The Light on the Hill

Order of Service – 2nd January 2022

The Order of Service follows below.

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The Second Sunday after Christmas
January 2nd, 2022
We acknowledge the Kaurna people as the traditional carers of the land on which our church is built.

Prelude

Welcome and Lighting of the Candles

Call to Worship

In beginning, let us start out with you, O God.

At the start of the day,
let me begin with you;

At the start of a new year,
let me begin with you;

In forming new ideas to live my life,
let me begin with you;

And as I we are open to new possibilities,
let me begin with you.

So shall my days reflect your presence. Amen.

We Sing: O Little Town of Bethlehem

  1. O little town of Bethlehem,
    how still we see you lie!
    Above your deep and dreamless sleep
    the silent stars go by:
    yet, in your dark streets shining
    the everlasting light,
    the hopes and fears of all the years
    are met in you tonight.

  2. For Christ is born of Mary;
    and, gathered all above,
    while mortals sleep the angels keep
    their watch of wondering love.
    O morning stars, together
    proclaim the holy birth,
    and praises sing to God the King
    and peace to all on earth.

  3. How silently, how silently
    the wondrous gift is given!
    So God imparts to human hearts
    the blessings of his heaven.
    No ear may hear his coming;
    but in this world of sin,
    where meek souls will receive him, still
    the dear Christ enters in.

  4. O holy child of Bethlehem,
    descend to us, we pray;
    cast out our sin and enter in,
    be born in us today.
    We hear the Christmas angels
    their great glad tidings tell;
    O come to us, abide with us,
    Our Lord Immanuel.

Together in Song #309. Phillip Brooks 1835-93. Public Domain.

Prayer

Passing of the Peace

The peace of our God be with you.
And also with you.

Community News and Notices

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Children’s Time

Children may go downstairs for Sunday School. Parents, you are welcome to join your child in Sunday School if you feel your child may need your assistance. Alternatively, you may wish for your child to remain with you for the duration of worship. Activity packs are available from the Welcome Desks.

Scripture Reading: Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21

A holy people and blameless race
wisdom delivered from a nation of oppressors.
She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord,
and withstood dread kings with wonders and signs.
She gave to holy people the reward of their labours;
she guided them along a marvellous way,
and became a shelter to them by day,
and a starry flame through the night.
She brought them over the Red Sea,
and led them through deep waters;
but she drowned their enemies,
and cast them up from the depths of the sea.
Therefore the righteous plundered the ungodly;
they sang hymns, O Lord, to your holy name,
and praised with one accord your defending hand;
for wisdom opened the mouths of those who were mute,
and made the tongues of infants speak clearly.

Scripture Reading: John 1:(1-9), 10-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

The Gospel of Christ, light of the world.
Thanks be to God.

Sermon

We Sing: Pull Back the Veil on the Dawn of Creation

  1. Pull back the veil on the dawn of creation;
    vanish the mists from the sources of time;
    echo the bird that broods over the waters,
    singing the secret of grace in its prime.

    Love’s the secret!
    Love’s the secret!
    Love is God’s risk and God’s reason,
    God’s rule and God’s rhyme,
    and God’s rhyme.

  2. Pull back the curtain on Bethlehem’s stable;
    strip off the tinsel and peer through the dark;
    look at the child who’s a threat yet in danger,
    homeless and helpless he first makes his mark.

    Love’s the secret!
    Love’s the secret!
    Love is God’s cradle, God’s table,
    God’s cup and God’s ark,
    and God’s ark.

  3. Pull back the veil on each parable’s story,
    be it of virgins or talents forlorn;
    find in the kernel a core of compassion,
    planted in minds yet in flesh to be born.

    Love’s the secret!
    Love’s the secret!
    Love is God’s madness, God’s sadness,
    God’s feast and God’s corn,
    and God’s corn.

  4. Pull back the curtain that hides what is holy;
    tear it in two as Christ did from the hill;
    see at the centre of Good and bad Friday
    something no mob or marauder can kill.

    *Love’s the secret!
    Love’s the secret.
    Love is God’s way and God’s witness,
    God’s worth and God’s will,
    and God’s will.

  5. Pull back the stone that conceals what is buried;
    pull back the veil and the curtain of doom;
    pull back the centuries’ doubts and delusions,
    look through the mystery into the tomb.

    Love’s the secret!
    Love’s the secret!
    Love is surprising, God’s rising,
    God’s wealth and God’s womb,
    and God’s womb.

Together in Song #326. John L Bell 1949- and Graham Maule 1958- Words from Wild Goose Songs 1, Heaven Shall Not Wait by permission Wild Goose Publications. Words used with permission under copyright CCLI Licence No 137219. Copyright cleared music for churches.

Offering

To give electronically please go to bpuc.org/give

Prayers of the People

…And now with the confidence of the children of God, let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us saying:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be Your name,

your Kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in Heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

We Sing: God Beyond All Names

  1. God, beyond our dreams,
    you have stirred in us a mem’ry;
    you have placed your pow’rful spirit
    in the hearts of human kind.

    All around us we have known you,
    all creation lives to hold you.
    In our living and our dying
    we are bringing you to birth.

  2. God, beyond all names,
    you have made us in your image;
    we are like you, we reflect you;
    we are woman, we are man.

    All around us we have known you,
    all creation lives to hold you.
    In our living and our dying
    we are bringing you to birth.

  3. God, beyond all words,
    all creation tells your story;
    you have shaken with our laughter,
    you have trembled with our tears.

    All around us we have known you,
    all creation lives to hold you.
    In our living and our dying
    we are bringing you to birth.

  4. God, beyond all time,
    you are laboring within us;
    we are moving, we are changing
    in your spirit ever new.

    All around us we have known you,
    all creation lives to hold you.
    In our living and our dying
    we are bringing you to birth.

  5. God of tender care,
    you have cradled us in goodness;
    you have mothered us in wholeness,
    you have loved us into birth.

    All around us we have known you,
    all creation lives to hold you.
    In our living and our dying
    we are bringing you to birth.

As One Voice. Bernadette Farrell 1990. Published by OCP Publications. All rights reserved. ONE LICENSE, License #‑60444

Sending Forth and Benediction

Postlude

Come and share morning tea together, downstairs in the basement. Please wait for a steward to indicate it is time to move.