Christmas Eve - Becoming God-bearers
On Christmas Eve at Grace United Methodist Church
Reverend Nancy Allen and I will be facilitating worship at Noon. For those who are looking to attend worship at that time, and even for those who may not be, I wanted to share the order of worship as well as a commentary on why we are doing what we are doing.
The order of worship is in bold and the commentary is italicized.
Simple words to remind the community as to why we are gathered.
Word to the Order of Worship
The focus of worship this day is to embody the life of Mary, who was the original God-bearer. The scripture we will look at today will call us to consider an episode of Mary's life in which over a short period of time she moves through a number of different postures. Today we are going to invite you to embody these postures of Mary in order to strive to teach us or remind us how to begin to become God-bearers.
Mary Did You Know?
Sung as a way of getting us to reflect on the life of Mary. The riff of "Mary did you know, that your baby boy" will be recalled later in worship - I will refer to this riff as "MDYK riff"
Lighting of the Advent Wreath
This ritual is to tie us into a tradition that is much larger than our local community. We are tied into Christians around the globe and around time. We light the center light in order to remind us that tonight the light of God comes into the world and darkness and death are destroyed.
This is a pastoral prayer which calls us to peace, reconciliation, light and grace for our lives and the world.
O Come All Ye Faithful
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
What Child is This?
Scripture - Luke 1:26-38
Message - “Becoming God-bearers”
We are exploring Mary as the original God-bearer and the different postures she might have taken in hearing that she would bear God. As you read the scripture, you can get the sense Mary might have moved through 4 different postures/mindsets. As such we are asking everyone to also physically embody these postures in a way to emulate Mary the God-bearer.
First posture - cover head with hands - Mary felt that she was not worthy to bear God, that she was just a mortal that was not worthy of such a task. This posture of humility will be our posture of repentance.
Second posture - open palms and looking up - Mary heard that she was not the sum of her faults or 'just a human' rather that she was a beloved chosen one of God. This posture of affirmation will be our posture of worth.
Third posture - kneeling - Mary heard that she would bear the son of God and that she would be called blessed for generations to come. Mary took the time to listen to the message of God. This posture is our posture of listening.
Final posture - palms together and fingertips at mouth as though one were praying - At the conclusion of the episode with Mary and the angel, scripture shared that Mary pondered these things in her heart. We too will ponder what it means to be God-bearers in our time and the coming of the Light into the world. This is the posture of reflection.
Sharing of the Light and singing Silent Night
If you are seeking a worship opportunity that is earlier in the day on Christmas Eve that is not built around a lengthy sermon but focused on embodying the gift of being God-bearers, I invite you to attend Grace UMC