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Baptism of Our Lord (Year A)

The Baptism of our Lord is an epiphany, a manifestation of the one true God in the flesh and blood of Jesus. He is the chosen servant of the Lord, anointed with the Spirit for the rescue of God’s people and to bring forth justice to the nations. Thus He makes all things new, and He is given as “a covenant for the people, a light for the nations.

In the waters of the Jordan, Jesus takes His place with sinners and takes all the sins of the world upon Himself. Though He has no sin, He undergoes the Baptism of repentance in order to fulfill all righteousness for us. He submits Himself to the curse of sin and death in order to redeem us!

We are baptized with a Baptism like His, thereby dying and rising with Him so that “we will also live with Him.” Indeed, all of us who are baptized into Christ Jesus are anointed with His Spirit and named by His Father. We, too, are beloved and made into well-pleasing sons and daughters.

Pastor Nettleton's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf)

Epiphany Sunday (Year ABC)

The Feast of the Epiphany centers on the visit of the Magi from the East. In that respect it is the “thirteenth day” of Christmas, yet it also marks the beginning of a new liturgical season. Where Christmas has focused on the Incarnation of our Lord—God becoming flesh—the Epiphany and its season emphasize the manifestation, or revelation, of God in the flesh of Jesus Christ.

The Lord Himself has entered our darkness. He is the sun who rises with the brightness of His true Light. He causes His word, the Gospel, to be proclaimed to all the people of the earth, Jew and Gentile.

As the Magi were guided by the promises of Holy Scripture to find and worship the Christ-Child with His mother, so He also calls disciples from all nations, through the preaching of His Word, to find and worship Him within His Church.

Pastor Funke's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf)

Service of Carols and Lessons

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College was first held on Christmas Eve 1918. From 1919 the service has always begun with the hymn “Once in Royal David’s City.” In almost every year the choice of carols has varied, and some new ones have been introduced by successive organists. The backbone of the service, the lessons and the prayers, has remained virtually unchanged.

The original service was, in fact, adapted from an Order drawn up by E. W. Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, for use on Christmas Eve 1880. His son recalled: “My father arranged from ancient sources a little service for Christmas Eve—nine carols and nine tiny lessons.” Almost immediately other churches adapted the service for their own use. A wider frame began to grow when the service was first broadcast in 1928 and, with the exception of 1930, it has been broadcast annually, even during the Second World War, when the ancient glass (and also all heat) had been removed from the Chapel. It is estimated that there are millions of listeners worldwide. The service has become public property; from time to time the College receives copies of services held, for example, in the West Indies or the Far East, showing how widely the tradition has spread.

Wherever the service is heard and however it is adapted, whether the music is provided by choir or congregation, the pattern and strength of the service, as Dean Milner-White pointed out, derive from the lessons and not the music. “The main theme is the development of the loving purposes of God in Christ, seen through the windows and the words of the Bible.” The center of the service is still found by those who “go in heart and mind” and consent to follow where the great Christmas story leads.

The lessons and carols (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf)

Christmas Day

The child in the manger, born of the Virgin Mary, is the very Word of God, the only begotten Son of the Father, “whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.”

As “all things were made through Him,” so are all things redeemed and made new in Him. In His body of flesh and blood we behold “the radiance of the glory of God” and “glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

He dwells among us in peace, that we might have life and light and salvation in Him. For by His Word of the Gospel, we are born again as the children of God, bearing His name and sharing His eternal life.

Pastor Nettleton's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf)

Christmas Eve

Hark! The angelic hosts proclaim “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” Heaven and earth rejoice on this night because the glory of the blessed Trinity is manifested in the human birth of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Father’s grace, mercy and peace rest upon the world in the form of this little child. The silence of death is broken by the “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” All we who have gone astray like lost and wandering sheep, who have “walked in the darkness” of doubt and fear and sinful unbelief, behold “a great light” in the nativity of Immanuel, “God with us.

In Christ, “the grace of God has appeared.” For this Child of Mary who is born for us, this dear Son of God who is given to us, will bear the burden of our sin and death in His own body on the cross. He thereby establishes a government of peace, “with justice and with righteousness,” which shall have no end; not by any work of any human but by “the zeal of the Lord of hosts.

Pastor Nettleton's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf)

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