Christmas Eve LinkUp 2023




  • Joy To The World … Hark, TheHerald Angels Sing … O, Holy Night … 





For those who have been observing Advent, today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent (a time when we look forward to, and prepare for, Christmas – the time set aside to commemorate and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ).  The Advent season contains four Sundays, each of which has its own theme to remind us of Jesus Christ …

  • The theme for the first Sunday was Hope … because Jesus is our hope.
  • The theme for the second Sunday was Peace … because Jesus is our peace.
  • The theme for the third Sunday, last week, was Joy … because Jesus brings joy .
  • Today, on this fourth Sunday of Advent, the theme is Love … because Jesus is love.

Tomorrow will be Christmas, the day we are reminded of the birth of love incarnate.



From the transcript …

Advent – Love

In this sacred season of Advent, as we gather in hushed reverence, we are reminded that love is at the heart of it all.

Psalm 89:1-4 calls us to sing of the steadfast love of the Lord forever, to declare God’s faithfulness to all generations.

In the vulnerability of a child’s birth, we witness the boundless love of our Creator, a love that knows no limits.   Love, like the pure snow that blankets the earth, covers over our flaws, bringing renewal and peace.

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever
and build your throne for all generations.’ ” Selah

Psalm 89 reminds us that God’s love endures forever, an everlasting promise that cradles us in times of need.

In this season of Advent, let us open our hearts to the love that transcends boundaries, a love that unites us all as one human family.

May our gatherings be a testament to the love that brings us together, to the love that fills this sacred space.

As we journey through Advent, may God’s love be our guiding star, leading us to the manger where Love was born.




Isaiah 9:2-7 New King James Version

You have multiplied the nation and [a]increased its joy;  They rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, amen rejoice when they divide the spoil. 

For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 

For every warrior’s [b]sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel [c]of fire. 

6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.   7 Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even foreverThe zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.  



Be It … According To Your Word

Luke 1:26-38

A.  Matthew 28:19-20  19 Go [c]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 

B.  What if that passage had read, “Go … and make disciples of all the communities?

C.  There was a time when my view of disciple-making was different …

  1. Under WCG: Mr.HWA would go to the nations
  2. Under GCI:  We are the ones to go into communities

D.  If we read that word nations as communities, the meaning changes.

E.  How do we respond when we are asked to take more personal responsibility for making disciples?

In our sermon today, we’ll see how Mary responded to the call to her to become a part of the greater story … and maybe get an idea of how we should we respond, when given a similar call.

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth*, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is  with you; [a] blessed are you among women!”  

29 But [b]when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.  30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  

34 Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I [c]do not know a man?”  

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”   

38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord!  Let it be to me according to your word.”  And the angel departed from her.   

*  John 1:45-46



  1.  God is faithful … He keeps all His promises.
  2.  God is omnipotent … All things are possible for Him
  3.  We can/should identify with Mary … We are in the Church … we are blessed … and highly favoured
  4.  We should follow Mary’s example … willing to obey, humbly … even when we don’t understand







CLOSING SONG  (which will also serve as our OFFERTORY SONG)





Great God of love and light, we thank you now for the light of that special star over two thousand years ago that guided humble shepherds and learned wise men to the holy babe.  Lead us now, by the light of your love, that we also may follow you to new life in him.  In celebration of the birth of our King and our Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.  


Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith — to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever!  Amen.   (Romans 16:25-27 NRSVUE)



God is love and he loved us so much he sent his one and only Son, so that we might have eternal life in him. Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love as he loves, to live a life of giving, serving, walking alongside, including others.




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