Service starts in total darkness. The only light is through the open door. Congregants take their seats in silence. Greeters all warn people that this service will start in darkness and be very different.
Darkness and pain in our world
Suffering Slide Show: Images of pain and suffering in our world.
silent darkness (1 minute)
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” – v 1 (Stephanie) enters from back singing, holding a candle; v 2 (Sarah) same from right; v 4 (So-Young) same from left; all three meet in center; 3 ladies sing chorus slowly and walk to front; Stephanie lights the first advent candle. Worship team goes to their places. (Small lamps for worship team and piano.) Congregation sings v 1 and chorus again, with worship team.
Darkness and pain the ancient Jewish world
Video clips from The Nativity Story (Ancient Jewish people longing for the Messiah)
“Lord Have Mercy” – worship team – Sarah lights second candle advent candle; the smallest set of house lights goes on.
Light and joy through Jesus in the ancient Jewish world
Parable of the Cave (Elisa) – after story, Elisa lights third advent candle, next smallest set of house lights goes on. (Read this story in the next post.)
“Here I Am to Worship” – worship team
Sermon part 1: Jesus came but the world was still dark. (Read this sermon in the post below: "Matthew 2:13-18: Christmas Darkness to Light)
Light and joy through Jesus in our world
Sermon part 2: Jesus, the Light of the World, was hidden (and still is hidden) in small communities and individuals who follow His Light. Josh lights 4th advent candle; next smallest set of house lights goes on.
“O Holy Night” verses 1 and 3 – worship team
Jesus Story – Emma (telling about sponsoring a child). After story, Emma lights the Christ Candle; all house lights go on; all stage lights go on; as much light as possible focused on the cross.
Offering - in procession to the cross – people place their offering in the basket at the foot of the cross. As we walk we sing, “Joy to the World” – all four verses. After giving offering, we greet each other with the joy of Christmas.
“Joy to the World” – verses 1 and 4 again – everyone standing
(Postlude: Hark the Herald Angels)