Charlotte Christian Reformed Church Christmas Liturgy 2009

Charlotte Christian Reformed Church Christmas Liturgy 2009

*–Congregation Stands

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.

Invocation

Creedal Affirmation — Belgic Confession Of Faith Article X

Christmas Worship

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.
Amen.

Prayer

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

For all you Bayly blog readers that are coming over here

This is exactly what I said to Tim Bayly,

“I don’t care if your best friend is a minister in the first church of Satan. That comment was out of line, and I do take umbrage for myself and a good number of other faithful ministers and laymen who are trying to fight the good fight.

I’ll chill out when you learn how to write about matters you’re apparently clueless about.”

As you can see there is no profanity here which Bayly’s deletion strongly implies.

You’ll also notice I didn’t say his friend was a minister at the first church of Satan. I put the comment the way I put because Tim Bayly had suggested that all because his best friend is a minister in the CRC therefore I shouldn’t be put off by his denigrating comments. That observation was completely irrelevant to anything I said and I put the phraseology the way I did to draw attention to its irrelevancy.

And yes … I am ticked off. It’s hard enough laboring in the CRC without the hyperbole sloshing Tim Bayly taking potshots from the sidelines. As I told him, there remain many faithful ministers and laymen in the CRC and for him to suggest that the CRC is completely bereft of faithful ministers is just stupid on steroids.

Shop-keeping

Friends and Readers,

Apologies for the slow posting the past few days. I managed to run headlong in to a pretty good flu bug and am now just recovering.

As it is, I am headed out to Maine for holiday and so my posting will continue to be hit and miss for a couple weeks. God willing, I will return refreshed and ready to hit the ground running with more posts from the catbird seat.

Tomorrow I will have a Classis meeting in Akron, Ohio and then it is on to points East. Classis meetings never fail to raise interesting observations into the way our church culture is reasoning. Your prayers are coveted.

Thanks for your readership and friendship.

p.s. — To those I have promised responses to, I promise I will get to them before I return. Mr. V. I’m thinking especially of you