December 26, 2021 - Home Worship

December 26, 2021  

Morning prayer God of the ages, we praise You, for in the dawn of time You created the world, sending light by Your Word to dispel darkness. In Jesus Christ You began a new creation, sending Him to be the Light of the world, to drive away fear and despair, and to rule in peace and justice, holiness and love. Be present with us and in us as we praise You this day. Amen.

Hymn #246 Joy to the World

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 nature sing.

2. Joy to the world, 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 the sounding joy.

3. No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found.

4. 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 of His love.

Children’s message

Colossians 3:12-17

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Happy day after Christmas! What did you get for Christmas? I hope you got what you needed and some of what you wanted, but did you get any clothes? My Nanna was big on getting my sisters and me clothes – mostly because she was a clothes horse. She loved to shop and had closets of clothing. But every year, I could count on new sweaters from Nanna. She loved sweaters. She knew the sweaters would keep us warm and that was a real way she loved us.

We can talk about other types of clothing and what we should be clothed in depending on the season, because we dress differently for each season. But the Apostle Paul is talking today about being clothed in things that don’t change with the seasons and never go out of style. He is talking about compassion, humility, kindness, meekness, patience and love. These are the clothes of Jesus followers. People will know the difference when we put these things on, we will walk in the world differently – we will walk like Jesus. We will see the world differently because we will be seeing as Jesus see and our responses to the world will be different because we are responding like Jesus. The beauty of these clothes is they cost us nothing, not one penny and God will provide them for us when we ask to be clothed in kindness, compassion, humility, meekness, patience and love and God will be happy to provide. Christmas is over and yet I think we should all ask God to give us this new set of clothes so we can love as Jesus loves.


Mighty God, You always provide for us what is needed for us to be Jesus followers. Today we are asking to be clothed in meekness, patience, humility, kindness, compassion and love. Also encourage us to share these coverings so the people in our lives know that God loves them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession:  Thank You most gracious and forgiving Father for hearing the cries of our hearts.  We now pray as You have taught us: 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. 

Offering spotlight:  Once again Lightstreet United Methodist Church closes the year with bills paid and enough to carry us through the winter heating season, thanks to your faithful giving.  The trustees, the leadership and the staff of the church thank you. To track your giving for IRS purposes, contact our church treasurer, Amy Dent. For those who do not worship with us in person, if you are wondering, we do not use PayPal nor do we accept credit cards at this time.  Arrange ACH banking transfer or mail your offering. 

Offering prayer:  God of our salvation, we are still feeling the Christmas glow. Our heads are filled with the sounds and smells and memories of the joy and love and the stable and the baby in the manger. When we read about the twelve-year-old Jesus being left behind, we sometimes wish we didn’t have to head back into the world. As we make our last gifts of the year to You, Lord help us see the mission You’ve put before us. Bethlehem is just the beginning of our work! We pray it in the holy name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

Preparation Hymn: #220 Angels from the Realms of Glory

  1. Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o'er all the earth;
    ye who sang creation's story now proclaim Messiah's birth:

Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn king.

2. Shepherds, in the field abiding, watching o'er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing; yonder shines the infant light:

3. Sages, leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar;
seek the great Desire of nations; ye have seen His natal star:

4. Saints, before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear;
suddenly the Lord, descending, in His temple shall appear:

Message scripture: Luke 2:41-52

Now every year His (Jesus’s) parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know it. Assuming that He was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for Him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. When His parents saw Him they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Child, why have You treated us like this? Look, Your father and I have been searching for You in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand what He said to them. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Message:  Leaving Jesus Behind     Pastor Becky Cuddeback

Well, that was fast. We are just one day out from Christmas and the lectionary has Jesus twelve years old. We will go back to His infancy in the coming weeks, but this week we are jettisoned to His youth. But, if we are honest, that really is how fast children grow. One day they are babies and the next they are headed off to their independence. It can be a whirlwind and we never really get to savor the moments, they come back to us in waves as memories and reflections, which are always idealized and lacking some of the important information needed for our own formation and the child’s. We misremember things or leave things out, usually the painful or scary moments, because we want to hang on to the good – that maybe things weren’t as hard or difficult as they really were. Our memories tend to betray us. Were the good old days really good or was it that we survived them and that is what makes them good?

Anyway, in this fast forward of time, we find the Holy Family being observant of the laws of pilgrimage. They are in Jerusalem for the Passover, the celebration of the exodus and God’s care of Israel. They are traveling in a family group or as a tribe and after traveling one full day, they notice Jesus isn’t with them. I wonder what prompted them to look for Him? Did Mary sense He wasn’t around? Was there something they needed to ask Jesus? Because at the beginning of the trip back home, they thought they had Him, right? They wouldn’t have just left hoping; there had to be something that gave them confidence to start the journey home, like they saw Jesus with His cousins or His aunt. They thought He was there. Now, before you start judging or saying, well I’d have checked, I would have made Him travel along side me – I would know where my child was and is – that’s great and all, but do you check to be sure Jesus is with you every time you make a move? Do you? When you go to leave and grab your car keys, do you double check that Jesus is with you? This is convicting stuff – I know I am not always checking to see if I’ve brought Jesus with me, I hope I do, but I don’t double check. I don’t always take the time to draw a breath and ask Him to be with me. And for certain, I can point to times I know I didn’t bring Jesus with me just from the outcome of an event or my handling of a situation.

We get busy; we get distracted; we sometimes get too comfortable with what we think we know or what we think we can handle and we leave Jesus behind. I don’t think we mean to, I don’t think it is deliberate – like we’ve made a conscious decision to leave Jesus out, but do we really think about taking Him with us, walking along the way with Him?

Yesterday was Christmas, by next Sunday, the year will have passed and we will be in a new one. Let us pledge to each other that we will be checking to see if Jesus is with us on our way and asking each other, do you have Jesus with you?

Let us pray: Lord, forgive us when we race off to whatever we think we have to race to and leave your Son behind. You have called us to do all things through Him and through His name, yet – we sometimes forget. Encourage us to bring Jesus with us wherever we are going, so the world will know of Him and Your great love for us. In and through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Closing Hymn #251 Go, Tell It on the Mountain

Refrain:  Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere,

Go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.

  1. While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night,

Behold throughout the heavens there shone a holy light. (Refrain)

  1. The shepherds feared and trembled, when lo! above the earth,

Rang out the angel chorus that hailed the Savior’s birth. (Refrain)

  1. Down in a lowly manger the humble Christ was born,

And God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn. (Refrain)

Benediction:  Go into this week with the blessings of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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