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Trinity United Church
Friday, December 24, 2021
Christmas Eve 8:00

“Connection not Perfection”



Rev David: May the peace of Christ be with you.

Welcome to Trinity United Church in Port Coquitlam, BC.
We are so grateful that you have chosen to spend some time with us, we are glad you are here. 

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Acknowledgement of Territory 
Much of what we know as the Northwest Coast of North America was occupied by the Coast Salish Peoples. The territory where Trinity United Church of Port Coquitlam resides is the unceded territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nations. Our acknowledgement of unceded traditional territory is a first step in reconciliation between settler cultures and indigenous peoples and the decolonization of western systems that continue to oppress and exploit indigenous peoples and land. The work of reconciliation is daunting. The work of reconciliation will not be ours to complete, but neither is it ours to abandon. 

Let us prepare our hearts and minds for worship.

Prelude: “Welcome Home Video”

Sung Response: “Open Our Eyes”

Open our eyes 
to the wonder of the season,
0pen our hearts to your hope 
God of the universe
we are dust within such vastness
God of the baby,
stars and angels sing your praises.
Open our hearts to your hope, God.
Open our hearts to your peace.
Open our hearts to your joy, God,
and open our hearts to your love.*

*copyright 2021 WorshipCollective

Lighting of the Advent Candles

For four weeks before Christmas we have lit the candles of Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.
Hope is a trust that the darkness will not extinguish the light.
Peace is justice, comfort, satisfaction and inclusion.
Joy bubbles up from the ground of our being and overflows to the world around us.
Love is the way, a way of treating one another as recipients of God’s promise.
Tonight, we light the Christ Candle, light of the world.
Tonight, we remember how something small and ordinary, the birth of a child in a manger, is something bigger. The ordinary becomes extraordinary.
As we light the Christ Candle, may Christ’s light shine from our hearts with hope, peace, joy and love and something bigger, the image and likeness of God.
[the Christ Candle is lit]

Sung Response: “Open Our Eyes”

Open our eyes 
to the wonder of the season,
0pen our hearts to your hope
God of the universe
we are dust within such vastness
God of the baby,
stars and angels sing your praises.
Open our hearts to your hope, God.
Open our hearts to your peace.
Open our hearts to your joy, God,
and open our hearts to your love.*

*copyright 2021 WorshipCollective

Opening Prayer:

God of the heavens above 
and the here below,
on this Holy Night,
open our hearts 
to know the presence of Christ, 
Emmanuel, born among us.
In his name we pray. Amen.

Hymn: “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” VU 35  CLICK HERE


Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7

2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. 3You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. 4For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 6For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 
Hear what the spirit is saying to the church.
    Thanks be to God!

The Story: 

Bethlehem: Our story takes place in the small town of Bethlehem. Bethlehem means “House of bread.” Isn’t that interesting that the Bread of Life will be born in a town named the House of Bread? Matthew tells us that a ruler will come from Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, a ruler who is to shepherd God’s people, Israel. Matthew is quoting the prophet Micah. According to Luke, our expectant parents had to go to Bethlehem to be counted in a census because it was Joseph’s home town.

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” (v1&4) VU 64  CLICK HERE

Mary: We are told that Mary was young. She was engaged, but not yet married. Luke tells us that an angel came to her to tell here she was going to have a very special baby. She wondered how she was going to have a baby when she wasn’t married yet, but the angel assured her that God would see things through. And Mary said that she would do whatever God wanted of her.

“Once in Royal David’s City” (v1&4) VU 62 CLICK HERE

Joseph: Matthew introduces us to Joseph. Joseph wasn’t happy at first to hear Mary was having a baby that wasn’t his. But an Angel came to Joseph and said, this was a special baby and that Joseph should raise the child as his own. So according to the Jewish Law, Joseph did as the angel told him.

“Mary’s Boy Child” Hairston v5 

Manger: Jesus wasn’t born in a hospital, or even in a nice comfortable bed. Mary and Joseph were homeless migrants. They’d traveled from far and didn’t have a home yet. So they found room in a stable and when Jesus was born, they laid him in a manger

“Away in a Manger” (v1&3) VU 69  CLICK HERE

Angels: So we’ve already heard a little about the angels. An angel visited Mary, and another angel visited Joseph. But then we hear about a whole lot of Angels. On the night Jesus is born, there are a multitude of angels who appear to sing Glory to God on High!

“Angels We Have Heard on High” (v1&4) VU 38  CLICK HERE

Jesus: And here we have Jesus, so tiny. God with us, Emmanuel.

“Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” VU 58  CLICK HERE

Shepherds: Those angels we’ve heard about a couple times now, they had a job to do. The appeared to the shepherds who were watching their sheep. We hear the story so often that we might forget that shepherds lived outdoors, like Jesus, they didn’t have a regular roof over their heads. Most people in the city would have thought shepherds were dirty and beneath them. And yet, the first people to whom the angels sing, are poor shepherds, watching their sheep.

“While Shepherds Watched” (v1,2,5&6) VU 75   CLICK HERE

Magi: We aren’t supposed to hear from these people for a couple weeks yet (12 days really). But a nativity set isn’t really complete with out the Magi, or Kings. Matthew tells us that the Magi in the east saw a new star in the sky that told them of the birth of a new king, a special king who was going to change the whole world. So the Magi set out to travel to Judah and eventually found Jesus in Bethlehem. Now, the Bible doesn’t tell us how many Magi there were, but they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense and Myrrh. So we often have three Magi. 

“The First Nowell” VU 91  CLICK HERE

Conclusion: And there we have our completed Nativity. I hope you all have a nativity in your homes. The Nativity can mean many things for us. It can remind us of Christmases past. It can remind us of a light in darkness. It can remind us of God’s presence even in the mess of a stable. But it always reminds us that we are part of something bigger. We are all part of God’s story. And for that we can give thanks.
Let us sing together, “Joy to the World”

“Joy to the World” VU 59   CLICK HERE

Do you have friends who don’t go to church? Do you realize they might not know that Jesus was born at Christmas time? They might think that Christmas is only about getting gifts. But they don’t know why we are giving the gifts. Why not tell them about the big gift that God gave people on Christmas Eve so many years ago?
Let us sing, “Go Tell it on the Mountain”

Hymn: “Go Tell It on the Mountain” VU 43   CLICK HERE


Our ministry at Trinity United Church isn’t possible without your generous giving. If you are not already on pre-authorized remittance, you can give by sending a cheque to the office, or by clicking on the “Donate Now” button on our webpage. 

Let us pray:
God of star and stable,
Hearth and pasture,
Wealthy sovereign and homeless child,
We give you thanks 
for the affirmation that you are indeed 
born in the smallest, most ordinary of places, 
even in the muck and mess of a barn.

Receive our offering 
of prayer, service and money.

May our gifts participate in revealing 
your light to the world.
In the name of the child born this night.
We pray, Amen.

Prayers of the People:

Thank you God for coming to us in the birth of Jesus.
Thank you for showing us through him 
an alternative way to being in the world, 
a way of justice, love, and compassion 
for all your people.

Thank you for the days of Christmas 
when many of us will visit with family and friends, 
exchange gifts, play games, make music 
and enjoy each other’s company.

Thank you for the feasting.
Thank you for the rest.
Thank you for the meaningful connection.
Thank you for the companionship.

We pray for all for whom the season is less than joyful.
We pray for those experiencing a first Christmas without a loved one.
We pray for those who are without shelter, food or employment.
We pray for all who are living with mental illness or addiction.
We pray for all who live under the threat of violence.
May all see your light that is not overcome by darkness.

Now we turn to you as a child turns to her mother seeking affirmation and comfort singing the words Jesus taught us.

Disciples’ Prayer: “Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother”  CLICK HERE


Hymn: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” VU 48  CLICK HERE

Sending Forth: