December 25th Framily Service: Worship in your pj's

Introduction to RISE Christmas Day Framily (friends/family) Service:

Hi RISE friends. We hope you are all warm and cozy as you gather together for this Christmas Day worship service. Perhaps you’re in Christmas themed footie pajamas that your aunt got you last year. Maybe you are sipping on a mug of hot cocoa or glass of orange juice. You might be sitting with your family, or with your friends, or with your framily. Or perhaps you find yourself far from home this Christmas, or your family is hurting. Whoever you are with, and whatever you are wearing or drinking, it is our deep hope that this unique worship experience will help you celebrate the birth of Jesus in a meaningful way, but also challenge you to carry the Light of the World to people that desperately need more light. 

On this day of gifts, know that you are a gift. 
Merry Christmas dear friends. 
Christ is born!  Woo hoo!!!

Opening Prayer:   Read aloud:  
God of Light and Life
You were here before “here” even existed. 
And we know you’ll be “there” before we ever arrive.
We look around and see you in the faces of each other. 
You are here today! Right now! Hallelujah!

We celebrate today, because on Christmas
we remember the amazing truth that:
You became one of us. You were born as an infant to a poor Jewish woman in occupied country. You, the God of all creation, came to creation in the humblest way imaginable.

To challenge.
To rescue.
To mend.
To love.

Thank you God! We lift up our praise this morning with the hope that you will continue your work of mending all of Creation through the power of your Spirit.

In Jesus name, Amen. 

Christmas Singing: Choose a few of your favorite Christmas hymns to sing together! We listed a few on the back of this page, but feel free to choose your own favorites. 

Christmas Story: Read aloud Luke 2:1-20
If you don’t have a Bible handy, you can pull up the story on www.biblegateway.com. We recommend the CEB (Common English Bible) translation. 

Reflection Questions: Spend as much time as you want discussing the following questions with your group. Feel free to ask other questions if they pop up (and share them with us!)

-    What stood out to you hearing the Christmas story this time?
-    Which character mentioned in the story do you feel most close to right now? Why?
-    Have you “seen Jesus” in your lives recently? How did you respond? Where might you look for Jesus in today’s world considering he first came “born and lain in a manger because there was no room for them in the guest room”? 
-    If an angel appeared to you, what would be “good news” to you? To whom would you go tell this good news? How would you tell them? (be as specific as you can. A friend? A family member? A government leader? Someone on the street?)

Challenge to Respond: We want to encourage everyone to think of a specific way today you can be a light and a gift, showing God’s incredible love to someone. Perhaps you can call a family member you know is struggling and give them a word of encouragement. Maybe you can all pile into a car and drive around until you find a business that’s open and give them cookies and hugs. Maybe you can go visit a nursing home and offer to sing carols to the residents. Whatever you can think of, go do it! If not today, then tomorrow. We are called to be the bearers of the Light of Jesus and deliver the Good News that GOD LOVES US. Everyone. And of course, everyone means everyone. 
 
Prayers

Take time together to write down prayers you have today. We suggest ordering them:  (turn over for rest of service)
1.    Prayers for our World. 
2.    Prayers for our Local Community. 
3.    Prayers for our Loved Ones and Self
After writing the prayers down, share your prayers with each other as you feel comfortable. 

Someone can then offer this closing prayer to wrap up your worship service:

God of Love and Joy, thank You for this time of worship! Fill us with your Light and Life so that we can bring your life changing love to everyone we meet today. Show us how to continue joining you in mending your creation. In the name of Jesus we pray. 
Amen

 

Joy to the World

Verse 1
Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
Verse 2
Joy to the earth! the savior reigns;
Let all their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
Verse 3
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders, wonders, of his love.

 

 


Silent Night

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light;
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Hark the Herald, Angels Sing

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"