Verse of the Day

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day

The weather for the Christmas Day service was very nice, 54°F, the blues skies of a Santa Ana (not a Santa Claus) and a lot of wind.  The lovely weather brought 3 people to worship the Lord on the day of his birth.

Gathering Song
Because it is Christmas, Rev Jack Arnold chose to move out of our traditional gathering songs and picked Hark, the herald-angels sing for the gathering song, Hymn 27 in the Hymnal.  It is a beautiful song and truly representative of the complete meaning of Christ’s coming.

Hark, the herald-angels sing
Hark, the herald-angels sing
glory to the new-born 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 new-born King.

Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a Virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see:
hail, the incarnate Deity,
pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark, the herald-angels sing
glory to the new-born King.

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace:
hail, the Sun of Righteousness.
Light and life to all he brings,
risen 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 new-born King.
[Come, Desire of nations, come,
fix in us thy humble home;
rise, the woman's conquering seed,
bruise in us the serpent's head;
now display thy saving power,
ruined nature now restore,
now in mystic union join
thine to ours and ours to thine.
Hark, the herald-angels sing
glory to the new-born King.]

The propers for today are found on Page 96-98, with the Collect first:

The Nativity of our Lord, or the Birthday of Christ,
commonly called Christmas Day.
[December 25.]
The Collect.

LMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end.  Amen.

¶ This Collect is to be said daily throughout the Octave.

Dru Arnold read the Epistle for Christmas Day, which came from the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, beginning at the First Verse  of the First Chapter.

od, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who  being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

Hap Arnold read the Gospel for Christmas Day which came from the Gospel according to Saint John, the First Chapter, beginning at the First Verse.  This particular Gospel is known as the Last Gospel as it comes from the last Gospel to be written, that of St. John, and it brings the final Word of Jesus to us.

n the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Sermon – Reverend Deacon Jack Arnold - Time and Action
Today’s sermon is the message of Christmas.  “He came unto His own and they received Him not.” Christ came unto His own, the people he created, to show them the Word which He is the living embodiment of, the Living and True Scripture. They received Neither the written Word that his Apostles wrote, nor the spoken Word from His Mouth that He spake unto them. “But as many as received Him, to them he gave the power to become the sons of God.” He has adopted us unto his family, through His Word, which he has spoken unto us, that we may fulfill it and live in harmony with others in this word.

“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” This speaks to the living incarnate nature of the Word, (Christ) who dwelt among us 2,000 years ago, that he might understand our nature more, so that He could teach us with more understanding. If He lived in our conditions, it would be easier for Him to relate to us when He taught and spake the Word of His Father.   “And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” In That Word, He spake both full of grace and of truth as John talked about in the last Gospel. Through His grace and truth that we accept, only can we do things for His Glory. Without the Word, we cannot do anything for Him, as imperfect creatures, now having been accounted and spoken for by Christ. With the Word, we are empowered to do things for Him. The birth of Christ would foreshadow his death, which would bring about the ultimate freedom, that from sin and death.

Today we recall the birth of our Lord and Savior, the only means by which we, imperfect creatures with free will, might be accounted as perfect before God when our day of judgment comes.  Born, not in a palace, but in a stable, He is all that we have been promised.  Taking the substance of Man, all Man and all God, He knows our temptations, He knows our failures, He knows our failings, He knows our sorrow; He also knows our happiness, our small triumphs, our hopes and our dreams.  He is the only one in this world who will never fail us in the slightest.  He gives us His example to follow.  If we will but follow Him, we will draw closer to God.  He made the world, He knows the world.  He defeated the Prince of this World, thus with His Help, so will we.  This is a day of joy, foreshadowing a day of sorrow, leading to the greatest joy of all.

Let us joyfully receive Him into our hearts and homes, that we might do what He asks and spread the Joy of His Arrival on Earth that we might prepare for His Second Coming. If we do this and what he asks, which is a common theme that stays the same throughout the Christian Year, we shall be Blessed with good things, as a result of doing what He asks. On the Christmas Day, let us Rejoice in His Coming and begin our preparations for His Second Coming

Let this be a blessed and happy Christmas.  He has come to us!

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God

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