Annunciation, Mary’s presentation to Elizabeth, and when…ummm, Elizabeth’s husband (I’m drawing a blank – Zacharias?-that’s embarassing!)…would have been serving in the temple.
Pastor Bret and SouthronDoc,
Thank you for your comments. I have a couple of follow-up points based upon what was said in them:
While I have no problem with the Biblical view regarding His incarnation, I have significant problems with stating through a public worship service that He who has no beginning or end of days was made manifest on the particular date in question. In my view, it is one more point the wicked use to affirm in their own minds that our LORD is a liar when we make claims that He was manifested on Day X, when we have no evidence to substantiate it.
I also believe Scripture makes the far stronger case that we are to place the greater emphasis on His making atonement for the sins of His people, and His ascension to the throne as King.
Which is why I preached last night that Christ was born to die, and many people who don’t otherwise come to Church heard the Gospel.
And now that the Romish snare has worked its leaven through the people of God for yet another year, we can move on to bigger and better crises.
May all be blessed in the upcoming new year by our reigning King and LORD of all creation, Jesus Christ.
Yep, Bret better watch out: his preaching a sermon on the Incarnation, using the common touchstone of an 1800 year-old celebration of that incarnation, means he’s about to hop the Tiber!
How does it honor Christ by continuing to perpetuate a falsehood about Him (that His incarnation took place on Dec.25th)?
What Scriptural authority did the early Church use to justify the practice?
Just because the early Church adopted a practice neither makes it right, Biblical, or Christ honoring. Many errors have been adopted as orthodox only to be later condemned. The list is longer than we want to acknowledge.