A Vulnerable Hospitality

Matthew 10 and Genesis 22



One:        May the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with each

         and everyone of you.

People:  And also with you.


                Of Psalm  89

One:  I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord!

All:     Lead me, guide me, Lord Jesus

One:  I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations!

All:     Lead me, guide me, Lord Jesus

One:  I will abide in your steadfast love forever!

All:     Lead me, guide me, Lord Jesus

 *HYMN:                         “Victory Chant”                                  


Leader: My brothers and sisters, not out of dread and fear, but believing that God is faithful to forgive, let us rid ourselves of what we no longer need to carry.


All: Holy One, we repent of our hard heartedness and our divisive behavior. Teach us to be truly hospitable, and to have kind and listening hearts. We repent of our stiff-necked stubbornness and insistence on our own way. Soften our hearts and give us courage to admit when we are wrong and to embrace meaningful change. Where we are unkind, give us compassion, where we are tight-fisted, ease our anxiety, where we are broken, let the light shine through the cracks in our being that we might be bearers of light and love.



Leader: God forgives you. Be at peace. 

People:  In Jesus Christ we are restored!

 *RESPONSE OF PRAISE                          “Gloria Patri”                         

Glory be to the father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, Amen, Amen


 Leader: Having been assured of God’s forgiveness and peace, let us share a sign of Christ’s peace with one another. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

People: And also with you.

SCRIPTURE LESSON          Matthew 10:40-42                                     N.T. pg 11                                                           Genesis 22: 1-14                              O.T. pg 17

SERMON                            “Hospitality in Divisive Times”

                                             Rev. Cynthia Wunder              

*HYMN                                   “Let It Rise”

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH ~ The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit; Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate; Was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into Hell; The third day He  rose  again  from  the  dead;  He  ascended  into  heaven;  And  sitteth  on  the  right  hand  of  God  the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit; The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. Amen.

Prayers of the People

Our Father, which 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 debts as we forgive our debtors, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


*RESPONSE                                       Doxology”            (traditional)

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


 Gracious and Holy God, all that we have, all that we are, comes from you. Teach us to receive with gratitude and give with grace, that we might more fully embody your vision, your desire, here on earth. Amen

Sending Hymn:            “Sing to the King”




Youth Reflection on the Birth of Christ

Joseph, Mary, Sheamus the Sheepdog, and the Shepherds

*The Call to Show up and Be Counted:

*One: In the year of Quirinius, all the people were called to return to their family’s home city and there to be registered:

All: So Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem, though it was late in Mary’s pregnancy and she was heavy with child.

One: The journey was hard and as they neared Bethlehem, Mary was certain her time to deliver the child was near.

The Lighting of the Advent Candle
Joseph Speaks

 Our Confession:

We have no room in our lives for the most vulnerable, the most fragile and tender. We shut our doors in fear of the stranger, the foreigner. You say we are related to you? But you don’t look familiar to us. We only have so much room, but if you want, you can sleep in the barn tonight.

Your wife is pregnant? Ready to deliver? I’m so sorry, that’s not my problem.

The Call to Confession
Mary Speaks

Statement of Belief

We believe that something came into being that night, in the damp, cold of the barn, that changed our world forever. It took the courage of a teenage girl and the humility of a strong man to make ready the way. Their yes to this strange event brought forth hope and began something we didn’t understand, couldn’t even begin to foresee.

We have always believed that God was present with us, even in the unfriendly darkness, the lonely, empty times, in the waiting, where fear and courage join hands, conflict and caring link arms, where the sun rises over walls meant to separate and divide us. Now we see that God is with us. God has become a child that we might raise him, God has become enfleshed that we might hold him. God sits down in our midst and shares a meal with us, a fish fry on the beach with drinks and laughter and long stories that sometimes miss the point.

We affirm a faith that began in a barn, outside the safe, warm, appropriate places. We affirm a faith that asks us to stand outside of our own safe places, to enter into the margins, to embrace the foreigner, the stranger, the weirdos and strange people. We affirm that we are moved to live outside the lines of propriety where winners and losers are defined, and into a space where all of God’s beloved people are cherished, and loved, and welcome.

Oh, speaking of strange people,  here they come….

The Shepherds Speak,
Bring food to Mary and Joseph
The Shepherds Light a Fire for Mary and Joseph
They share the Light they have found with everyone
The Charge and Blessing