• The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples

The Mood of Christmas Service | December 5, 2021

Reverend Dr. Dorsey O. Blake, Presiding Minister

Reverend Dr. Kathryn L. Benton, Co-Minister

Dr. Carl Blake, Director of Music

Reverend Dr. Martin Todd Allen, Song Leader

Prelude | Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Johann Sebastian Bach

Dr. Carl Blake

Sacred Reading | Isaiah 9: 2, 6&7

Dr. Kathryn Benton

(2) The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light:

they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them

hath the light shined

(6) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the

government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be

called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting

Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government

and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,

and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment

and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the

Lord of hosts will perform this.

Sacred Reading | Christmas Is Waiting to Be Born by Howard Thurman

Dr. Dorsey Blake

Where refugees seek deliverance that never comes,

And the heart consumes itself, if it would live,

Where little children age before their time,

And life wears down the edges of the mind,

Where the old man sits with mind grown cold,

While bones and sinew, blood and cell, go slowly down to death,

Where fear companions each day’s life, And Perfect Love seems long delayed.

Christmas is waiting to be born:

In you, in me, in all of humankind.

Procession | Jesus, A Light of the World


Sacred Reading | Let Christmas Come by Leona Sansom

Rev. Elena Rose Vera and Ari Thompson

Let Christmas come

to the forsaken and downtrodden

where life is flat and rigid

and arduous day follows arduous day,

where futures seem bent to earthward.

Let Christmas come

to those who lives are feckless

and have lost the desire to live,

to the imprisoned who long for freedom

when there is no freedom in sight,

to the many shelterless who roam

our richly paved city streets

seeking an acceptable life style,

to the beggars who hold out their dingy hands

as we pass them by with averted eyes,

and to those whose days are spent seeking food,

Let Christmas come to the lost and the hungry

Let Christmas come

to those whose minds are tight and cannot see

that all human blood comes from one common ancient fount,

to homes that have ceased to care—

where bickering is constant and abrasive

and to the communities where drug traffic is rife

and guns are more commonplace than books.

For the children—let Christmas come to the children—

children who are abused, alone, frightened and unloved.

Let Christmas come

to the aged who think their lives are useless,

to those who are sick in body and mind,

who are trapped in beds and yesteryears,

the comfortless, bereaved and the lonely,

to the war weary who are tired of blood drenched lands,

to the vain and haughty

and to those who do not believe.

Let Christmas come to them.

Let Christmas come

to our floundering nation.

Let it have one shining

moment of unburdened peace.

And let Christmas come to you and to me.

Let the all abiding love and hope and joy

of Christmas find a home inside each heart,

lifting it from the insipid and the ordinary

and fitting it with celestial fire!

Let Christmas come!

Opening Hymn | #253 O Come All Ye Faithful


Sacred Reading | Luke 2:1-14

Carol Verburg

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be

taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took

place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So, Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea,

to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and

line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged

to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there,

the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn,

a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,

because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,

keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared

to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will

cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior

has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you:

You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,

praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Hymn | #251 Silent Night, Holy Night


Sacred Reading | The Singing of Angels by Howard Thurman

Edmundo Torres Rico

There must be always remaining in everyone's life

some place for the singing of angels -- some place for that

which in itself is breathlessly beautiful and by an inherent

prerogative, throwing all the rest of life into a new and

creative relatedness -- something that gathers up in itself

all the freshets of experience from drab and commonplace

areas of living and glows in one bright light of penetrating

beauty and meaning -- then passes.

The commonplace is shot through with new glory -- old burdens

become lighter, deep and ancient wounds lose much of their old,

old hurting. A crown is placed over our heads that for the rest

of our lives we are trying to grow tall enough to wear.

Despite all the crassness of life, despite all the hardness

of life, despite all of the harsh discords of life, life is saved

by the singing of angels.