Welcome to Our Gathering of EChurch@Wartburg
Here is our order of worship
A Prayer for Christmas and the Tragedy in Newtown by Mac Lucado Link
It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark.
I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord.
Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off.
We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs.
Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right?
You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers.
The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows.
To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark.
Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression.
Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies.
Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt.
You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day.
Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed.
We, like the wise men, are looking for a star.
We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you,
heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
Prayer for Advent from Church of England Link
As we meet to celebrate anew the coming of God’s kingdom,
we hear revealed the mystery of God’s loving purpose for us
– how that when we were far off, he met us in his Son and brought us home;
how he humbled himself to take our human nature, that we might share his divine glory.
Let us then so celebrate this coming with our carols and hymns of praise,
that our lives may be charged with his life;
that we may bear witness to his glory and so bring light to those who sit in darkness.
So first we pray for those among whom the Christ was born:
the poor and helpless, the aged and young children; the cold, the hungry and the homeless;
the victims of poverty, injustice and oppression, the sick and those who mourn,
the lonely and the unloved; those in despair or in the shadow of death.
Then, as we hear again the message of peace on earth and goodwill among all his people,
we pray for the leaders of the nations, that all may be inspired to work together for the establishment of justice,
freedom and peace the world over.
And that we may bear true witness to this hope in a divided world,
we pray for the peace and unity of Christ’s Body, the Church universal,
that the whole earth may live to praise his name.
If you are new to EChurch, please click on this link for an explanation
Scripture Reading: Colossians 2:9 (NASB Bible Gateway)
For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
A Christmas Prayer by Mark Galli Link
Almighty and Eternal God,
infinite and holy,
whose being genius cannot fathom,
whose works galaxies cannot contain,
Before you we gratefully come, celebrating the day
when you, the Almighty, did not count omnipotence a thing to be grasped,
when Eternity played by the calendar,
when Infinity was checked by gravity,
when Holiness mixed it up with sinners,
when the Creator of intergalactic space
became a body
and moved into our neighborhood.
Today we revel in the revelation
that we who were light-years distant
have been drawn to you as breath in lungs,
that we who had lost touch
can now feel the wounds in your hands and feet,
brushing up against the holy body that bore the sins of the world,
and the cold flesh that, soon enough, turned warm and whole,
and soon enough, made all things new.
We, like the shepherds in the field,
like the woman at the tomb,
trembling in wonder
and in fear.
If all this is true,
if a love like this
is the blood the courses through all reality,
behold, all things are new.
On our better days, Lord, we long to be transformed
by the wonder.
But most days, it scares us to death to be changed,
even by love.
But it is not to the bold that you have come,
Only to the trembling
And not to the wise,
But only to the foolish.
Give us ears to hear the glad tidings of great joy,
and lungs to sing with exuberant praise,
and legs to dance spritely around the strawy trough
that cradled the Love
who redeems the cosmos.
(The words to this next song are below the video)
Heaven came to earth in a small package
For a child was born, a gift to man
Yes. the living light came to the darkness
Wore the harness of mankind
Laid His body down to be sin for us
Gave His earthly crown so we could be kings
Yes, He came to break the yoke of darkness
That would harness all mankind
This morning star of love still shines and shines
We buried Him within our sin but He rose again
Gave His heart away so we could find Him
Changed our night to day so we'd live in light
Tore the veil between the light and darkness
Broke the harness for mankind
This Morning Star of love still shines and shines
We buried Him within our sin but He rose again
Let our hearts rejoice in Christ our Savior
Let us come before His throne with praise
Let us pray for peace so we'll break the darkness
Melt the hardness of mankind
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 NIV