2004 - Jesus Prince of Peace

PROCESSIONAL: OH COME ALL YE FAITHFUL


For to us a Child is born,

To us a Son is given,

And the government will be on his shoulders.

And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end (Isaiah 9:6-7)

WHAT YOU GONNA CALL HIM?

Many tiny babies have been called “wonderful”, but can you imagine a helpless infant being called “Counselor”? Or how about “Everlasting Father” or “Prince of Peace”?

I hope those words from the prophet Isaiah mean more to you than simply a line of music. It’s my prayer that Jesus becomes all of these things to you personally. That He will be you Counselor in times of indecision, confusion, or pain. That He will be your Prince of Peace when war and conflict tear at your heart. Dona Nobis Pacem – Grant

Us Your Peace, Oh Lord!

ADVENT PEACE CANON

Have you discovered yourself becoming dulled to the joys of the season? Time to STOP….LOOK….and LISTEN. Slow down the pace. Take a winter walk through the woods. LOOK At the beauty of God’s amazing creation. Delight in the brilliant red of a poinsettia. As Helen Keller once observed, “Those who see actually see very little.” LISTEN to words of those familiar carols, not just the sound of the music. Most importantly, stop and take time to listen to the Word of God.

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

(Luke 2:7)

”Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright. “What images do those words bring to your mind? ” Does the melody draw you into the darkened stable? Does it draw you to the wondering eyes of a young virgin? Who was this Mary, who held the Savior of the world in her arms? She wasn’t famous. She probably wasn’t even known beyond the small neighborhood where she grew up. She wasn’t a princess and never enjoyed a fairy-tale life. Mary, the young virgin chosen to be the mother of Jesus, was a simple peasant girl; a teenager, but so available to carry out God's will!

SILENT NIGHT

Christmas is a time for looking at Jesus. Look back reverently across the centuries to the village of Bethlehem. Feel the crisp night air. Now step around the corner to the back of the inn and pause before the stable. Smell the fragrance of the hay. Let the warm glow of the stable lantern touch your face. Hear the tiny infant. Now wait and listen… hear the strains of singing angels. Step inside the stable and marvel at what you see. Draw near, come close, and don’t be afraid. This is the Lord of the Universe come down to be with… you. In your heart, kneel before your Lord. Come worship and adore Him.

O HOLY NIGHT

Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” (Luke 2; 13-14)

ANGEL CAROL MEDLEY

Ah, the life of a child; to sleep peacefully, wrapped warm and cuddly in a soft blanket. Do you look at all those pictures on the front of your Christmas cards, the ones of Jesus sleeping peacefully in His mother’s arms, and think to yourself, “ If only it were that easy.” Perhaps you feel lonely or forgotten in the middle of the festivities. Your loving Heavenly Father hasn’t forgotten his care for you, especially in the middle of all the Christmas rush. He longs to wrap you tenderly in His arms. You’re protected by the strength of His arms. Rest and relax in Him. As a child of God, you have every reason to be at peace.

GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they were told. (Luke 2:20) Yes, our Prince of Peace was born in a lowly manger to bring us salvation and a peace that has nothing to do with outside circumstances.

A SPIRITUAL CHRISTMAS

Have you ever wondered what might have been God’s greatest miracle? There are certainly enough from which to choose. Think about the Old Testament miracles. The parting of the Red Sea, or the day the sun stood still in the heavens at the prayer of Joshua. Over the New Testament you could include Jesus walking on water or raising the dead. But let me propose a miracle in a class all by itself… Consider the God who set suns and stars in motion, carved out rivers, puckered out mountain ranges and formed you and me in the womb- the same God who did all these things coming to earth as an infant! The very voice which once spoke creation into being, now crying for mother’s milk. If we can believe that God came in the flesh, then all other miracles are simple. Let the bells ring out for the God of Miracles!

CAROL OF THE BELLS

Peace on earth, good will toward men?.” Our present circumstances in the Twenty-First Century seem to mock the very notion of this! Many have been troubled with the concept of peace throughout history. It was in the depths of the tragedies of the American Civil War that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow composed a poem that would later become a well known carol. In 1843, Longfellow greeted Christmas Day despondently, despite the cheerful chiming of the bells in his town. Earlier in December he received word that his oldest son, Charles, a lieutenant in the Army, had been severely wounded. Two years earlier, his beloved wife Fanny died in a tragic fire, despite his efforts to save her. Through faith, Longfellow realized that true peace only comes from believing in Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

Closing prayer

Dear Lord,

We pray for peace in our country and around the world. We pray for ourcountry’s leaders and for the men and women who are serving in the United State’s Military. Help us to remember that true peace only comes from knowing you personally, the Prince of Peace.

In Your name,

Amen.

REPRISE: DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

RECESSIONAL/ CLOSING HYMN: JOY TO THE WORLD