The apostle Paul calls on the Colossian believers to clothe themselves with all the attributes that fit their new identities: “God’s chosen people and dearly beloved” (v. 12), including compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility, and patience. They were called to bear with one another, forgiving each other, even as Christ forgave them. On top of all these virtues they are called to put on love, which integrates all of them in perfect unity.
Paul also calls the believers to let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts because they are called to peace as members of one body. The deeper we come in relationship to our Lord Jesus Christ, the more intimate and closer we will become to one another. We are called to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts (i.e., his “peace” should rule [brabeueto, “arbitrate, or “decide every debate.” This word brabeueto is only used here in the entire NT, which is striking.]) As believers, we are to appoint Christ’s peace to be the mayor, the governor, even the president over our emotions and reactions in every upsetting situation. Rather than bitterness and upset, we should be thankful and open. Since Christ has brought his peace to our lives, only a demeanor of gratitude and praise can be an appropriate response, especially when we are tempted to grumble, war, and complain.
During this Christmas season, let us allow the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts and in our lives!
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O God, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ became man that we might become the sons of God: Grant, we beseech thee, that being made partakers of the divine nature of thy Son, we may be conformed to his likeness; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
~ The Book of English Collects, 1940 (Geffen, p. 73)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
~ Earnest Fremont Tittle (Tittle, p. 56)
Affirmation for the Day
Let us walk in love, which binds all of these virtues together into unity.
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Holy Father, let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts during this Christmas-tide season!