The Gift of Love – Worship @ Home Sunday, 20 December 2020

The Salvation Army, Prestonpans Corps
Various sources compiled by
Majors Steven and Elizabeth Turner

Carol: O come all ye faithful

O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the King of angels:

O come let us adore him,
O come let us adore him,
O come let us adore him,
Christ the Lord!

God of God,
Light of Light,
Lo! he abhors not the
Virgin’s womb;
Very God,
Begotten, not created:

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of Heav’n above;
Glory to God
In the highest:
(For Christmas Day only!)
Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory giv’n;
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing:

18th century, Anon. trs. Frederick Oakley

Carol: In the bleak midwinter

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago.

Our God, Heav’n cannot hold him
Nor earth sustain;
Heav’n and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air:
But only his mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the belovèd
With a kiss.
What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what can I give him?
Give my heart.

Christina Rosetti

Carol: A Starry night

It was on a starry night
When the hills were bright
Earth lay sleeping,
Sleeping calm and still.
Then in a cattle shed
In a manger bed
A boy was born
King of all the world.

And all the angels sang for him,
The bells of Heaven rang for him,
For a boy was born
King of all the world.
(Repeat chorus)

Soon the shepherds came that way
Where the baby lay
And were kneeling,
Kneeling by His side.
And their hearts believed again
For the peace of men,
For a boy was born
King of all the world.

Joy Webb

Advent 4 – Love

Last Sunday, we lit the candle of Hope, remembering the hope which comes in Christ, the candle of Peace, remembering God’s dream of a peaceful world, and the candle of Joy, remembering the Spirit within us who brings joy. (Light Candles). Today we light the fourth candle of Advent, the candle of Love.

Scripture tells us “There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18). God created this world in love and this world will end in the love of God. God’s love pervades all aspects of this life. From birth to death, God’s love is there.

We light this candle in Love. (Light Candle)

On this day, we remember God is Love.

Dear Jesus, may the light of your love always shine in our hearts. As Christmas draws closer, we marvel at your great love for us. Let your love transform every aspect of our lives and touch everyone we encounter. Our hearts are open to you, Jesus. Amen.

(Source: https://www.liturgylink.net/2016/11/22/advent-wreath-liturgies/)

(Prayers source: https://holyfamilyep.org/2019/11/16/advent-candles-and-prayers/)

you can watch an excellent virtual Nativity play by arranged by The Salvation Army’s Music and Creative Arts team, entitled No Zoom at the Inn!

Reflections

With the announcement on Saturday (19th December) that Christmas is shortened to one day (and for some in England, “cancelled” altogether), many people’s plans for Christmas have been turned upside down. Suddenly, we will have to post presents which we were planning to deliver in person on a journey south. People who were looking forward to sharing the day, or even a few days, with family or friends must now spend it alone.

The ideal Christmas of the adverts—a large family gathered round a loaded table tucking into turkey with all the trimmings and laughing at dad’s corny jokes—exists only in the eyes of the script writers and in the homes of a fortunate few.

Far more people experience loneliness at Christmas than at other times of the year. Some will share Joseph’s desperation to find a place to stay, or to make the house they live in feel like a home.

Whilst the image we have of the poor couple with their baby in a draughty stable may be historically inaccurate, it’s fair to say that even the first Christmas was far from ideal; an overcrowded house forcing the couple to bed down with the animals. Yet it heralded the greatest gift that we could possibly receive. As Jesus said to Nicodemus:

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
(John 3:16)

So let’s not consider Christmas “cancelled” this year. Rather, let’s receive God’s gift of his love, reaching out to a lost, confused and broken world, and let us share that gift with all those we meet.

Carol: The Infant King

Sing lullaby!
Lullaby baby, now reclining,
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not wake the infant King;
Angels are watching, stars are shining
Over the place where he is lying:
Sing lullaby!

Sing lullaby!
Lullaby baby, now a-sleeping,
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not wake the infant King,
Soon will come sorrow with the morning,
Soon will come bitter grief and weeping
Sing lullaby!

Sing lullaby!
Lullaby baby, now a-dozing,
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not wake the infant King,
Soon comes the cross, the nails, the piercing,
Then in the grave at last reposing:
Sing lullaby!

Sing lullaby!
Lullaby! is the babe awaking?
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not stir the infant King,
Dreaming of Easter, gladsome morning,
Conquering death, its bondage breaking:
Sing lullaby!

Sabine Baring-Gould

Prayer

Father God, our lives have been turned upside down this year, and we are sad and distressed that we cannot celebrate Christmas as we would like.

Lord Jesus, we recognise that you also came into a world that was troubled, and your birth was disrupted by government decrees and travel chaos.

Holy Spirit, in the midst of our turmoil, breathe your peace into our hearts, that we might experience joy at the Father’s gift of love, and share our hope with those around.

In your threefold name we pray, Amen.

Carol: Sweet Chiming Bells

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.

Sweet chiming bells,
O how they ring,
To welcome Christ, the new-born King.
Sweet chiming bells,
O how they ring,
To welcome Christ, the King.

All thy people’s consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear desire of ev’ry nation,
Joy of ev’ry longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us for ever,
Now thy gracious Kingdom bring.


By thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to thy glorious throne.

Verses: Charles Wesley
Chorus: Anon
.

About prophetable

My wife Elizabeth and I were commissioned as Officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army in 1997, and have served in appointments in England and Scotland. Since July 2016 I have been working in The Salvation Army's Scotland Office as combined parliamentary and ecumenical representative.
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