Worship Finds | 2020 Edition

For the last several years, I have put up a post featuring the worship songs I “found” during the year. These are not songs that were necessarily released this year, but songs that I found this year. Some are used in regular rotation in worship and some are for personal worship time. They are also listed in no particular order.

Christ Be Magnified

He Shall Reign | Hillsong Worship

God the Uncreated One (King Forevermore)

Endless Alleluia

Way Maker

Psalm 150 (Praise the Lord)

Christ Our Hope in Life and Death

Unlikely Evangelists

First Sunday of Christmas

Isaiah 61:10-62:3 • Psalm 148 • Galatians 4:4-7 • Luke 2:22-40

Luke 2:22-40 | New Living Translation

22 Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. 23 The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.” 24 So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord—“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
    as you have promised.
30 I have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
    and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

Sunday Night Thoughts

Welcome to the last Sunday Night Thoughts of 2020. It’s hard to believe, but the end of 2020 is less than a week away. Pam and I have traditionally put out several end-of-year lists. We are still planning on doing that. You should see those posts mid-week.

At the moment, I am relaxing on the couch on what is a warmer day than we have had. Friday and Saturday were cold with lake effect snow flurries for almost two days. We ended up getting about 2 inches out of the who thing. Like I said I am relaxing on the couch. Anna is with me and we are watching, “The Long, Long Trailer.” It’s a feature film with Desi Arnez and Lucille Ball. By the way Lucille Ball grew up in nearby Jamestown, NY. It is a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

This past week we had several special services. On Monday evening, we had our annual Blue Christmas service. We had never done a Blue Christmas service before we arrived at McCrae Brook. I was pleased to learn that The Journey has already done it for several years. It is subdued service – but it is a service of hope and comfort, especially for those who have experienced loss during the past year. It is also a nice pause in what is normally a busy time of year.

We also had our annual Christmas Eve service, but this year we called it Christmas Eve @ Home from Home. Our family led the service from our living room and we streamed it to Facebook. I had several positive responses from those who watched. It was a unique Christmas Eve. Which follows along with what has been a most unique year.

This week it is back to packing. We have three weeks to finish packing, but since school is closed this week and the following week our route will still not be going to school, we will have plenty of time to pack.

We had a good service this morning at McCrae Brook. Minimal shoveling was required from that about an inch of snow. I salted after I shoveled and by church time the sidewalks were in good shape. That’s about it for this week. Have a great week!

The Word Made Flesh

Evening of Christmas Day | December 25, 2020

Isaiah 52:7-10 • Psalm 98 • Hebrews 1:1-4 • John 1:1-14

John 1:1-14 | New Living Translation

In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

The Shepherds and Mary

Christmas Morning | December 25, 2020

Isaiah 62:6-12 • Psalm 97 • Titus 3:4-7 • Luke 2:8-20

Luke 2:8-20 | New Living Translation

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Prayer for Christmas Day

Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever.  Amen.

Jesus Is Born

Christmas Eve | December 24, 2020

Isaiah 9:2-7 • Psalm 96 • Titus 2:11-14 • Luke 2:1-14

Luke 2:1-14 | New Living Translation

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”