Bible Trees Tell the Christmas Story

Bible Trees Tell the Christmas Story

Listen to the service:

Permission to Podcast the music in this service obtained from OneLicense.net.

Christmas Eve Service

Sunday, December 24, 2017 (5:30 p.m.)

Bible Trees Tell the Christmas Story

Opening Song by Choir: “On Christmas Night, All Christians Sing”
Words: Hymn 377 v 1 & 3 plus new lyrics.   
Arr. Patrick M. Liebergen

Congregation & Children join on verse 4:

♫ O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels.
O come, let us adore Him,  O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

  1. THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL

Noah:  Our most precious Christmas memory is that of Jesus’ birth as our Savior. Tonight we will talk about five trees which tell the story of Christmas. The first tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was part of the reason why Jesus had to come to earth. God originally created man sinless and placed him into a Paradise called the Garden of Eden.

Liam:   While Adam and Eve could enjoy everything in the Garden, God told them not to eat of this tree or they would die.  “And the Lord God commanded man, ‘You may eat of any tree in the garden, but not of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will surely die…… But when the woman saw that its fruit was pleasing to the eye, she ate and her husband also.”

Luke:   And the Lord God said, ‘Man will no longer eat of the tree of life and live forever. So the Lord God banished them from the garden.” With this act of disobedience and defiance of God’s clear command, sin and its horrible consequences, spiritual and eternal death, were now a tragic part of human life. The wonderful relationship between God and our first parents now came to an end.

  1. THE JESSE FAMILY TREE

Dylan:  The second tree, the Jesse Tree or Jesus’ family tree, could also be called the tree of promise. To Adam and Eve the Lord promised a Seed, an Offspring of the woman Who would crush the serpent’s head. This Messianic promise was repeated again and again throughout the Old Testament. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, ancestors of the promise, were comforted with God’s assurance of a Savior from their family.

Levi:  The prophet Isaiah reveals how the Savior would come forth like a Branch or Shoot from the dead stump of Jesse’s family. Jesse was the father of King David. The Jews hope and the joy of all mankind centered in that fragrant flower which would come forth from Jesse’s family. Thank God for fulfilling His saving promises by preserving the family tree of Jesus.

Joel:    Yes, what began with God’s first Gospel promise of the head-crushing of the serpent, the devil, continued with these words to the ancestors of Jesus – “In you and your Offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed”. This was now repeated in many wonderful Messiah portraits of the coming Savior – Who He was, what He would do for us and how blessed we are because of our Savior.

Matt:   “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Immanuel, which means God with us. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. And the government shall be upon His shoulders, and His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace….. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

Congregational Hymn LSB 359 (v 1-3): Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming Hymnary.org link “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”

1 Lo, how a rose e’er blooming  From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming  As prophets long have sung,
It came a flow’ret bright,  Amid the cold of winter,

When half-spent was the night.

2 Isaiah ’twas foretold it,  The rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it,  The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright,  She bore to us a Savior, 
When half-spent was the night.

3 This flow’r, whose fragrance tender  With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor  The darkness ev’rywhere.
True man, yet very God,  From sin and death he saves us
And lightens ev’ry load.

  1. THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Grade 5 – Hailey Goodman, Megan Gullerud, Ashley Lynner,
Lilah Moen, Olivia Olmanson, Keagen Valverde:

Our third tree is the tree most people think about this time of year – the Christmas tree. The custom of the Christmas tree may have been started by Martin Luther, who is said to have brought a tree home for his family and decorated it. While we don’t need a Christmas tree to celebrate Christmas, the Christmas tree can surely remind us of some wonderful things about our Savior’s birth.

Grade 6 – Hannah Goodman, Owen Gullerud, Vance Havemeier,
Evan Kuehne, Logan Krueger, Ben Radermacher:

Just as we put candles on a cake when it is someone’s birthday, so the lights on the Christmas tree can remind us that it is Jesus’ birthday. The lights can also remind us that Jesus is the Light of the world. Since green is the color of living things, the “evergreen” can remind us that we will live forever with Jesus because God’s Son came down from heaven to be true Man and our Savior.

Grades 5-6:   Because Jesus came at Christmas, we have the forgiveness of our sins and peace with God. Have you ever noticed that the Christmas tree points heavenward?  This reminds us that our real home is with Jesus in heaven. Underneath the Christmas tree we place our gifts for others. We give gifts of love just as God gave the greatest Christmas gift of all to us – His Son, Jesus.

Grades 3-8 Christmas Story
(Luke 2: 1-14)

“And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be taxed, everyone to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David – to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, an angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Song by Grades 3-8 – “Born In Bethlehem”
Arr. Avery, Carr, Powell, Lee, Anderson

Congregational Hymn LSB 387 (v 1 & 4): Joy to the World Hymnary.org link “Joy to the World”

♫ 1 Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King:
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room
And heav’n and nature sing, And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing.

4 He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love.

Christmas Offering

Offering Music – “O Holy Night” Soloist: Zach Thurow

Preschool-Grade2: Colin Aymond, Lilly Fitzgerald, Nathan Glick, Micah Gurgel, Jack Fitzgerald, Isla Havemeier, Amber Ludvigson, Delaney Stangler, Jack Starland, Nolan Aymond, Paige Goodman, Kaden Mack, Stryker Ledoux, Evan Stangler

In a manger Jesus lies;  Angels praise Him in the skies.
Shepherds kneel before Him low.  To the stable let us go.
Light of heaven and Morning Star,  Little Jesus, Thine we are.
Lead us as Thy very own   To the Father’s shining throne.

Song By PK – Grade 2:  “As Each Happy Christmas” 

1 As each happy Christmas  Dawns on earth again,
Comes the holy Christ Child  To the hearts of men.

2 Enters with His blessing  Into ev’ry home,
Guides and guards our footsteps  As we go and come.

3 All unknown, beside me  He will ever stand,
And will safely lead me  With His own right hand.

http://www.ericholmlund.com/art/prophetic/christmas-cross
Picture credit: http://www.ericholmlund.com
  1. THE TREE  OF  THE  CROSS

Grade 3-4 Girls – Kaitlyn Krueger,
Grace Schierenbeck, Emma Starland:

The fourth tree is very important because it was on the tree of the cross that Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. As we celebrate Jesus’ birth with joy and thanksgiving, we should also remember he came to earth as true man. His coming was the beginning of a life of perfect love and service as our Savior.

Grade 3-4 Boys – Tanner Havemeier, Michael Lang:

Every Sunday (yes, even at Christmas), the cross in the front of our church reminds us of Jesus. Tonight we should especially remember that the Tree of the Cross shows God’s great love for His people. To save us, Jesus laid down His life and suffered the punishment of hell and death on the accursed cross – all for us.

Grades 3-4:  John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And now Jesus’ empty cross and empty tomb also proclaim to all who will listen that Jesus our Savior has risen and conquered sin and death for all believers. God be praised!

Choir song “A Child is Born (He Shall Be Peace)” Arr. Victor C. Johnson

Isaiah 9:6 “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.” Micah 5:5a And this One shall be peace.

  1. THE TREE OF LIFE

Quinn: Our last Bible tree is actually the first tree mentioned in the Bible – the Tree of Life. When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost the right to live in Paradise. God placed an angel at the entrance of the Garden of Eden to prevent them from eating of the Tree of Life. Man would no longer live forever in this sinful world.

Averie:  But God gave hope to all sinners. Through Jesus we have the promise of life eternal. No longer does the angel guard the gate to Paradise. The Book of Revelation tells us that all believers in heaven will again have the right to eat of the Tree of Life. May Jesus’ Christmas coming assure you of Life in Him.

Alexa:   Revelation 22:14 says: “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the Tree of Life and may go through the gates into the heavenly city.” By faith we eagerly await our future life with Jesus and all believers in the Paradise our God has promised.

Claire:   Let all together praise our God   Before His glorious throne;
Today He opens heav’n again  To give us His own Son.
He undertakes a great exchange,  Puts on our human frame,
And in return give us His realm,   His glory and His Name.
He is the Key and He the Door   To blessed Paradise;
The angel bars the way no more   To God our praises rise,
To God our praises rise!

(All Children Recite)     

The Tree of Life in Eden stood – Symbol of Life and love from God
The Good and Evil Tree – they ate! Brought sin and death, God’s anger great.
Christ’s Family Tree, from Jesse’s roots; A Savior promised, coming soon.
The Christmas Tree, so bright and green Points up to heav’n, God’s light is seen.
A Tree, the Cross – my Savior died To pay for sin, open heav’n wide.
The Tree of Life – again, restored, In heav’n with Christ, by all adored.
Five trees tell God’s Christmas Story Of sin, our Savior, and heav’nly glory.

Children’s Song with Choir – “Christmastime” Arr. Lloyd Larson

The Lord’s Prayer (Inside Back Cover Of Hymnal)

Our Father, Who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Benediction ♫ Amen, Amen, Amen

Closing Hymn LSB 363 : Silent Night, Holy Night Hymnary.org link “Silent Night”

♫ 1 Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.

2 Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar, Heav’nly hosts sing, Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the Savior, is born!

3 Silent night, holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Silent Prayer And Announcements